Monthly archives of “November 2006

Help fund my training with*

(*$330USD Pledged as of 29/11/06)

Attempting to garner sponsorship is big business. The number one query I receive from Google is ‘Sponsorship Letters’, because I have written a post or two on my attempts. Quietly I write around three letters a week, to varying degrees of success. I have already tried one slightly different way of aquiring a new set of sails with my online auction, which may not have been instantly successful, yet still has a chance of resulting in something.

I had previously mentioned I was considering not spending money on certifications, and hoped to learn on other peoples boats. However I have changed tack and believe it would be in my best interests to start with the Day Skipper. It is the surest way to compact a lot of technical information into a relatively short amount of time (9 days), and have a good base to work from with further mile building achieved via crewing afterwards.

So, in order to do that, my next public attempt at fundraising is to pool together $1500USD to fund my Day Skipper certification in February 2007.

Heres how it works: Using, donators make a minimum pledge of $30USD. Should the $1500 be raised within 25 days of the first pledge, the pledged amount will be extracted from your account and passed onto me, to complete the certification. If the funds are not raised, then there is no loss to anyone, and I go back to the drawing board – You simply pledge an amount should the $1500 be raised. Every sponsor will have their name/company name placed in the sponsors section, which I will hotlink if you maintain a site on the web. The first pledge I receive starts the 25 day countdown!

So, if helping me become Day Skipper certified tickles your fancy… Or if you just want to insure I don’t fall overboard or accidently sail north, please consider donating via my Fundable page located here.

Thanks so much!


Young Sailors

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of meeting German sailor Johannes Erdmann, who recently completed an Atlantic crossing this year at the young age of 19. Johannes departed in 2005, aboard a light-weight boat built primarily for Dutch lakes, a Fellowship 28. His story is exceptional, however all the details will have to be left to his upcoming book, which I can only hope will also appear in English. His site is in German, but I do suggest taking the time out to use various online translation tools to get the gist of his story.

What was most inspiring about Johannes’s journey for me, was his pragmatism and approach to the trip. Instead of terrifying stories about 60foot waves, tankers and insisting on requiring expensive gadgetry, his advice was straight-forward and realistic, which I was most appreciative of. Taking several hours out of his exceptionally hectic life, combining full time university, writing a book and doing talks, he answered a myriad of questions that have been building up in my head for the past several months, over coffee in Berlin. I gleened a lot of practical information about finding cheap sails, windvanes, the realities of storms, the cost of mooring in Kiel and even tips like making an effort to stock my food from Germany due to the low cost. I asked Johannes what he would do differently if he could take time capsule back and do it again, and his response was ‘take a better boat’. At which point he strongly commended the Contessa class, and believes the boat choice was a good one for its intended purpose.

I also heard certain stories which I cannot divulge (feeding the rumour mill!) regarding Robin Lee Graham’s old boat ‘Dove’, Hawaii and musical compositions…

Be sure to keep up to date with Aron Meder’s two year solo journey around the world, aboard a 19ft boat. I’ve been in contact with Aron, however I don’t think we will cross paths, as he has left already and I believe is somewhere in the Mediterranean. His site is in Hungarian, but photos are worth a million words in any language, and Aron tells me there will be more English information soon.

The 26 year old British sailor Aurelia Ditton is set for a second place in the Route Du Rhum. I found Aurelia when the race started, and was excited to see that she shares a similar passion for art and sailing. While her interests are very specific to sailing itself, and I feel I have more of an interest in the actual experience of sailing, it was interesting to note her prior work and the fact she is an honours graduate from Chelsea, a school who has produced big names such as Anish Kapoor, Gavin Turk and David Hockney among others. Don’t be too saddened at the news she will be chopping her very slick racing boat in half on arrival!

Bis sp?ɬter, Nick

Cruising versus Sailing / Help.

I think I have started a terrible habit of only posting when I have news, or if something bad has happened. Or maybe that’s a good thing? I should insist on proving there is absolutely no glamour in all this, writing everyday about how I spilt my coffee, the cost of coal, my diminishing eyesight or the state of my still-broken fridge!

Work issues abound, but I don’t think there is the risk of losing the boat this time. The boatyard has given me some leeway on the payment timeframe, which I’m exceptionally thankful for.

So in light of the fact I have some free time now, after working near-on seven days a week for the past month, I have been thinking about my boating requirements. It’s starting to dawn on me (and anyone who owns boats or has done something similar will probably scoff at my realisation) that I am going to have to pair-down my requirements and expectations, and start thinking like a very poor sailor instead of a reasonably well off world cruiser taking a year off from their CEO position. I am the former with the attitude of the latter. From now on, I am only going to concentrate my energy on figuring out the absolute bare minimum requirements for my trip, and drop my pie-in-the-sky fantasies, unless I come across some serious money. I will be amending my Stuff I Need section soon.

For example, instead of spending ?Ǭ1300 on 14 days of certification courses, I should probably start organising myself onto some yacht deliveries beginning in Feb, and learn ‘for free’ so to speak, and buy that windvane I need. I have already had a couple of people say ‘when you get Constellation in the water, I’ll come by and show you the ropes’ which is an invaluable opportunity. Are there people out there who can spend some time workshopping me? Or have a boat and can take me out on it and drum some experience into me? What about people who can help with navigation? Maybe there is someone who can spend some time running through theory and charts with me? I don’t know, what do you think?

It seems the more experienced people I can be around, and the more time I can spend on the water, the better. By December 31st Constellation will be paid for, and I am hoping to mix work and sailing from Feb onwards.

That all being said, maybe there is something I can do for you in exchange for help? If you have any ideas, hit me.

Till the next drama or appliance breakdown, nick