Sunday, 8 August 2010
Thanks to all who gave Cookie and I a fantastic welcome back to Terra Firma late Monday night. Even Tiki 21 designers - James Wharram and Hanneke Boon had made the trip up from Cornwall to be there. A great surprise to a dazed sailor stepping ashore to have all this noise and hubbub going on. I tried hard to make sure everyone got a bit of champagne spray on them!!
It was certainly a dream run back across the North Atlantic. Cookie as capable as ever, needing no repairs at all this time. After a slow start the first 3 days, we had a weather front pass over and we were off, riding SW winds the whole way for the next 19 days!! I got bored! Read 5 paperbacks in all and wrote the first 100 pages of the 'book'! I had time this trip to enjoy cooking and even put on a little weight for a change!!
As with the Jester Challenge to USA, the last miles were the most frustrating. When you can just about see the finish line, the wind gives out. I did more sail changes from Scillies to Exmouth than I did the whole Atlantic!
Big thanks to Dave de la Cour, who was my weather eyes for the trip home and added a joke of the day on each text. Good on ya mate!
It is fantastic to be with my kids Josh and Soph again. 2 months is the longest we have been apart and I missed them like mad. We have lots of fun kids' stuff to catch up on!!
Thank you one and all to all of you who have donated to the Francis Chichester Trust. Now we have nearly reached the 2,500 pound mark with some additional cheques forthcoming. That means we will have made it possible for 3 more young kids to have the chance to go on an Outward Bound course. Just brilliant!!!!
For my part, I have had a very successful adventure and thank you again to all those who have helped to make it possible. I urge all of you who read this, to recognise your dreams and take the first bold step towards making them reality. Go on!! I for one, know you can do it!! Happy trails dreamers :-)
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Date/Time:08/02/2010 23:36:51 BST
Well at long last, Rory is home! Big thanks to Adam Butt & Maximus, Alan Dixon & Richard Crisp for that last little tow home. And also Lympstone Sailing Club for the welcome home & mum, dad & family for champagne & pasties! I am sure after a night's rest, Rory will post his comments tomorrow.
It has been a fantastic adventure,and I will be a little lost now that the blog is nearly done, but thanks to all that have followed!
Monday, 2 August 2010
GPS location Date/Time:08/02/2010 07:04:28 BST
Sunday, 1 August 2010
GPS location Date/Time:08/02/2010 00:09:12 BST
Saturday, 31 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/31/2010 14:16:15 BST
He is right around the corner!! Come on Cookie!
Friday, 30 July 2010
GPS Location Date/Time:07/30/2010 14:04:06 BST
Thursday, 29 July 2010
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/28/2010 14:21:40 BST
Well only a few days left of blogging for this trip! Hmm, I will have to find something else to do with my time now! Rory & Cookie are still flying along!
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/27/2010 14:15:46 BST
Very brief chat with Rory tonight. He is happy to be marking the miles off. 10 knots of breeze, with full sail up when I spoke to him. And they topped the best run again, so Cookie's best 24hr run is now 185 miles!! He reckons he has about 800 miles to go, so I think early next week he should be arriving back into Lympstone Harbour!!
What a fantastic trip they are having!! I am really very proud of both of them :)
Monday, 26 July 2010
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Date/Time:07/25/2010 14:30:00 BST
Rory & Cookie are flying along, looking at the latest update! Way to go guys!
Friday, 23 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/23/2010 14:25:33 BST
Not much news to report. I did speak to Rory, and he said he is bobbing along nicely, enjoying life in the Tropics. What a difference a month makes! Instead of being bundled up in his drysuit, and fighting his way into wet clothes, he is back to Mother Nature,.......naked. Which makes life aboard a lot easier. it is very hard to move around when you are dressed like the Michelin man!!
Dolphins have finally come back, and he also had an amazing encounter with a pilot whale, who decided to swim right between the sterns of Cookie, and sounded like it was talking to Cookie at the same time!!.
As the weather has been so nice, he is reading lots of books and has finally started writing"his" book!! Up to page 55 so far, so watch this space!!
They have just past the half way mark, so will soon be home. We are also running low on satellite phone credit, so I will not be talking to him again until next Wednesday, so no news until then.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/22/2010 14:18:21 BST
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Date/Time:07/21/2010 14:04:09 BST
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Had a quick chat with Rory last night and all is well aboard Cookie. He had his best run ever yesterday, 180 miles!! And the GPS recorded 17.1 knots, which Rory says would have been on the peak of a surf, but still impressive for little Cookie!
He has also learnt that when sailing downwind, the seas run over the boat and down the hatches...if you are not paying attention!!! So, only a few drenchings so far this trip :)
Very hot weather at the moment, so easy to dry everything out down below. Also perfect weather for bucket baths, although he did come very close to losing the bucket, as the safety rope slipped through his soapy hands.......he just managed to cling on with his fingernails!
He has perfected the art of bread making in a saucepan, by using foil as a spacer in the bottom of the pan to stop the charcoal burn he was getting, so is very pleased with himself. (He didn't say that, but I could tell that he was delighted to have resolved this problem!!)
Boatwise, she is still in good shape, although the mast light is no longer working, and although Rory managed to haul himself up on a calm day, he couldn't quite reach it. And poor old Manuel, (the monster jib), is suffering with several blown grommets, although I am sure he will reach home.
And so the journey continues.......more news later this week!
Monday, 19 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Saturday, 17 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/17/2010 14:43:42 BST
Friday, 16 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/16/2010 14:51:26 BST
Quick update from Rory this evening to say that all is fine. He drifted out of Newport Harbour last Saturday, with all the other Jesters there, plus Norman Bailey (Commodore of Newport Yacht Club) and George & Mary Beth Pike, who have all been a great help since Rory arrived in Newport.
The first four days were very calm, so no drysuit required, just regular clothing!
Lots of fog whilst sailing through the busy shipping lanes, so the AIS was a life saver again , meaning Rory did manage to get some good sleeping hours in
The weather front he had been waiting for finally came through on Wednesday, with big swells coming up from the south, so back in the drysuit and reefs back in the main. They were zooming along at 10 knots, but then dropped to a steady 6 knots.
Of course, the weather is always changing, and as you can see by the track, winds switched again, so a slower day yesterday.
Rory also saw lots of wildlife in the first few days. Several sharks around the Nantucket Shoals, only about 5ft long and quite skinny was his description.
Three whales, two of which were only about 50ft away from Cookie, and very near to the shipping lanes. Also pilot whales, dolphins & turtles in abundance.
Due to condition being slightly easier heading this way, I am only talking to Rory
once or twice a week, so my next update from him should be on Monday evening!
That's all for now folks!
Thursday, 15 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/15/2010 14:23:18 BST
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
(Photo by Rory McDougall)
GPS location Date/Time:07/14/2010 14:18:02 BST
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/13/2010 15:25:56 BST
Should be talking to Rory tomorrow night, so will have a more detailed update about how the return voyage is going!
Monday, 12 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/12/2010 14:27:14 BST
Sunday, 11 July 2010
GPS location Date/Time:07/11/2010 14:30:01 BST
Picture above is of Cookie docked at Newport Yacht Club........yes, she really is that small!
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Newport has been a wonderful and friendly host to us, especially the Newport Yacht Club. Norm Bailey & Dianne Stewart and George & Mary-Beth Pike have been so warm and welcoming to us weary Jester sailors and have gone above and beyond to assist us in any way they can. A HUGE thanks to the Newport Yacht Club from Team Cookie!! Michelle joined me for a week and we spent lots of time exploring the town, walking the Cliff Walk and catching up with our good friends Frank & Meredith who kindly let us have a comfortable cabin aboard their 47ft cat. I miss my kids like crazy, so it's time to be winging our way eastwards.
I'm so glad that I got to see 5 other Jester Sailors come in these past 2 weeks. It is a close comraderie we share and it's fascinating to swap stories and details of our struggles to reach Newport. Good luck to the boats out there still climbing uphill to reach their goal! You can do it!
Many, many thanks to all folks who have generously donated to the Francis Chichester Trust. It was a dream of mine to raise a good sum for a charity years ago when I sailed round the world, but it just didn't come together. Now the dream has come true, and with your help some struggling kids will get the chance to receive some amazing motivation through the Outward Bound programme.
I still have the satphone aboard and so on the return voyage will be calling Michelle every 3-4 days to give updates. So stay tuned as the adventure isn't over yet!!!!
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Hi Folks, Rory here at long last!!
Wow, is it good to be here. Of course there is a huge list of thank yous to shout out. Biggest of all is to my wife Michelle, who was always at the end of the satphone to give me an emotional boost when I was low and to decipher my quick garbled news updates and turn them into something worth reading on the blog - fantastic job Michelle - love you!
Big thank you to all who sent messages of support and of course to all who have donated to the Chichester Trust.
The finish was all I ever dreamed of. Michelle kept me updated how close it was between The Grand and Cookie on our converging courses. I never regarded the Jester as a race but rather my personal goal to arrive in Newport safely and in the best time for Cookie and I. However I did get hooked a little and after getting good sleep the 23rd, I pushed hard the last few miles and didn't sleep the last 2 days. I did reflect on all the legendary OSTAR sailors that have sailed the same waters into Newport before me and felt so proud of Cookie to be sailing in their wake. The last night I arrived was a gorgeous clear sky with full moon and gentle SW breeze making me feel extra lucky to be finishing the Jester after the sad news of Andy and Amadeous and of course all the other skippers that had to retire for difficult reasons. I pay tribute to you all and hope one day you get to cross your finish line.
Crossing the finish off Castle Hill at 0904BST on the 26th June 2010 was amazing. I had just pushed the Spot Tracker button to alert all the followers when Michelle called me on the phone as I crossed the line, so she really was with me as I finished - perfect. Got a bit tricky trying to talk and gybe at the same time when the jib sheet wrapped round the tiller!!! But we made it.
As I approached the harbour, the Newport Yacht Club sent out a launch to escort me in and my good friends Paul and Dave were aboard to take photos and complete the welcome - fantastic. Also great friends Frank & Meredith from catamaran 'Out of Practice' were out in their RIB to give a hoop and holler. Cookie and I really did receive our OSTAR-style Newport welcome!!!!
I sincerely congratulate Igor and The Grand on their 1st place. For Igor to be the 1st Russian to win a singlehanded event is so fitting and therefore is perfect he pipped me to the post. I am just so proud of Cookie and her simplicity to have given a 25ft racing monohull a run for her money!!!!
Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Norm Bailey and George Pike of the Newport Yacht Club for their very special welcome and their warm hospitality. They are making every effort to help us little guys out and make us feel at home in the 'sailing capital' of the USA.
For now, Cookie is resting on a mooring while I spend time with Michelle, catch up on sleep, eat lots of good food and heal the sores on me bum! I'll be getting a few repairs done on Cookie and then should be taking off to head back for English shores 2nd week of July. Still looking for crew..........!!
Sunday, 27 June 2010
If you have enjoyed the blog, please think about making a donation of any size to the Sir Francis Chichester Trust, so that Rory can try to reach his goal of 5,000 pounds. The Trust allows disadvantaged youths from Devon to attend Outward bound courses to discover themselves through adventure and personal development. This is perfectly in line with his aims to motivate young folks to "reach for their dreams". Come on guys............let's do it!
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY, Thanks - Rory & Cookie.
Saturday, 26 June 2010
The news we have all been waiting for finally arrived!!
GPS location Date/Time:06/26/2010 08:52:51 BST
Congratulations to Igor & The Grand who just beat Rory in! Igor finished 2.5 hours before Rory
.......close finish after all those days at sea!!
I am sure Rory will post an update tomorrow for you all, as I've got a plane to catch!!
And for those who are interested.............there is still the journey home!.....
Big big thank you to everyone for your support & generous donations.
Three cheers for Rory & Cookie.......Hip Hip Hooray. And big well done to all the other Jesters
still fighting their way to Newport.
No news on Igor & The Grand either.......although he did have a slight lead yesterday..............
GPS location Date/Time:06/26/2010 05:01:30 BST
Come on wind.......blow.............blow.................blow!!!
Friday, 25 June 2010
What a frustrating day! I know you are all waiting to hear the news, but Rory & Cookie have been becalmed all day!
Big big thunderstorm last night, Rory disconnected all the electronics and dangled the anchor chain in the water to try and dissipate a charge if they got hit. They had some close calls!
They had sou' westerly winds until early morning & managed to clock 110 miles in their 24 hour run, but then the winds died.
Rory & Cookie have spent the day trying to get passed the Nantucket Shoals, whilst listening to endless "tide rips" under the boat......sounds like waves breaking on the shore...very un-nerving. He has also been shouting & yelling for some wind....but to no avail.
He did have a close encounter today, which quite frankly scared the bejesus out of him.....and he has vowed never to go swimming around Newport, after a 15-16ft shark swam passed Cookie, about 15ft away. Now remember Cookie is only 21ft and is very low to the water. ( I have spent the evening with the theme music from Jaws going around in my head!!)
So now we just have to wait.......start shouting for breeze everyone! Come on Cookie......you are so nearly there! Rory will ring the moment he crosses the line, so I hope to have some news for you by the morning. Fingers crossed.
Here are the updated positions I have received today, most current one is first:
GPS location Date/Time:06/25/2010 20:59:42 BST
GPS location Date/Time:06/25/2010 17:17:35 BST
GPS location Date/Time:06/25/2010 13:14:21 BST
position update for us!
GPS location Date/Time:06/25/2010 07:24:36 BST
Next update will be sometime after 1.00pmBST !!
Thursday, 24 June 2010
So the fact that after 33 days at sea, Rory & Igor are so close, having sailed completely different routes, is insane!
I have Igor's latest position for 24 June: N41,37 W68,30
I spoke to Rory tonight at 7.30pm and he was 135 miles from his Newport waypoint...........SW winds 15-20 knots
but it is due to switch to NW, so will be bang on the nose.
And just to prove just how much work "Harry" does........
Rory slept for 6 hours last night, and they still did 112 miles from noon to noon.
I am guessing they will cross the line sometime tomorrow evening, 25th June.........which is a
lovely omen.......it is our son's 11th birthday tomorrow!!
So tomorrow we will see who it will be...............
PS Of course......there is still the journey home!!!
GPS location Date/Time:06/24/2010 13:25:47 BST
Ocean Race Track:
At this point, I really don't know who will cross the line first, and although it is a Challenge, not
a race ........ ahh what the heck.....we're cheering them on!!
Here is a link to the Russian entries updates: (Google babelfish & you can translate Russian to English!)
I will post Rory's updated position at around 1.30pm !
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY, Thanks - Rory & Cookie.
Newport is round the corner!! Come on Cookie!
Shall we start a sweepstake.......what day/time do you think Rory & Cookie will cross the line??
GPS location Date/Time:06/23/2010 13:14:45 BST
Ocean Race Track
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
GPS location Date/Time:06/22/2010 13:38:53 BST
Ocean Race Track
Rory said yesterday was an awful day of "boiling seas". Huge ground swell from the South,
and then just ploughing into big, big waves. Very yucky seas. Then around 3pm BST, wind shifted to N-NW, so put up big sail "Manuel" (Manuel is the monster jib..........what can I say.....Rory has spent an awful lot of time aboard Cookie alone, so I guess "Manuel" & "Harry"
became good friends to Rory over the years as they did alot of the "work" for him!! :)
He has finished reading all the books he had on board, and also has worked his way through all
the food packet labels & tins, so continues to do lots of small jobs around the boat, to keep occupied. He was busy fixing some more holes in the net this morning, with the winds blowing about 20-25knots, when a huge wave dumped all over the boat. Nothing unusually about this, except Rory had he head down............and no longer has a neck seal on his dry suit.........so he got
completely soaked....to the point where there was a large amount of water sloshing around inside the suit!!!! (it's ok....you can laugh...I did!)
This afternoon, flat calm again, sailed into another high pressure, so back to baking bread,
and sieving water through tea towels, due to weird sediment, that has appeared in Rory's
Yesterday they ticked off another 142 miles, and today (early hours) they cleared the
Gulf Stream, and clocked another 114 miles. Not bad for a little boat!
400 miles to go............
Monday, 21 June 2010
GPS location Date/Time:06/21/2010 13:28:11 BST
Ocean Race Track
Well I don't know about you guys out there reading the blog.......but I am on tenterhooks daily, waiting for Rory's latest position updates!!
Go Cookie go!
Sunday, 20 June 2010
Rory has had a nice easy day today, with Cookie scooting along in very little breeze. He spent the morning baking some bread and also decided to treat himself to a sea bath on the back net, ...........after 28 days at sea!!
The result is he now has fluffy hair (as opposed to the salt encrusted nest) and is kitted out in his last set of clean clothes.
(Turns out he didn't take enough boxers with him.....so also had to do some laundry!!!)
He's finished the last of the three books he took with him (this nearly impresses me more than the Challenge itself.........he doesn't normally sit still long enough to read a book......or..........he falls asleep with the book in his hand......thus average reading time per book is at least a month!!)
And finally, he enjoyed his Father's Day treats that Josh & Sophie had sneaked aboard before he left Plymouth. A big bar of Mint Aero, and cards they had made for him.
It is a limited update tonight at the kids both had a good chat with him this evening, Josh especially giving him all the updates on the World Cup Football results!!
Happy family all round.
GPS location Date/Time:06/20/2010 13:47:18 BST
Ocean Race Track:
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Longitude:-56.964 GPS location
Date/Time:06/19/2010 13:24:00 BST
Ocean Race Track:
Had a brief chat with Rory last night, but very bad connection on the sat phone.
He said that Thursday's evening he kept the main triple-reefed & the storm jib up, and Cookie took some big, big hits that night.......but every time she got hit, she just popped straight back up and kept on bobbing along.
When he woke up Friday morning, they were becalmed!! So big breakfast and than he took the opportunity to check Cookie over, ..........re-lashed the nets, checked the rigging, pumped out the bows etc, and over all, she is in great shape........which is a big relief because they really have been banging to windward. He said the seas around them were very churned up, lots of seaweed floating around. Also lots of wildlife, pilot whales, dolphins and he even spotted a baby shark.
6pm Friday evening and the winds were back upto 20-25 knots, and the seas a lot clearer, he also reckons he has about a knot of current pushing them along.
The neck seal on his drysuit split today, he tried some dinghy glue he's got on board......but just ended up fuming out the very small area down below, as well as spacing himself out!!
He now has "100 mile" checkpoints marked on his chart, and they have about 900 miles to go!! Yahooooo.
Next up.......the Gulf Stream!
GPS location Date/Time:06/18/2010 13:16:48 BST
Ocean Race Track:
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Longitude:-51.64261 GPS location Date/Time:06/17/2010 13:00:42BST
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
goes to sea, and the honest answer is.....I carry on like it is any other day. And then every once in
awhile, on days like today, I will have a quiet moment of concern.
It has been a tough 36 hours out there. Sunday morning the sunrise was ablaze, and as the old saying goes........"red sky at morning, sailor's warning". And sure enough, shortly after sunrise, the front started moving in rapidly, with the skies growing darker & darker by the minute and unlike anything Rory has seen before.
He triple-reefed the main and put the storm jib up (which has had very little use over the last 15 years!!) and Cookie jogged along steadily.
By mid afternoon the wind was blowing 40-45 knots, so he put the sea anchor out, which instantly helped in the big seas.
Bang on 9pm the rain started and the winds eased, but the waves were very everywhere. Rory decided to hove-to, and hunkered down for the night and just rest up.
Around 5am and the wind started picking up again, and it has been howling all day When we spoke at 7.30pm this evening (Weds) it was still blowing 25-30 knots, and Cookie was taking some big hits. But...she is as brave as ever and was jogging along with a very small sail area, at 3 knots.........with Rory safely down below. I am exhausted just sat at home listening to him!!!
Yesterday's 24hr run was 110 miles and today, under sea anchor, 30 miles. Here is their latest
GPS location Date/Time:06/16/2010 13:31:53 BST
Ocean Race Track:
(NB: Above photo is not Rory but he took the picture on board Cookie!! This was taken
sometime in 1997, I believe in the Indian Ocean, when he managed to convince Toto
to go sailing with him!!)
I feel for his lose but I am happy & relieved to hear he has been picked up safely, as I am sure his family are. Here's hoping that Andy makes it to the start line in 2012!
Short report below:
"Andy’s yacht was holed today (15th June) and following activation of the EPIRB and his SPOT, he has been rescued by a Belgian ship, having got to 40N 51W in good time and order.
He will get to Antwerp early next week. Amadeus has been abandoned at sea. Mr. Andrew Lane is currently on the M/V Courage and will remain onboard until they reach Belgium. Mr. Lane will then catch a train back to France. (US coastguards)
I have just had a call from Falmouth Coastguards to say the Andy has been picked up by MV Courage en route to Antwerp and will arrive on Monday evening – Amadeus dis-masted and hull holed, so likely lost. He has just rung my Dad and is in very good spirits, but paradoxically regretting the loss of the unopened bottle of Drambuie Dad gave him for his 60th on 7th June!
We so appreciate all your efforts and no doubt will see you for 2012!
Fair winds to everyone still sailing!
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
She is still out there battling against the waves and keeping Rory safe, so from one tough cookie to another.....Happy Birthday Cookie!!
Here is her latest position.....she still chasing those boats in front!!
GPS location Date/Time:06/15/2010 13:26:19 BST
Ocean Race Track:
The Sir Francis Chichester Trust
If you are enjoying the blog, please think about making a donation of any size to the Sir Francis Chichester Trust, so that Rory can try to reach his goal of 5,000 pounds. The Trust allows disadvantaged youths from Devon to attend Outward bound courses to discover themselves through adventure and personal development. This is perfectly in line with his aims to motivate young folks to "reach for their dreams". Come on guys............let's do it!
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY, Thanks - Rory & Cookie.
P.S. If you have already made a donation.........BIG heartfelt thanks!
Monday, 14 June 2010
Great chat with Rory this evening. He said an hour after I spoke to him on Saturday, the rain came in…..and he managed to catch 14 litres of water off the mainsail. This is brilliant news, as due to a miscalculation, he had been rationing his water (he hadn’t registered that some of the bottles the kids filled were actually only one litre bottles, not two litre!!)
"The winds started picking up, reaching about 30 knots, so triple reefed the main, set Harry up....and got some sleep. With the triple reefed main, Cookie sails along steady enough for me to rest.
Sunday was a bumpy day with southerly seas peaking in all directions, and waves crashing together constantly. Really uncomfortable aboard, worse day to date, and stressful just physically hanging on. (120 miles on day 21
Steady easterly, force one, this morning (Mon).....nice high pressure coming in. Tacked across and hove-to & decided to get everything up from down below....... towels, clothes, sleeping bag, pillow etc & hoisted them up into the rigging, to dry out! It is great to get the boat back in order, and although initially I felt like I had to keep pushing on, calm seas really are a great respite and an opportunity for me to recoup and recover! I even cooked a loaf of bread today!! Sailed 114 miles today and estimate I have about 1300 miles to Newport.
30 knots of south westerlies right now, and Cookie is jogging along happily, which means I can grab some sleep."
It was great hearing Rory so upbeat and back to his usual self. Last few times we have chatted, he has sounded very weary and tired.
GPS location Date/Time:06/14/2010 13:29:11 BST
Sunday, 13 June 2010
GPS location Date/Time:06/13/2010 13:42:08 BST
Ocean Race Track: