Sunday, 1 December 2013

You have read the blog; now buy the book:

Circumnavigation UK 2013 by Steve Paul | Make Your Own Book

Update:  Also now in the iTunes bookstore:


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Two Months On........

Two months after my DNF at the Stour Valley Path 100km race (SVP100), I went back to put things right and finish the task I had started.  An early train to Newmarket ensured I hit the trail at sunrise, determined to complete the 62 miles.  This time I was on my own and carrying my 8Kg rucksack; this containing the kit that I have been refining ready for The Spine Race in January.  

The SVP100 had been my second of three challenges that I have set myself to help raise funds and awareness of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and I wanted to complete the route (and the challenge) so as to not short change those that have been generous enough to sponsor me. 

I am very happy to say I completed the 100km in around 15 hours - not a great time, but I was carrying the extra weight, there were less daylight hours and I did not have the benefit of the support at the check points along the route, available during the race.  

As well as wanting to finish what I had started back in September, yesterday also formed part of my current training regime, working towards the 268 mile Spine Race, my third challenge, which is in January.  So once I had completed the 62 miles, I turned north and walked to me a total distance of around 75 miles in one go.

I still have some way to go before reaching my fund raising target, so if you can spare a few pounds please click below:

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Stour Valley Path 100km a week on.

I think I may well have been putting off typing up this particular blog post.
This time last week I was slogging my way along the 62 miles of the Stour Valley, but I only made it as far as mile 42.
The start in Newmarket
I was disappointed to say the least, not to have completed the whole course, but I was falling behind the cut-off times and the checkpoints were closing ahead of me.  
CP 2

Deep down I think I could have pushed on further and maybe even have finished.....but the organisers would have all gone home by that time!  So I stopped at the 4th of 6 checkpoints. There were 97 people entered, 10 failed to start and 31 did not finish - of those DNFs I had gone the 2nd furthest.
Coming into CP3
It is now 7 days later and I have had a chance to think about why things didn't go as planned and also to look ahead to my next challenge, learning from the SVP experience.  My legs have recovered quickly and I feel ready to start training again; this time I will not be trying to fit it in around the demanding challenge of sailing around the UK and I can now concentrate my efforts on preparation for The Spine Race, a far tougher race!
CP4 and my finish!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Stour Valley Path 100km Ultra Race

In 5 days time I will be running 100km (62 miles) in 13 hours as part of the Stour Valley Path 100 Ultra Race, raising money for EACH. 
I have never covered this distance in one go and I have done very little training for this event due to my sailing challenge that I have just completed.
I would welcome any support that you can give me, either financial through my charity website:

or by cheering me along the route or moral support through your comments on FB and Twitter.
The race ( starts in Newmarket 14 September at 09.14am and finishes in Cattawade in Essex - full details can be found by following the link.

I will blog a race report next week.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Just a thought ...........

“The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one's wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one's health is more,
To lose one's soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in "Tomorrow”,
For the Clock may then be still.”

-  Robert H Smith

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The last day: Lowestoft to Ipswich

Despite being tired from the previous passage, I was keen to push on and get home.  Although I live in Ipswich I have never actually sailed northward from there, so this part of the route was still new to me, but I had seen many of the landmarks before from dry land!

Lighthouse of the day.
 It was great to see the cranes of the Felixstowe docks appear on the horizon; once past them it was just a case of motoring up the River Orwell.

One happy yachtsmen with home in sight. 
Harwich swamped by a floating hotel.

A little too close for my liking!!
Lightship of the day.
Worlds largest Meccano set (Felixstowe docks)
Why didn't I carry one of those?
The Orwell Bridge and the lights of home in the background.
I hope that anyone dropping in on my blog over this past 3 months have enjoyed it - it's coming up to 20,000 hits so someone must like it.  So far I have raised over £1300 for EACH and I am half way to my target with 5 months and 2 challenges yet to go.  Please do consider sparing a few pounds to this very worthy cause, it will be very much appreciated.  Thank you.

I plan to keep the blog going for the foreseeable future, so you will be able to track any future challenges on here and on my Facebook page.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Final Day.......

Ok, this is it!  After over 2200 nautical miles and 3 months, it is the final leg of my single-handed, UK circumnavigation. 

I thought it best to put todays blog entry on now and will update it later in the week.

When I left on 28 May earlier this year I had never, ever, previously sailed single handed..............the best way to learn is to do and I’ve done it!

Did you know that less people circumnavigate the UK than cross the Atlantic each year?

There are quite a few “thank you’s” to hand out:

Anita: for putting up with my crazy ideas and supporting me in them.......sorry, but there are more to come.

Everyone who has sponsored me and given money to EACH.  If you haven't yet sponsored me, please, please do:

The RNLI, Coastguard and all the Harbour Masters - what a stirling job you all do.

All the media people that have printed or posted things about my fund raising efforts.

The fundraising staff at EACH.

All my fellow yachtsmen out there; always friendly, always willing to lend a hand and offer advice.

All of you for reading and supporting this blog, for all the positive feedback and comments.

And finally thank you to “Brown Eyes” - no matter what happened, I always felt safe on her - she is a great yacht.  And that is why I am putting her up for sale.  Everywhere we have been together on this journey we have seen other fantastic yachts, now rotting away in their berths, forgotten and uncared for.  Wasted.

Brown Eyes needs to be sailed and I have so many other challenges and travels that I want to do, not involving sailing.  I’m afraid that she may well end up like those others and I would not want that to happen.  So if anyone knows of somebody looking for a great yacht, that can cross oceans in comfort, please put them in touch with me.  Reasonable offers considered.

As for me; well short term I need to get ready for a 100km race in 12 days time and then the 268 mile Spine’s a tough challenge and I need to be hill fit.

Long term: well I intend to live to be 100 years old........plenty more challenges to fit in between now and stay tuned...........................

Filey to Lowestoft

Filey the next morning.
 With a leg of 150 miles to cover, I was up early and away with the sun rise.
The wind was favourable, but there was a large sea swell once I was out of the protection of the bay

Crossing the Wash in darkness was quite a challenge with so many wind turbines, platforms and other vessels to pick out and identify in the darkness.
The night seemed to go on forever and I was pleased to see the first rays of light on the horizon; it had been a long night.
I still had some way to go before reaching Lowestoft.  When I did finally pull into the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, I had been sailing for 36 hours.  After a hot meal and a pint, I slept very well!
Lighthouse of the day.

Lighthouse of the second day.
Lowestoft Lighthouse

Entry into Lowestoft harbour - a welcome sight.

Sunderland to Filey Bay...

My next marina stop was going to be Lowestoft, some 200 nautical miles away, and I had planned to do this in two legs, anchoring off in the mouth of the Humber river.

Lighthouse of the day.
The highlight of the day, and of my whole trip, was a whale sighting.  As usual, I was staring out into the horizon and my mind was further away, when a whale surfaced 10ft to the side of Brown Eyes, blowing out of it's air hole.  To say the least, it made me jump!!

The whale swan across my bow and appeared a couple more times off to the port side, allowing me to grab a couple of photos, and then he was gone.

Once I have identified what kind of whale it was, I will update this blog entry. (The Sea Watch Foundation have now confirmed the sighting as a Minke Whale and my photos can be seen on their recent sightings webpage)
Progress was not as fast as I had hoped and in the end I decided to take the option of an alternative anchorage and stopped at Filey a long leg next!