Monday, September 28, 2009

Bounty Boat CRASH!

I Love London Traffic!!..Up at 5am to leave Mikes place at 6am with Bounty Boat behind the car headed into London for a secret meeting…off the M1 Freeway at 6.45am with only 15 minutes to drive to the secret destination!!...but I took a wrong turn…two hours latter I arrived…I was supposed to be there at 7am, but arrived at 9am. With a 28ft trailer  behind the car in London peak hour, my “Fun” times were compounded when I was stationary on the motorway in traffic and “CRASH!”..a car ran into the back of Bounty Boat quite hard…fortunately our Stainless steel ‘Reef & Whale’ deflector for the rudder took the force of the Bumber on the front of the car, putting a rather large crease in it…but we suffered no damage….for the past few weeks I have been thinking …I hope we do not have an incident with the boat in traffic…Oh yes…the Top Secret meeting went very well….stay tuned for the details sometime in the future! It’s BIG!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Show Finnished and Tom is off!

Stuart and I packed up the stand tonight after another big day...the show
was a huge success, so thanks to everyone who made it happen, especially the
show organisers for the space...and my crazy mate Stuart!He has been
virtually full time on this project for three months. We laughed a lot..gave
out about 3000 brochures,stood for far too long and repeated too many
things, made some seriously good contacts for fundraising, spoke with too
many people who have been touched by MND, actually took money into the
bucket on the stand, ate too much junk food and now there may be some HUGE!!
Announcements being made very soon, so stay tuned to this Blog!!

We had a lot of fun playing around with Tom on his 4ft can't see
it, as we are standing in front of it...see earlier Blog...what a true
champion he is..sure he is crazy, but he has passion! He sets off in about a
month to cross the Atlantic, so we decided to sponsor him a bit and now
there is a little Bounty Boat logo on the bow of his little boat!!...Good
Luck Tom.

ENGLISH BRAIDS sign on for the voyage

There are plenty of ropes on Bounty Boat and I have always chosen "English
Braids" Importing them from England, so I was really pleased when Anto
Stopps,the Marine sales manager called into the stand at the show and
offered to become an official supplier. It is first class rope and the
"Natural" three strand looks very traditional.They had been supporting Mike
during his Solo Circumnavigation with very High Tech. racing braids and
believed in the Bounty Boat welcome aboard!! and Yes, I did
some more shopping, you can never have enough rope!!..thanks Anto

Fifth Crew member signs on?

Hi , My name is "Miracle", Im with the Wessex Cancer Trust in Southampton
and I am coming, so just get on with it!

Mike and I find The Wrong Bligh!

There were over 500 grave stones dating to 1666, some with skull and cross
bones for the pirates, all in the yard of St Mary's Church in Gosport and
then we found it...G M Bligh, who served as a young officer on H.M.S.
Victory at the battle of Trafalgar and later became Capt. Bligh...a distant
relative of William Bligh!!...a local came to explain the common back to Google for the real deal and it is in London of
course...stay tuned.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Newlands Primary school onboard!

In the last few days we have had about 200 children climbing over Bounty
Boat. There has been quite some interest in the planned schools program and
a constant stream of supportive comments along the lines of " this is a real
adventure, but you are still crazy!" Rain on Tue.afternoon did not help but
today was great. Mike called from Hong Kong to tell me a Typhoon was on its
way and that Vocalink would like to look over the boat when he returns!
Stuart keeps reminding me every day that he is not 69...he is only 68 and
three days...but the way he has been working the last few days you would
think he was 29..we have plenty of laughs reflecting on the meaning of life
each day...he broke his neck when he was an 18 year old rugby player and
faced the prospect of never walking again, but he did. The good news is that
we have had a great response to possible fundraising ideas for the
Bounty Boat "just giving" site is off to a slow start but we are both
confident of big things for the future....stay tuned!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BB is 5 star cruising!!

Today Tom McNally called into the stand to find out about crewing on BB. I
have read of his adventures over the years and I was honoured to meet him.
He invited me onto his Boat that he plans to sail across the Atlantic
solo...only room for one though!! It is 4ft long!! And he will do
now that puts BB into a new category of luxury...Mike and I are feeling real


So along comes Capt. Cook and Magellan-in the Blue-and another 15th centaury
circumnavigator-in the Brown- but I missed his name....all wanting to sign
onto I left that to Stuart from SIF-in the stripes- to sort
out!!...just too much sun out today , and we had another direct descendant
of Fletcher Christian call in too, but he looked normal! Mike has had enough
so has flown to Hong Kong for a couple of days with a sponsor..and today I
realised that William Bligh is resting only 20 minutes walk from when I am
sleeping each night at Gosport!! So hope to hunt him down tomorrow...Big day
at the show today..see you there..Don

Saturday, September 12, 2009


This is a Phone photo..of our stand that Stuart built, and it is his 69th
birthday today and is a champion for SIF having raised millions for the
cause over the past few years. Crew applications have gone crazy, 20 in the
last few days from UK,Aust,USA, if I don't get the emails right
with you all...sorry...just remember if I do not get back to you email
again...applications close on 30th sept. Great interest at the show with
pleanty of disbelief!, but it is real and we will do it. Things happening
for the Book, Documentary and schools program and met up with the Musto guys
today and Alby from Para-anchors Australia..They have given us a 12ft
parachute for BB and a drogue. Some crew applicants have called in already
to see if Mike and I are crazy?? And find out how big the boat is!! The
media are still chasing us so nine days to go!! See you there..

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Successful Press conference!

Mike, Irene from SIF and her daughter and me beside Bounty Boat at the P.C.
We had a great turnout, with about 22 media connections, including a crew
from ABC TV in Australia...plenty of coverage in the UK, Australia and other
parts of the world and today I have had another six crew applicants. Finally
started driving out of London at 4pm and it took two hours before we were on
the freeway to Southampton...London traffic is something else...then on the
way down I received a call about Jessica Watsons incident hitting the ship,
so my night turned into a busy one. Today the BB stand was being built
around the Boat and tomorrow Stuart and I will set everything up in it, so
looking forward to meeting a few people at the show...if you are really
keen, we need a volunteer to man the stand with us...Mike has been called
away for a few days in the middle, so if you would like to help spread the
word about SIF and our BB Expedition, I have some free tickets for the boat
show for you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mike has signed on as second in command! WELCOME ABOARD

The news is embargoed till 11am UTC, but we have a 5.30 am start tomorrow to
get BB in and set up for the press conference in the morning. I wanted to
get something up before then. Mike and I became great friends during his
stay with Margie and me in Hobart back in April, while repairing Totally
Money, the Open 50 he was sailing solo around the world at the time. You can
check that out and Mikes Blogs at Mike thought about
it while sailing home, rang me on the Iridium phone and said he really was
up for the Challenge! I said great! I am happy, as during the voyage if they
decide to eat me first, then I know he has the ability to get the boat home!
Regardless of who the other two crew are?? Maybe they will be tastier than
me? This is shaping up to be a fun trip, but I have already made Mike aware
that as Capt. I can pull rank and even put him under house arrest, so keep
an eye on the Blogs...his too..but don't believe everything he writes!

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Sponsor!

Thanks to the Sheffield Star for the use of some pic’s  of the Duke.  During the Sydney Boat Show I had a chance to speak with Pete Goss and heard about the great rugged computers he had been using. By chance Ian Walker from was at the Country Fair…and we got talking about our com’s challenges in a wet little open boat. Turns out he is Mr “Ndura RUGGED” computer…so it did not take long to consider all the advantages for us…and I am happy to say that we will now have a 13” rugged laptop on Bounty Boat…OK Bligh did not have one I know…but I am very excited about being able to have a degree of confidence in our ability to get our Blogs and Photo’s off the boat during the voyage…we may even try to work out how to get some video off …bit of a challenge, but we will think about the options later….THANKS IAN!   

A long way from the Pacific but always in the back of my mind.

The Prince of Wales Division Band marched us into the Grand Arena

The band marched ahead of Bounty Boat, now crewed by local children, into
the Grand Arena packed with Thousands of people, where we did a short
interview and then the boat was Blessed by the Archdeacon, watched on by the
Duke and Dutches of Devonshire and the Patrons of SIF. It was an amazing
scene and a long way from the Pacific.

Real crew applicant!

The people we met at the Country Fair were amazing...Dave Spencer turned up
unannounced wanting to sign on..he had all the traditional kit from Bligh's
era! Including salted pork, dried pees, ships biscuits, and his horn beaker
( for the 1 gallon of beer they were issued each DAY!) and rum beaker...we
kept him on entertaining the 90,000 people that turned out over the three is big>

The Duke and I on Bounty boat

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I meet the Duke of Devonshire and SIF partnership begins

The Duke of Devonshire is on the left and Stuart Keane from SIF on the right. Stuart has been working very hard to organise the UK visit of BB. It was such an honour to meet the Duke…and what a great man…we both sat in Bounty Boat pretending to row for all the media and discussed some of the challenges for the expedition and our efforts to raise money for SITraNs. It was a great morning and he spent time going over everything. The country fair at Chatsworth house is truly an amazing experience…just Google Chatsworth House UK and you will see all about it..and the history. The Duke is of course the Patron of the Sheffield Institute Foundation. I personally was shocked by the number of people coming past with close connections to the dreaded three diseases , MND heading the list…so I feel confident someone will make the first donation through our Just Giving BB page soon…you can make a little comment with the donation too…so please think about it.


Our major Press conference will hopefully start the ball rolling on Tue. The Embargoed Press release will be on this site within 24 hours, so you will see the big news…I am off to a fundraising dinner for SIF tonight, about 1.5 hours drive from here and I have to navigate back to Chatsworth House…I am staying here with the Duke’s personal assistant Lis, in the most amazing little “group” of old English houses, going back to I don’t know when…straight out of a film set?? …anyway will get some more Pictures up later…My camera had no card today..Forgot it…the Duke said no problem ..Use mine! We have to get Pic’s on the Blog!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BB arrives and Press conference announced

Picked up the boat today from Tilbury docks and set the Press conference for
11am on Sept 8th at The Dickens Inn , St Katherine's Docks in London.
Tomorrow I drive to Chatsworth House for the start of promotions with SIF
and an incredible opportunity to meet the Duke of Devonshire and have Bounty
Boat Blessed for the first time at their annual country fair. The Duke is
Patron to the Sheffield Institute Foundation. We now have our "Just Giving"
link up to allow you to make donations to this very important cause. Please
think about this...We will over the next 18 months be profiling the reasons
why this is such a good thing to do, so please watch this space and tell
your friends.

Oops! is spelt ALZHEIMER...

Still more changes to come for the web site in the next few days.