Now this challenge is over, as a general supporter and crew member on the safety boat, I thought I’d add some of my own personal thoughts.

A couple of things I sort of expected:

The first was the inspirational factor that comes from supporting an individual like Chris. The effort that went into making this attempt happen was enormous, and I mostly just watched with awe as he solved problem after problem, and removed barrier after barrier. And doing all of that whilst still maintaining his physical training quietly in the background. Having known Chris for some while, and having followed some of his previous adventures, I expected to be inspired, and once again I was.

The second was the fully professional seamanship of Dave Rogers (Ambient Marine), who skippered the safety boat. And he duly and consistently delivered in spades, especially in terms of making correct and timely decisions. Put simply, the Irish Sea felt like a safe place to be with Dave around.

What I wasn’t quite expecting to see was the efforts that complete strangers (and/or their companies) were prepared to go to in terms of supporting such an undertaking. Top of my own list here was Dave Rogers himself. Up until the point where we finally agreed a start time, I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I wasn’t certain that the use of the RIB Energy as the support boat would actually happen. I guess these days we’re all programmed to believe that if it sounds too good to be true, then indeed it can’t be true. And yet Dave plus RIB Energy did indeed drop all other plans, at horrendously short notice, and provided the absolutely perfect and yet ultimately so essential support. I hope I’m right in saying that I think that Dave, and indeed all other supporters, simply ‘got it’, in terms of understanding both the obvious sense of adventure and the desire to do something positive for deserving causes.

To all those who supported Chris, I salute you! There has been much going on in GB this year to give us all that feel-good factor, but witnessing such generosity has been the icing on my personal cake.

My final thought is squarely aimed at pulling a few heart-strings. My own biggest fears in preparing to support this challenge were focussed on coping with the hours of darkness. Given the nature of one of the two charities Chris is supporting, that obviously made me pause for thought, and I hope it does for you too.

So it’s ‘Over and Out’ from me – and the time has come where I need to make my own visit to the ‘Just Giving’ page.