Tuesday, 22 January 2013

We are not all mad only some of us ....

Just before Christmas my lovely wife Vi,( I have to say that otherwise I won’t get any dinner tonight ) and myself decided that we both needed a break. Vi booked a few days over Christmas on the island of Grand Caneria, on the condition that I would not take any work with me. When the time come to pack the bags I put some paper work at the bottom of Vi’s case and covered it over, there was always a chance that she would check my bag to make sure I was complying with her instruction but not likely that she would check her bag. I couldn’t see myself sitting there day after day doing nothing. Anyway we got there and settled in at a place called Mogan, the next day, and being a boating man we found ourselves walking around the little harbour, I have to say what a pretty pleasant place Mogan is.
With my interest in boats, harbours always attract me. This particular morning we noticed that a Land Rover Discovery had turned up towing a huge trailer with two ocean going rowing boats. Titon the six man crew 35ft long boat was on the bottom, and Pacific Pete the 7 Metre single man boat was on a frame above.

A day or two later I had an opportunity to speak to both skippers.

Titon skippered by Simon Chalk and his crew are out to try and break the record standing at 32 days from the Canaries to Barbados. His crew were young guys and all muscle, they were due to set off around the 12th Jan. Simons partner Gemma will be in touch throughout the passage.

Pacific Pet is crewed by Geoff Allum, Geoff is a veteran rower and completed many crossings of one sort or another. At 68 Geoff said to me that he wanted to give it one more shot and expects to take around 75 days and leaving at the same time. There is no electronics on the boat, the only appliance is a small water maker. I think it will be very challenging for him and a worrying time for his wife Jane. GOOD LUCK TO THEM BOTH on their 2,550 nautical mile journey. Les.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Trials and tribulations

There are times during the project when it seems like we are trying to push a wheelbarrow up a greasy plank, you know how it is, you're running like hell but getting no where. There's Maureen doing Press and PR and Keith doing web and technical and then there's me doing the odd job or two. We could do with more people helping out at times. With little over 9 weeks to go there's still a lot to get done before we depart.

The journey is split into stages and we have 2 crew spaces for each stage. There are still 3 spaces available so if you're in or around your 70's why not make your contribution and join us for an experience of a lifetime, you'll be warmly welcome.

To get back to what I should be talking about, the ups and downs of putting a project of this size together, it’s a constant battle trying to get things right, you know what I mean two steps forward one back. Anyway we were working with Alun Parry from Suzuki to put a professional photo shoot together to go with our Press Releases. I was responsible for getting the Jimnys ready, the crew organized to be available on the day and above all, to talk the guys at the Beaulieu Motor Museum to see if we could use Beaulieu Palace as a back drop for the shoot. They're a great bunch of people and agreed straight away. One last job I had to do the day before the shoot was to make sure our graphics man fit our twitter address @JimnyChallenge to the vehicle windscreens and side windows.

The day of the shoot came, a perfect sunny day, blue sky, the crew and the photographer all arrived on time, and everything was perfect. I was strutting around like a dog with two tails, life is wonderful. We had a great day. Driving back home after the shoot thinking that it’s not that bad, things do go wrong sometimes but when it goes right we can forget the rest. I arrived home wagging my two tails waiting for my wife to tell me “who’s a clever boy then" but instead she said “how long has Jimny been spelt with E?” I looked to where she was pointing and I couldn't believe it, how is it possible that NOBODY noticed it. I felt sick, and minus one tail!! I phoned Trevor who deals with our graphics to ask how this could happen and he confessed to me that he is a bit dyslexic! What could I say. Forget what I said about life being wonderful.

All was not lost though, thanks to technology all the E's were been removed on the photos and they could still be used.