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Please support the Irish Sea Crossing effort

This is a serious challenge that I hope will be worthy of your support.
Please get involved and be part of what is a bit of a crazy idea to help two very worthy charities - thanks.
Chris Todd.
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Being Inspired!

Support Crew Posted on 09 Oct, 2012 12:49:10

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.

Support Boat Crewing

Support Crew Posted on 26 Sep, 2012 12:47:52

One of the many issues facing Chris was finding enough suitably experienced crew to man the support boat. We were looking at a minimum crew of three: two to be on duty at any given time, with any others sleeping / resting.

A key issue for this challenge is that Chris obviously needs quite a precise set of weather conditions, which may of course mean that we’re all in for a long wait! But when those perfect conditions do finally arrive, both Chris and the support crew need to be ready to drop everything else and ‘go’ And given the relative unreliability of advance weather forecasts, we might only get 2 to 3 days advance warning. It’s also pretty much inevitable that the sort of people who tend to make competent crew also tend to be the types of people who lead busy lives anyhow.

So the strategy adopted by Chris was to build and maintain a list of contacts for potential crew, including their available dates. This list has grown throughout his months of preparation and training, at the last count there were about 20 names, including several with extensive skippering experience.

Clearly the fact that we now have a fully professional support boat skipper in the form of Dave Rogers (see the recent post in the Support Boat section) has resolved at least one key crew decision. And as the owner of the original support boat, I’m sort of hoping that Dave will be happy to have me along too!

So, if the plan above all works out, we have 2 guaranteed crew (Dave Rogers and myself), and a suitable list of candidates from which to draw the full complement. Communications will continue with all potential crew, although things may go slightly quiet when the weather is as dreadful as it is right now!

Hopefully yet another hurdle overcome …