Sunday, 2 August 2009

What a Craic

Thank you Belfast. What a welcome The Lord Mayor of Belfast, a Piper and fire tug. Huge thanks to Gillian Peter and all the team at NICFFC for all their hard work and assistance. It’s a great city Belfast and they certainly pulled all the stops out for us. I’ll be sad to get on the plane tomorrow. Best of Luck to the crew of Leg 12

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Halfway !! Yippee

We are halfway - Huge Congratulations and Thanks to Cath, Karen Simon, and everyone who has been involved. The Second half of the adventure starts today


Monday, 6 July 2009


By my reckoning at some point tomorrow Scarlet will pass the halfway point on her voyage around Britain and tomorrow night will mark the half way point of the summer yacht trips in the Solent. Well done to the whole team Jo, Tracy, Cath, Karen and Simon.


Friday, 26 June 2009

As we leave prpeare to leave Edinburgh

As we prepare to leave Edinburgh a few facts on the voyage so far

Scarlet has sailed about 750 miles with 21 youngsters on board,

They have visited 5 hospitals,

Simon has driven 4,100 miles supporting them.

The crew have seen dolphins, puffins, seals, guillemotts, turns and much more.

Moored in 22 ports or anchorages.

The crew have visited 2 lifeboat stations, 3 castles, 2 aquariums and the london eye.

And over 600 cups of tea have been made on board!


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Goodbye England Hello Scotland

So here we are in Scotland, on Monday Scarlet Oyster crossed into Scottish waters and said goodbye to England until August when she arrives into Liverpool!
The crew have had a fantastic time on Leg 6, they have seen seals, guillemots, turns gannets and puffins! As well as having great sailing weather.

One thing that has really made this voyage special for me are the people that I have met. The young people that come sailing with us are just amazing, they are so inspirational. We have also met some fantastic people in the ports that Scarlet has called into, whether its a friendly face in a marina or someone keen to help get Scarlet ready for the next leg I have been blown away by their helpfulness and kindness. There have also been some great individuals who have put so much of their own time and energy into making this voyage fantastic, organising parties, entertainment for the crew and lots of other things!

Cath and I are off back down to the Island this Thursday for Round The Island Race, I am very excited as it will be the first time this summer that I get to go sailing!!! RTI is also something that I have always wanted to do but have always been out of the country for. It will also be great to catch up with the team in Cowes and also catch up with Chloe, Hatty and Larvell who have all joined us on Round Britain and are racing round the Island with the Trust.
Scarlet will be having a few days R&R before the crew for leg 7 arrive next Thursday. Then its on to Aberdeen.

Hope to catch some of you at RTI this weekend.

Till next time


Thursday, 11 June 2009

Thanks Pet!

Well I have just returned from Newcastle, and what a great place to visit. Scarlet was welcomed with a great party (thanks Skandia)and we were given the use of the Civic centre for Ellen's talk. What really struck me was how friendly, welcoming and genuinely interested everyone we met was in the voyage and the work of the trust! Thanks to all those who made the stopover possible and to the people of Newcastle "Thanks Pet!"

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Busy Week.....

It has been some week, the weather gods were not kind to us which added to some engine problems meant that at times I thought that Tower Bridge might open without Scarlet Oyster. With some great help from Chris Livett and Tracey his engineer we managed it though. Well done to all the team. Check out the site for some great pictures and the leg two video.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Where did the week go!!

Wow.... what a fantastic first week its been!

I can't believe we have finished our first week of the voyage and the first leg! Harriet, Chloe, Rachel, Jack and Joe have been a fantastic crew, they have certainly set the bar high for everyone else to follow!
It has been a busy but extremely enjoyable week for Frank and myself. At some points we have found it difficlult to keep up with Scarlets scorching pace!

This time last week we had just waved off Scarlet Oyster as she started on the first leg of the voyage. It was an excellent day, and certainly one that I will remember for a long time to come. A big thank you to all of those who came down to wave her off, both onshore and on the water. It was an amazing sight as Scarlet sailed through the Royal Yacht Squadron's start line and received her cannon followed by over 30 spectator boats. An even bigger thank you must go to all those who made the departure day happen. Gordon Applebey and his family for lending the Trust Scarlet Oyster for this amazing voyage. UKSA for providing a superb venue and helping out with the food, drinks, minibus service, the pontoon and much much more. Richard and Stuart and the team from Solent Rib Charters for helping to get so many afloat, along with Solent Cruises and Needles Pleasure Cruises. Switch for providing some great entertainment. Gary from Plaza Ices for brining his ice cream van down, a huge hit with the kids and adults! Jo, Mimi, Emma and all the media who came down to capture the day. A massive thank you must go to the EMT team, Frank, Cath, Karen, Dan, Tracy, Jo, Joey, Hugh, Rita, Ellen, Shirley, Clive, Nick, Drew, Kim and Scarlet's crew who were just simply brilliant!

We had a great time in Brighton, on Monday night Frank and I were invited onboard for supper and Uno. On Tuesday we traveled up to the Royal Marsden where Dan and the crew gave a great presentation to the hospital staff. It was then off to the Musto store for more photos and interviews before heading off to listen to Ellens fantastic talk. (You can come to one of the talks, check out the venues and dates on the website) In between all that I am sure a couple of games of Uno were fitted in. How much Uno can one crew play!!
Wednesday was a bit too windy to go sailing so it was off to the Lifeboat station for a tour (thanks Keiron) and then on to the Sea Life centre. Thanks must go to Phil and Dan and the team at Brighton Marina who made Scarlet and her crew feel very welcome.

I then met up with the crew on Friday in Dover, after an exciting but lumpy sail! Scarlet was escorted in by the local police RIB, a first for Cath or so she tells us!!
After a thourogh wash down (of the boat and crew) it was off to town for fish and chips on the green, before a final couple of games of Uno.

Yesterday we said goodbye to the first crew, I do hope you will all come back and sail with us. Frank and I were given a card designed and made by the crew with a Jack Clark original sketch inside. Thanks Guys!
Once all had departed Cath and I joined Frank, Joey, Katie and Ellen for the second of Ellen's talks. Another huge success!

Today saw the arrival of the next crew, Dan, Michael and Jay. After getting everyone settled we welcomed aboard Hillary Lister and her crew for a very British tradition, afternoon tea! Hillary is an amazing and inspiring lady, she is currently on her own voyage round Britain (the other way round) I do hope we will get to meet up somewhere along the way. Good luck Hillary!
I have just left the boat, briefings, bed making and supper preperation in full swing! (I wonder how long till the first game of Uno breaks out)

So that was week one, and what a fantastic one it was. Thank you to Harriet, Chloe, Rachel, Jack and Joe and good luck Dan, Michael and Jay. I look forward to catching up with you in London.

Till next time.


Saturday, 2 May 2009

So here we go........

Frank - So tomorrow (although most of you will be reading this on Sunday - in which case today) we will set off, this has been a project 18 months in the planning. It all started with Gordon. I will miss him tomorrow he would have been very proud, Gordon was a great friend and huge supporter of the Trust. He first became involved when he contacted us with the offer of his 48ft Oyster ligthtwave yacht, Scarlet Oyster, free of charge for use during our summer. His generous donation came from his own battle with cancer and his eagerness to be involved in something positive that could help young people in the same situation. His enthusiasm for the Trust was evident to all who were lucky enough to meet him, and many will remember him cooking a breakfast of bacon sarnies for all on board, or filling up the water balloons for another attack. Gordon was instrumental in getting the Round Britain idea off the ground by pledging Scarlet to the voyage. It was therefore with great sadness that on 21 Feb 2008, following another operation, we learnt Gordon had passed away and although sadly he will no longer be part of this incredible adventure, we will set sail in Gordons memory.

So with a boat and a great idea we needed a partner, having worked with Skandia for three years as the official charity of Skandia Cowes week we were both keen to continue the relationship, we are very lucky to have their support as well as BT and the Energy Saving Trust.

We started to look for a team to run the voyage in August last year and with help from High Performance Development and Phil Hagen we ran a Selection weekend in October. We were very lucky to find Cath, Karen and Simon, they are a great team and along with Tracy, Joey and Jo we are very lucky with the people we have working for the trust.

So many other people have helped Crusader Sails, Geovoile, Musto, , UKSA, Volvo and Payne Hicks Beach. As well as many individuals Jo Summers, Capt. Peter Jackson (Rtd) and Katie Miller with the planning of the route, Dave, Carie and Rudi assisting Cath, John and Andy and their team at Southampton Yacht Services, Carl, Wez, Dan at OC Vision. Jo Grindley, Emma and Mimi at Into the Blue. Phil and Sarah Hagen with so much

But tomorrow everyones efforts wil be worth it because this voyage is all about the young people who will sail onboard and the first five of those Harriett, Jo, Jack, Rachel and Chloe will sail the first of over 2000 miles that makes all the hard work worth it.

If you would like to support them please click on the Buy a Mile link........[02/05/09 21:30]

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Final Push

With less than 2 weeks to go till the departure the office is as busy as ever! I have just about finished visiting the ports we will be stopping at during the voyage, they are all set to be fantastic in their own way. One thing that has really blown me away has been the helpfulness and generosity of all those that I have met around the country. Every place I have visited I have been made to feel very welcome and I cant wait to return with Scarlet Oyster and her crew during the voyage.
Scarlet is looking fantastic, the team have done a brilliant job getting her ready. Cath and Karen are busy putting the final pieces together, the Duo-Gen wind generator arrived today to much excitement! I had my first trip on her this evening, all be it a short hop from one pontoon to the other!
The sun is shining here in Cowes, lets hope it's here to stay.

Till next time.


Thursday, 2 April 2009

Preparations Underway

Well it's very busy here with all the last minute preparations, Scarlet is at Southampton Yacht Services have some final work and will be pulled out on Monday to be branded. She is going to look very special. We have a very excited Skipper in Cath Vise and the Mate Karen Fraser is updating her Ships Captain medical course this week, the office has a buzz as packages of charts, pilotage books arrive and the team add content to the website, confirm the young people and make all the arrangements for each of the stopover ports. Simon is off next week to visit some of the stopover ports in Hull, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool and the Isle of Man. Tommorow will mark a month to go and there is certainly a lot to do.

Will up date you as we move forward