All posts filed under “Sponsors

Fundraising in the 21st Century

It wasn’t long ago, that aspiring adventurers would shimmy up to the Royal Geographical Society, with polite invitations, noble yet firm handshakes, and an air of sophistication, to charm the powers at be for possible funding and support for their proposed wanderings. Devoid of Powerpoint presentations, I imagine Shackleton during that heroic age of antarctic exploration, standing on a small stage at a Society function, fumbling with large dusty globes, charred maps and stories of a theoretical point on the earths surface he planned to reach – Pitching a journey from England across the oceans and ice pack, in order to trek to a point on earths surface, where the imaginary lines of coordinate parallels all converge into one: The south pole.

Today it’s a little different. For those that have watched my journey since this blog began in 2006, you may have remembered that I had a Paypal donate button (controversial for some, apparently!). I had asked people who enjoyed my writing, videos, and photos, to make a contribution to keep me going. I figured it was like a voluntary donation for reading a free book… Some months ago, I pulled all the data down from Paypal, and put it in a spreadsheet. I was surprised to see that over my sailing and blogging heyday, I had raised close to $10,000. It only ever trickled in; a few dollars here and there (with a few notable exceptions), but it really added up, and my trip probably wouldn’t have happened without it.

Some may or may not know, that I also work with Roz Savage on her website – Through my company, we sponsor Roz by building, hosting & maintaining the current incarnation of her web presence, which is her primary medium for getting her environmental message out, and maintaining contact with the outside world while she rows across oceans.

With all this in mind, we recently we launched an early release web application to assist in adventure fundraising, coming up with the idea over a few drinks at a dim bar in Melbourne, when Roz flew through en route to Perth and explained her by-the-mile dilemma. The current implementation was rapidly deployed to fit with Roz’s departure schedule some weeks ago – The project is called Nomaddica, and is currently still in private testing, but with any luck we will add features and make it public in the not too distant future. You will see Roz has been using this app to raise funds by the mile for the last several weeks, and has been quite successful… If you’re interested in learning more in the future, sign up by clicking the ‘get invite’ link located on Roz’s project page – Perhaps while you’re there, consider supporting her efforts! You could also contact me personally if you had a specific and upcoming project in mind where Nomaddica might be useful.

And so on the topic of fundraising… My friends Ben & Teresa from the US East coast are raising funds to go on an epic sailing voyage in search of an iceberg, and to make a documentary on sailing, simplicity, adventure and the environment. They’re using Kickstarter to raise awareness for their project, and in just 13 days the campaign ends – So if you love sailing, want to see more documentaries from grassroots sailors and documentary film makers… Then pretend you’re at the Royal Geographical Society, sipping cognac and watching adventurers pitch their ideas at the monthly dinner banquet… And watch their pitch video:

Nick.

Thanks Waikiki Yacht Club!

I just realised how long it has been since my last update… In fact, my absence could nearly be classified as a blog black hole since I arrived in Honolulu – But only because so much has been happening!

As things wind down in Hawaii, and I prepare to depart again on another long ocean-journey, I must first thank my incredible hosts in Honolulu – The Waikiki Yacht Club. Yet I guess the story of the WYC really starts just two days after my arrival, when I met Nicole Bilodeau, the Program Director for Roz Savage (if you think I’m mad, she’s a whole other kind of crazy!), who connected me with all the friendly people at the WYC. It being possibly the busiest time of year for everyone at the club, with the large Transpac fleet about to arrive, I was surprised and grateful at the positive response – To my great relief (I was having severe difficulty finding somewhere to keep Constellation that I could consider being able to afford) and appreciation, the club opened their arms to me. So I’ve been docked here, in one of the nicest clubs/marinas I’ve had the pleasure of visiting on my entire trip, for the last three weeks, enjoying Honolulu, provisioning, and repairing Constellation.

Not only did Constellation have a nice slip to stay in, but I had full run of the club facilities in a beautiful location, which was also central to all the big shops I needed to re-provision in (thanks Nicole for ferrying me around so I could buy beef jerky by the armful!). My stay here has been longer than initially intended, with a new genoa being built which now appears to be stuck somewhere in a Kentucky mail center for no logical reason (if some of you remember, I waited 8 weeks in the Canaries for my solar panels… Fingers crossed this isn’t Spanish Post Redux!). I’ll dedicate another post to my other adventures here in Hawaii, including a 5 day sail up the west coast of Oahu and details on my new sail in another entry – I really just wanted to dedicate this entry to thanking everyone at the Waikiki Yacht Club; in particular each and every member, who are technically the collective sponsors of my stay here – Special thanks to Kat Petron for liaising and understanding my predicament, and to Commodore Bill Foster, Vice-Commodore Jim Ewing, Jack Peters and everyone on the Board for making the joint decision to host me so kindly.

Nick Jaffe, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii.

Half Moon Bay, Thanks North America!

I spent a fruitful and productive week in Sausalito, at Schoonmaker Point Marina, thanks to Rob & Adam. I spoilt myself to Mussels Bleu at the nearby French restuarant, thinking it might be my last nice meal for a very, very long time… However, I’m still on the west coast, so maybe it was a premature indulgence. I sat at the bar and recalled stories to the French maitre d’ of my most glorious time in Brittany, France. Still one of my most favourite destinations so far – Nights spent calculating the best time to navigate 8kt races or 10m tides, and gazing at the infamous lighthouse posters in every French tavern, depicting post card images of 30ft waves crashing over their tops.

As if the slip wasn’t enough, Rob & Adam kept helping with the many projects aboard Constellation – Mounting deck winches donated by my friend Bain at the Berkeley Marina, figuring out whisker poles, visiting the Latitude 38 headquarters, running me to and from West Marine for parts, backwards and forwards to many stores to get final provisions and all manner of other things – Three weeks worth of aimlessly running around doing things on my own, were done in a week… Rob even broke out the sewing machine to make Constellation a nice set of protective weather cloths to guard the cockpit and myself from incoming waves – A modification I’ve wanted to make since day one. LaDonna of Latidue 38 vacuum packed beans and rice for provisions – In my first meeting with this salty pair, they exclaimed “we’ll send you off with 25lbs of beans and rice” … And so they did! Thank you Adam for the PFD, safety line and everything else you parted with… I hope the motivation is even stronger to chase me across the Pacific and retrieve it all!

Without the assistance Marcello and Massimo of Bluemapia.com, no provisions would be onboard, and Hawaii and beyond may not have become an attainable possibility this year… Many thanks to my favourite Italians for not only employing me over the last six months, but for stepping up again and assisting in financing some of the many things that are required to do what I’m doing. These guys are passionate sailors who’ve built a great resource for the community – Use it.

Constellation has never been in better shape – She doesn’t necessarily look as Bristol as I might like, however from the point of view of what I’m doing, and what she’s already done, the sunbleached and paint stripped deck seem to represent nothing other the wrinkles found on a wise face. She’s sporting a re-cut mylar reaching sail, new luff tape on all sails for the Selden Furlex, and a pretty burgundy sailcover thanks to Mark at Doyle sails of Long Island – I exploded my genoa in Long Island sound last year in a line squall, and Mark generously expedited a replacement across to the Alameda Doyle loft two weeks ago – Thank you so much Mark.

Bain, whom I’ve lost contact with, (if you’re out there, email me!) ferried me around various chandleries, fed me, and just generally looked after Constellation and I in Berkeley – Along with Captain Ted I’ve been in great hands on the east bay. Thanks to Anthony and Jeff @ OCSC for the opportunity to do a talk on my trip, and to Karen for the helping fund the no-more-Ramen-diet I’m attempting this season.

After my brief stay in Sausalito, meeting the infamous Maria, and the not so infamous, yet humble and kind Buddhist monk Dawa, I set sail in the company of three other vessels for Half Moon Bay. Towed under the Golden Gate Bridge due to Constellations working but impossibly slow little diesel thumper, I was eventually untethered and let to roam free for the first time in the Pacific ocean. The weather was kind, and I set Windy the Windpilot on a nice tack heading West.

My friends in company eventually radioed and reminded me that we were actually supposed to be going south, but I was enjoying the sail so much, I setup a 2nm tack before bearing down on Half Moon. In light southerly winds, the other three boats needed to sail backwards and around in circles, so as not to leave me behind, before we eventually ghosted past the placid looking big wave surfspot, Mavericks, and through the breakwater into the bay.


Photo Courtesy Latitude 38 / LaDonna

Rafted up, and into town for clam chowder (one of my reasons for visiting America – To sail past the Statue of Liberty, and eat bowels of chowder), the next morning Captain Ted and I bought a Dungeness crab for brunch. I’ve never claimed to be a tough man. I couldn’t kill the crab, and so Rob did the honours, and I steamed the catch. Eating out of a bucket off the transom with butter, it was quite the occasion. My first Dungeness. LaDonna wrote a piece in Lectronic Latitude on the send-off party.

And so, as the now trio of boats motored out of the breakwater, I ran in circles and said my goodbyes over VHF. I thought in two days I would be gone… But here I am, waiting on the weather. I have a long and lonely six months ahead of me, as Constellation and I attempt to do virtually the entire Pacific (and then some), within six months. Actually, lonely isn’t the right word, but I will certainly be alone… And so the weather patterns are clearing, and the NW winds are set to resume their pattern, and I genuinly feel this weekend is going to be my departure window. I write to you from the anchorage at Half Moon Bay – These bits were posted by solar power.

I suspect my next post will be from the high seas – Remote updates will be zapped over satellite, thanks to Serversaurus.com.

Thanks for everything North America, now I have to get back to following the setting sun!

Nick.