17 June 2012
As the sun shines over Ramsgate Harbour, Andrew Balwin is making his final prepartions to ’Scary Mary’ before she sets sail tonight.
As well as still trying to gain the various permissions to drive a boat on Icelandic roads, he still has to pack up all the safety equipment, check his charts and make sure he has enough food a drink to keep him going.
Only 5 hours to go!
27 June 2012
Finally after all the hard work, and a gap in the weather window, Andrew has finally set sail upon his hand crafted ‘Scary Mary’ vessel.
Exciting times as he sailed off into the sunset, ready to begin an adventure of a lifetime – good luck Andrew!
18 June 2012
A frustrating a first night out at sea.
Only 4 miles out of Ramsgate the wind dropped and I spent the whole night going back and forth, passing Mouth Foreland Lighthouse 3 times!
By 6.30 in the morning, the wind was back, but so was the rain, so I put up the teh storm job and finally made progress heading out at 6.9 knots.
19 June 2012
Just passing by Alderborough and the wind slowed right down so that I was drifting back and fourth in the shipping lane this morning, a bit worrying as I would have no wind to help me get out of the way if I needed to!
By 11am I had just managed to get myself off teh wash position and the wind has picked back up leaving me a congestion part of the sea, going in and out of wind farms, gas riggs and ships so big that they make ‘Scary Mary’ look like a small ant..
Going to baton down the hatches as the Coastguard has issued a weather warning of galeforce 8 cyclonic winds… with no where else to turn I am going to have to face it but to say I’m nervous is an understatement.
23 June 2012
Andrew has been surviving the storm for over 2 days now.
In gale force winds and with waves at over 15m high, this has been a fairly harsh introduction to life ’on the ocean waves’ for this rookie skipper.
With very little sleep, Andrew is under immense pressure to keep this boat a steady in impossible conditions.
Last night, the worst happened and a wave crashed on top of the ‘Scary Mary’ submerging her completely under water. As she went down, Andrew (who was strapped to the main mast) went half way up the mast with such force that his life jacket was released leaving him trapped there.
Thanksfully he had a knife and was able to cut himself free, but came to ground with such force that he was knocked unconcious.
Alone and in heavy seas, he awoke dazed and confused to find that water had got inside his cabin and ruined all his charts as well as shorting out the power…
He had been blown 300 miles up to Edinbrugh, was cold and starting to hallucinate through lack of sleep and food.
To make it worse, his storm jib had been smashed apart by the gales taking away the steering precision required to get him into the marina… leaving him no choice but to go South again and moor up in ‘Royal Quay Marina’ in North Shields near Newcastle.
Thankfully he now safely moored up but is a little shaken by the whole exeprience saying that he is tempted to just “give the boat to someone and walk away”.
- He’s off!
Finally after all the hard work, and a gap in the weather window, Andrew has finally set sail upon h
- Surviving the storm
Andrew has been surviving the storm for over 2 days now. In gale force winds and with waves at over
- The Calm before the storm?
Just passing by Alderborough and the wind slowed right down so that I was drifting back and fourt