Bad weather forces delays Geoff Holt's round Britain voyage 29/5/07

Quadriplegic sailor, Geoff Holt, who is attempting to sail around the coast of Great Britain, has been weather bound in Brixham, Devon since last Thursday.

Holt left Southampton on Sunday 21 May and sailed to Lymington, Portland and Bridport before arriving in Brixham. He had hoped to get further around the coast by now, but has been waiting for a weather window. He will not set sail for Plymouth before Wednesday 30 May and even then it depends on the weather.

Chatting about the current situation Holt said: “Well we are currently weatherbound again, this time in the dinghy compound of Brixham Yacht Club, who have been wonderful hosts. The reception on arrival here last Thursday was wonderful. Members of the BYC and the Brixham Rotary Club were on the slipway to help us in. We have even been given use of their dinghy compound to house our entourage of vehicles. Thursday night was race night and we were treated to dinner in the club before I was asked to give a brief update on my Challenge and guests subsequently raised money towards the local Sailability group.

“I’m getting a lot of questions about how I eat and drink whilst sailing. Well, it’s not easy. For my fresh water, I have a 2 litre bladder behind my seat and if you look carefully you’ll see the blue tube attached to my left shoulder allowing me to take sips every 20 minutes. However, hot Bovril and easy to eat foods get delivered by the RIB crew. I call them up on my VHF and within a minute I hear the thunder of the RIB engine and an 8ft pole with a net on the end containing my menu choice appears, it gets inverted and the contents deposited on my lap.

“Eating and drinking at speeds of 10 mph are not easy, especially if your fingers do not work and what little hand movement you do have is controlling the rudder and mainsheet and the boat is pitching and yawing over waves. I often arrive with a strange blend of foods and drinks splattered on my clothes and in my cockpit. All of my good eating habits have gone out of the window as I need to get food from lap to mouth. It’s simply not feasible to eat pasta salads nor cheese salad sandwiches on granary bread with a fruit shake. Pies and chocolate are the few foods able to cope with a dousing of sea water whilst retaining some semblance of their pre-formed shapes!”