Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blogging Now on!

Well there have been quite a few things going on in the past months,
including a 7 week expedition in Antarctica and the Talisker Bounty Boat
being on display at the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival. I was not there, as
I was returning from Antarctica at the time, but the boat was a special
exhibit in Prime position and manned by George Ramm a volunteer. Thousands
of people streamed past apparently and it was a huge success, so thanks to
all for setting that up.

Progress is steady but slow with the planned Shackleton James Caird
expedition in Feb/March 2012, but for now my total focus is on Expedition and the hunt for something special?. The blog
is now live every week and will move to daily updates in the next few weeks
as we set out from the Philippines in early April voyaging across the
Pacific through Micronesia to Tonga and the unknown.

The Sheffield Institute is up and fully functional now, with Stage 2 of the
fundraising in full swing. I have pledged 20% of any of the treasure/profits
coming my way from this treasure hunt to SIF, so while I know the
researchers will be working hard to make new discoveries into the effects
and cure of MND, I have a real incentive to make new discoveries underwater

So look forward to seeing you all on the Blog at!

I will post here when the Talisker Bounty boat Book and Doco are completed,
which may be late this year, but for now, this will be the last blog for
awhile. Thanks for being such good supporters. It was a Grand Adventure!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Here we go AGAIN!!!

Join the "BLUE TREASURE" Expedition.

Bligh managed to sail away from Tonga, but many sailors did not make it with
their ships overrun,then all the crew killed and their ships burnt to the
waterline and sunk after being plundered..SO?? Some are still there,
untouched in the Deep Blue! I am going back! It could be an interesting

If you want to follow this new adventure go to and if
you want to come I am looking for crew!

In the mean time...HURRY!! The auction below is about to finnish!!

I am about to head to the Philippines to visit ICE and make some
preperations for next year, then off to Antarctica!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Attention Important Auction of Memoribilia from Talisker Bounty Boat expedition 2010


Bid for money-can’t-buy experiences and raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease

Fancy having a personal meeting with Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton and your own VIP tour of the world famous McLaren Technical Centre? How about one of only 600 exclusive Hublot Red Devil Bang Manchester United watches personally presented by Manchester United players? These are just a few of the priceless experiences up for grabs on a special Christmas auction for which the entire money raised will go towards finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

From midnight tomorrow (00.01, Wednesday 1st December), Formula 1, football and whisky fans alike will have seven days to vie for these money-can’t-buy items, on the Talisker Bounty Boat auction page on eBay at

· One of only 600 Hublot Red Devil Bang Manchester United watches personally presented by Manchester United players. This is the official Manchester United watch and is highly sought after among watch collectors. This package also includes four VIP hospitality tickets to a Manchester United match at Old Trafford.

· Personal VIP tour of McLaren’s state-of-the art Technology Centre in Surrey followed by a three course lunch and one-on-one meet with either Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton.

· A tour of the McLaren Technology Centre for 4 people & a look at the McLaren MP4-12C roadcar for four people, with a drive in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes development simulator for one of the guests

· A framed set of Lewis Hamilton’s overalls from his 2008 World Championship winning season

· A replica race helmet signed by Jenson Button

· A tour of the McLaren Technology Centre for two people

· NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race helmet, from the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500. Autographed by the starting field, including Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton and many others.

· Nascar overalls worn by Greg Biffle

· Four Talisker VIP packages, including a personalised tour of the Talisker distillery in Scotland, by Distillery Manager Mark Lochead and bottle of Talisker 18 signed by the Distillery Manager.

· 20 bottles of Talisker 10 year old single malt whisky with labels that were on the Talisker Bounty Boat throughout the historical expedition and signed by the crew members in Kupang.

Ryan Giggs, first team player at Manchester United, said in support of the auction: “Both myself and the team are honoured to be able to help raise some much needed funds for Motor Neurone Disease. We’re looking forward to meeting the successful bidder and presenting this exclusive Hublot watch.”

The auction, organised by the Talisker Bounty Boat Expedition, is raising vital funds for the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), whose new world-class research centre into Motor Neurone Disease is due to be inaugurated by HM the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Sheffield on 18th November. The money raised specifically from this auction will provide funding for a world leading researcher to spend a year working with the SITraN team, advancing our understanding of Motor Neurone Disease, giving sufferers the hope of an efficient treatment and hopefully a cure.

To bid for your favourite items in the auction, go to:

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Don outside the New SITraN Building the day before the official opening.( Press Day)
Don being Capt Bligh again with with Cabin Boy Chris prior to the Queen arriving.
Don Chatting to S.I.F patron's Julie & Nick Palmer, Nick has Motor Nuerone Disease.

You can read all about it at the end of this blog but yes!! SITranS is now open and I met the Queen and his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen was quite interested in the expedition and impressed with pictures of the boat. His Royal Highness, being a sailor thought we were crazy I think, but had a laugh about me being “Bligh” with the crew. We chatted for a few minutes. I bowed and shook hands with both…it was an amazing experience to feel that Royal “presence” which is simply too hard to describe. I was caught up in it. Everyone there that day was feeding off the Queen’s energy and you felt the real warmth and giving from her. I wore my kilt with a dagger in my sock?? as you do, but the very tight security did not mind…I was a low risk obviously.

The Duke of Devonshire was also there with many local dignitaries, all the patrons and supporters of SIF along with the all important researchers who now reside permanently in the most amazing facility. It is a modern, open building which simply feels right. It is state of the art everything. All involved with it’s creation can feel justifiably proud. I am not a scientist, but you can sense that the work environment will be conducive to creativity. We will surely see some big things come from here in the future.

When it was all done that morning, a few select people ( me too) got to have lunch with the Queen. This was a whole new experience in a grand hall straight out of Harry Potter. About then I really did have to pinch myself, as it was very surreal. No pictures were allowed, but I got to keep the invitations to remember a very special day.

Tomorrow I fly back to China where I hope to hide till Xmas and start writing the book!! I managed to spend an afternoon working on the James Caird yesterday which is all progressing well. There is plenty of info about SIF on this web site, so check it out and if you wanted to donate $ to SIF, you can do it through the “Just Giving” links here too.

Monday, November 8, 2010




The first Institute for Motor Neurone Disease will be inaugurated by HM the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Sheffield on 18th November.
The £16m Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, SITraN, is a world-class research centre lead by Professor Pam Shaw who, with her team of nearly 100 international scientists will work towards solving the mysteries of MND – one of the world’s most under researched diseases for which currently there is no cure and very low options of treatment.
There are 40,000 patients who suffer from MND in Europe, 6,000 in the UK alone. The life expectancy of a patient is about three years and only ten per cent live over five years from diagnosis. A key feature of this condition is the speed of the progression of the symptoms.
Four years ago a team of dedicated Patrons set up the Sheffield Institute Foundation for MND (SIF) The have raised with the help of the University of Sheffield £16million.
SITraN will more than double the current research capacity in Sheffield and will allow new and existing programmes of research to be developed and extended. It will bring laboratory studies into the clinic where new research will be applied to the patients after being cleared by the appropriate committee of safety of medicine (MHRA).
Professor Pamela Shaw, MBBS MD FRCP FMedSci, commented:

“SLA is one of the world’s ‘orphan diseases’. For too long it has been neglected and received inadequate research funding. The opening of the Institute will hopefully be a step towards advancing our understanding of the disease and making life easier for sufferers.

“Having assembled the building, research equipment and a world class research team, we now need to work on raising the funds for the programmes of research within SITraN and we intend to make our Patrons and supporters proud of their investment.”

If you want to help this research work, contact the Foundation Secretary at
For a medical dossier with information on MND, SITraN and case studies please contact the SITraN press office
Professor Shaw is available for press meetings in London on Tuesday 16th November. Please contact the press office for appointments.

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact Eileen McGuinness at the SITraN press office on 0113 398 4012/07909 685924

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back in TONGA!! At the start again!

Hi All

Well sorry about the long silence. My Life seems to be bouncing off walls at
the moment with so much going on. Since my last Blog I have been back to
England to a function with Tim Jarvis to talk about the James Caird voyage
and had the Pleasure of meeting Alexandra Shackleton, the granddaughter of
Ernest Shackleton. Then two weeks ago I headed back to Tonga with my friend
Marcus Blackmore on his beautiful Nordhavn 78 "Ammonite" I was there to look
at a possible diving project for next year which is quite interesting to say
the least. More on that in weeks to come.

The amazing thing was that I could reflect quite clearly on how some of
these crazy things , like the Talisker Bounty Boat voyage actually happen.I
was onboard Ammonite anchored off the same island where we had our last
taste of civilization before setting sail into the unknown,4000 miles across
the Pacific, in a dangerously overloaded boat. I thought to myself,
surrounded by luxury, if I saw four guys in the same boat, about to do the
same thing, I would think they were absolutely bonkers! Crazy! really not
much of a chance and why would they??..then I thought, but hang on ..I just
did that and did not think twice about it, never once thought that it was
not possible and just wanted to get on with it?? So why??

It was quite a revealing moment. I quickly realised that it starts with the
idea and then you pull all the parts of the activity to pieces and look at
each element of danger and risk in your mind and work out ways you can
overcome them. You then you make all the plans and go through a big period
of preparation so that by the time you get to the execution you have faith
in everything you have done. Then you just get on with it...If you are on
the outside of all that..such as a bystander you just think it is crazy and
WOW!!! But if you have been living it for so long you just want to do it and
know you can!

Having said that I still would think..what a crazy idea!!

So we did it and it really was fun..I finally got to read all the comments
to the blog which was really interesting. Now I start to write the book and
cut the Documentary which is shaping up OK. Talisker Bounty Boat will be on
display at the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival but I will be sailing back
from Antarctica so will not be there unfortunately.

This site will start to slow down now on the blog front.I am about to get a
new Expedition up for next year which will be "CHASING THE BLUE DREAM" 8
months diving across the Pacific, in search of?? in all the out of the way
places and then ending up back in Tonga, yes I love that place!! There are
still a few things falling into place, but the boat I may be using is at If you are up for a "soft" adventure and are into
diving then there may be spots available on ICE for you so keep following

Next week I am back to the UK again for the opening of the Sheffield
Institute which is a big day indeed. Something that is close to the heart of
many and which will mark the beginning of a very special era. It will be on
the 18th of NOV. I will post the details here and hopefully a few pic's

Yes life is too busy at the moment, never enough time or money but that is
always the case. I will blog here every Friday again now ( sorry about the
silence again) till I launch the new expedition in the next few weeks. The
EBay Auction of items for SIF will be very soon and will announce that too
and my TBB voyage envelopes carried onboard will be available as Partners to
the Book when it is published next year all to raise much needed funds to
help with the operation of the Sheffield Institute.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pogo2 mini Transat boat!

Two very interested punters?? On the dock thinking MINI?..Guess who??
the Southampton Boat show which was quite good, the food and trafic quite
bad as usual but a great day out. Hard to keep up with all the new
technology though!..Impressed with the latest "SPOT" safety and tracking