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Ponta Delgada The Azores not quite what originally intended
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer by providing practical, medical, emotional and financial help. In addtion this organisation is a force for change, listening to people affected by cancer and working with them to change cancer care for the better. This work relies on fundraising.
Macmillan Cancer Support fundraisers participate in all sorts of challenges to make real difference to people living with cancer.
We set out to do a singlehanded crossing of the North Atlantic from Plymouth (UK) to Newport, Rhode Island (USA) on board the smallest participant in the 2010 Jester Challenge - the self-built Golant Gaffer 'Just Right' in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Due to adverse weather conditions during the first fifteen days, it became evident that it would take at least another 40-50 days to reach our objective so headed for the Azores as this is the destination for every other Jester Challenge.
After a few days of rest and repairs we returned to complete an "Azores and Back" in an overall sailing time of 32 days and six hours at sea, covering exactly 2800 nautical miles. The final three days were made under jury rig due to gaff fitting failure, fortunately all downwind under the amazing Parasail.
Worst day at sea was 25 nautical miles of progress to windward in somewhat challenging conditions and the best day happened on the way back where 'Just Right' did 107 nautical miles with the wind abeam (from the side) in perfect weather conditions.
The fundraising activities for this challenge will continue until November 2010. These will include a passage up the coast to the Solent, an appearance at the Southampton Boat Show and two months of promotional sailing activities in the Solent. After this, 'Just Right' will be trailed back to the Midlands and exhibited on her trailer.
Why Macmillan Cancer Support? A lifelong friendship with Glen Ferrar may explain this.
Take a look at MacmIllan Cancer Support Fundraising in the Midlands and Plymouth Boatshed.com December and February blogs for other perspectives and comments.
August 01, 2010
A replacement for the broken gaff jaws, along with a new collar was ordered the week following our return. I went down over the weekend of the 25th July (given lawn at home was cut and all other duties suitably up to date) to put back the coastal anchor and chain and replace the gaff jaw and collar. I had refueled the day after my arrival so all that remained to do was to fill the coastal water tank, reduce the stores and arrange the cabin to allow for one or more crew/passengers. Now we are ready for sea again and time to see who may want to come along for the trip up the coast? It is after all onlya 36 hour trip?
The intention is to unbolt and unseal the "pilot house" so it can be used as a sliding hatch to make it easier for people to get in and out of the cabin. This will probably be done once we are in the Solent as it will probably take me a weekend to do. The liferaft can come off then and only go back on board for cross channel work.
While I was up and down the mast on a nice sunny day to smooth and tape the damage to the mast again, I again checked the standing and running rigging. Nothing needed attention.
As to the gaff, this time we fitted galvanised steel fitting with 2 cm wide jaws. I spent quite a bit of time after rigging the mainsail again, hoisting it up and down, checking to make sure there would be no repeat of the chafe problems experienced on voyage.
Since getting back I have started collating the vidio, photos and snapshots of the laptop screen taken during the voyage as well as the and narrative material in the manual and computer logs. In the short term I will complete a 30 minutes to 1 hour audio visual presentation "Now I know what I needed to know?" The idea is to have something of general interest to wide range of audience to give them a glimpse of the experience as well as useful specifics for those interested in a similar adventure. This will be used for the Macmillan promotional work.
A second presentation, "I will have the weather routing tools thank you", will use the 8 days of material ( photos of the clouds/sky, screen snapshots, daily T+24 hour weather faxes and 5-7 day GRIB files that really illustrate the power of weather routing and the role of the various weather data resources available to a small sailboat. By having access to the information as well as being able to interpret and check possibilities in what was rather more complex than the usual weather conditions, I saved around a week of beating to weather in light airs on the way back and had the spinnaker ride of a lifetime?
If you have any questions about the Just Right Project, please contact us.
If you have any questions about Macmillan Cancer Support please click here| .
© Angus Davidson and Macmillan Cancer Support 2009
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