Other PicoMicroYacht

Monday, 28 December 2015

PicoMicroYacht and the joy of fixing boats

I am convinced that some boaties like working on their boats almost more than being out on the water.

My brother has taken more time building his canoe than he will be using it and he just loves his old Stuart Turner engine for his 23 foot yacht, even though it is most unreliable piece of equipment he has (apart from his Seagull outboard) - but the joy of fixing it is clear.

Just listen to an old Stuart Turner R3M go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sqmks0W87I and you will see his point.

For PicoMicroYacht getting the job done and being out rowing as quickly as possible is the priority.

But it is a bank holiday and a tyre of PicoMicroYacht's trailer need replacing and the replacement turns out to be the wrong size. And the WaterRower I use to train on is in bits because the tank has just sprung a leak and the temporary repair didn't fix it.

Even though the WaterRower is the best bit of kit I have bought, it has a flaw - the drum that contains the paddle that provides the resistance to the rowing action is joined together by a central seam that is prone to leaking.

The temporary fix was unsuccessful

It has to be taken apart and mended properly, which the suppliers will do.

So no rowing over the vacation period until I get one of these fixed.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Was PicoMicroYacht the last solo to row the English Channel?

The French 2013 ban for cross channel rowing is still in place.'Channel rowing' can be done but the voyage is half way across from the English side and then back again.

Two polish gentlemen had a go illegally recently because they wanted to find work in France,  rescued by the RNLI after bravely rowing fruitlessly into a strong head wind for two miles.

Image result for cross channel rowing 2015

To get round the ban people have planned to row 50 miles to Belgium instead, a more challenging crossing because of the less predictable shipping routes. I hope these Bournemouth hotel employees who planned to row to Nieuwpoort did well - I haven't heard whether they have done it yet.

So was PicoMicoyacht the last solo voyager? No - for two reasons. Harry Uglow rowed across a month later than PicoMicroYacht, in 2012. Harry was the youngest solo voyager at 15 years. I think he was the last to make it.

Harry Uglow

Harry did it in a Janousek coastal sculling boat, a remarkable achievement given it was not exactly calm throughout and he did it in less than five hours.

Secondly, PicoMicoYacht had two small auxiliary sails, although the power from these was counteracted by the 3-4 gusting 5 close head wind from the East. PicoMicroYacht could not land because of the rough sea and had to be content to arrive at the point the chart said no water at low tide.

2012 was also a bumper year for UK celebrities rowing across the channel, including  Davina Mcall, Denise Lewis, Freddy Flintoff and John Bishop photographed in Dover. They obviously enjoyed it at the end, but John Bishop had then to run to London, having cycled to Calais from Paris. That far away look reflects his fatigue level.

The end of an era possibly.