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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tampa..........Home Bound

Tampa Bound, after completing the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage, from the command center in Tampa, Florida to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center just outside Frankfurt, Germany in the smallest powerboat in the history of the world to cross the Atlantic Ocean, we are going home.
Barring some kind of miracle where the Air Force can break through its red tape, we are sending the boat back on a commercial ship, to the states tomorrow. I will be flying back on Thursday, Sept 24, 2009.
Several people have asked when I will be arriving so they can make some kind of media thing. I will be arriving in Tampa International Airport at 6:22 pm on flight #1291 coming from Charlotte NC, after a long flight from Frankfurt, Germany.
Ralph D. Brown
Coordinator is Bruce 408-829-4193
Requests for interview through
SPM Communications
P.S. We received the video from Her Majesty's Search and Rescue Helicopter. This is the one that videotaped us running through gale force winds with gusts of near hurricane strength in 10 - 12 foot seas while hovering above us.
Details of the voyage can be seen on the blog at www.CrossTheAtlantic.com

Monday, September 21, 2009

It is not over, yet.

The I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage is far from over. Yes, the actual crossing of the Atlantic is behind us but now is the hard part.
We must begin the publicity tour and we must find 150,000 members to join our team.
I must stop at this point and appreciate all the people who have worked so hard behind the scenes.
Let’s start with Anne Brown, my wife. After the original screw up of the shirts, (By the way if you have one they are collector’s items), she took it completely over and together with Kevin, I am sorry I don’t know Kevin’s last name, fixed it. She has hand folded, packed, labeled, and mailed every single shirt going out. Not only has she done that she took care of details for Dream Boats and our children. She has had to be mother and father to our three teenagers. Yes, we have excellent children, but they are still teens. That takes a lot of work. She has also put up with me. She delivered our oldest to college and did not have my shoulder to cry on as she said goodbye to her baby as he stepped off into the world. This trip took almost twice as long as originally planned because of storms, etc. She has had a lot on her plate. Thank you Anne,
Bob’s wife Jill, she also had to be mom and dad to their two children. She has had to drive their oldest back to college and numerous other things without Bob. She too has to put up with the extended trip. Thank you Jill.

Bruce, in Boston, has been unbelievable in all that he has done. This guy is like magic on a computer. He seems to know stuff that God must have told him. He has been Johnny on the spot day in and day out you could depend on Bruce. He has coordinated everything that you can imagine. He has been available by phone early morning and late at night and has never complained about those phone calls. He has not been paid one dime for all this work. Thank you, Bruce.
Bernie Heckmann and Trey Hacker, who took care of the website, the blog transcriptions, the email letters, and many other things. These guys worked long hard hours and always came through. Bernie and Trey thank you so much.
Renee who took care of our web site in the early stages of this trip. Renee worked day in and day out. Renee, Thank you.
John Carroll, J.C., this guy was a regular do anything get it done guy. In the early stages of the voyage he would go to each of our stops and make sure that everything was done. Thank you, John.
John McDaniels, retired Lt Col, US Army, constant source of information and contacts as well as personally driving wounded heroes to meet us. He runs a program called Wounded Warriors in Action where his wife and he personally fund recovery programs for wounded heroes. It is great people like John and his wife that put their money and time where their mouth is that make the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage such a wonderful opportunity to be a part of.
General Bob Dees (Ret), whose involvement with Military Ministry helps wounded heroes to recover from the unseen injuries that so many don’t like to talk about. General Bob Dees has been a constant source of wisdom and help. Thank you, General.
General Bryan Doug Brown (Ret) has also been a constant source of wisdom. Thank you General Brown
Rebecca and the SPM team, who on a voluntary basis have involved themselves in our press and media. After working painstakingly hard on getting the perfect press release that opens doors without closing any, they then spend hour after hour making individual calls to the editors of magazines, newspapers, and producers of Television news and talk shows. We know it takes long hard work to make the necessary upcoming media work. Thank you Rebecca and the SPM team.
Jodi and Larry Ross Communications, they have been instrumental in numerous television, newspaper, and radio opportunities. Thank you Jodi and Larry Ross Communications.
Norm and Scott Miller together with the Interstate Battery Team, and the I AM SECOND Crew, especially Charlie Brim, provided the initial funding that made this voyage possible.
Peter Rostel who gets very little credit but the one thing he did behind the scene made all this possible, he gave me credit to purchase the first boat I built back from him. When you have risked everything you own to keep a promise and get a company off the ground, you appreciate people like Pete Rostel who believe in your dream and stick their neck out to help make it happen.
To all of our sponsors, that is a different post, but thank you as well.
One thing for sure is once you start saying thank you to volunteers; you are guaranteed to leave someone out. We have had so many volunteers that have helped us at different ports and harbors that it would be impossible to name them all, but you know who you are.
To every person involved in the past or in the future, on behalf of each and every person who puts on a uniform to stand up for freedom I want to thank you, because without you we would need someone else just like you. Thank you for being you.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Armed Forces Network

Wow we just got a lot of press on the Armed Forces Network. I understand it ran in both the US and in the States.

Here are the links to two seperate articles.

Here is the first article.

http://www.afneurope.net/Home/ArticleDisplayDD/tabid/649/Default.aspx?aid=9625


Here is the follow up article.

http://www.afneurope.net/Home/ArticleDisplayDD/tabid/649/Default.aspx?aid=9624

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Heartache

This is the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage presented by Interstate Battery and others.
It is all about wounded heroes. Into each heroes life usually is heartache and heartsickness. Most really miss their families and often their families suffer some sort of hard times because they are away doing what it is they do.
Bob and I both miss our families. Well, tonight, Bob went to the airport. He will be home tomorrow. I hope to follow soon, maybe as soon as Tuesday. I am waiting on the Air Force to make up their mind. Unfortunately, my responsibilities with the boat have kept me here.
Whenever someone gets to go home and you don't, it makes you a little more homesick. I guess that is an emotion every person in the military has gone through. Mine is only a couple of days, some of these men and women have months and even years in some cases to suffer this homesickness.
I hope my family misses me as much as I miss them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cookies and ..................

When we left Canada we were given a care package of cookies that did not make it a mile we also received the following letter.

Bob and Ralph,
As you enjoy these cookies, remember it is not only your Loved ones back home who will be thinking of you & praying for you.
We pray that the North Star, the Good Lord, whatever guides you, keeps you both safe, leads you home & blesses you & yours.
Sometimes it takes a complete stranger to make us realize how much we have, how lucky we are. We should all count our blessings more often.
You may not consider yourselves heroes but you are definitely brave, brave men. May the wind be always at your back. May you safely find your way home.
Thank you for the Inspiration
Safe Travels
Calm Waters
Deepest Respect
Joanne, Tom
Jackson, Stephen
Cartwright, Canada

I would like to thank you Joanne, Tom and family for your prayers. We also want to thank the hundreds of people around the world that were praying for us. I felt like God smiled on us. There were many times that we felt like if God did not smile on us we would have been a statistic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trying to get the boat shipped back

We are at Ramstein Air Force Base trying to get the boat shipped back by the United States Air Force. I talked to one General, he was very impressive. He told me he would ship it back if he could get the red tape cleared up, so we are waiting on red tape. Hopefully they will do it. They called this morning and said they were still working on it.

We of course are looking at other posibilities just in case the answer is No.
Here are a few random pictures.




Monday, September 14, 2009

Weisbaden and Landstuhl

We arrived in a town called Wiesbaden; although we have not seen them it is full of hot springs. The name actually means meadow baths. We have parked the boat at the Wiesbaden Yacht Club. At first we could not find anyone who spoke English. Now we have found several.
The Armed Forces Network has a television and radio team in Wiesbaden. We did a radio program and they did a television piece which has yet to air. I am looking forward to seeing it.
We rented the cheapest car we could find a little Fiat, with signs all over it advertising Bushbinder car rental for only $29 per day. It is pretty easy to spot us.
The first night we slept on the boat, not in the boat, because there is no "in" the boat. The last two nights we slept in the rental car. We are in the fund raising business not the fund spending business. Last night a really nice lady from the Armed Forces Network, Amanda, bought us a night in the Ramstein Inn, a super nice yet super inexpensive place to stay on Ramstein AFB.




On, Friday, Sept 11 we got a VIP tour of Landstuhl Hospital, the Fisher House, and the Landstuhl USO. We met two guys that just got blown up in Iraq Wednesday. While we were coming down the Rhine, they were being attacked by a suicide bomber. They had severe burns and you could tell they were in pain but they enjoyed our visit. It was a humbling experience. These actually wanted our autographs. They are the heroes not us.
There is so much more to say and to do. I am trying to get the boat back to the states as well as Bob and I. There is room for a sponsor to jump in now and be known as the ones who shipped the boat back. Shipping is about $3,500 by ship and air fare for Bob and me, well, probably another $1,500. We are trying to get the Air Force to help us.
It has been suggested that we keep the voyage going and even make a television show out of it. "Boating with the Brown brothers, European Tour" then off to the Middle East. The only way we could do that is with a large sponsor. Right now we have families to see and a lot of work to do. We also need to get to work getting people to join the Do More than just say thanks team. We are not even close to our goal of 150,000 team members.
More later along with pix from the last night at sea.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting Here Was No Small Deal

Last night we drove all night to be here for a press conference at 9 am. We did not have enough gas and getting it is not that easy in Europe. Everyone seems to be on diesel and there is none at the docks. We are trying to run light so that we can run fast so we have to stop a lot.
When we stopped at this little town, I walked up a ramp to a park area and started asking directions to a gas station. They all spoke German and very little English. I finally talked a couple of young ladies, Seven and Miriam, into giving me a ride. They were kind and took the time to get a couple of friends to ride in the car behind us.
I was impressed with her kindness and her common sense wisdom. She was willing to help a stranger, yet wise enough to be safe, so many of us find excuses not to help. I am guilty of not helping sometimes.
The gas station called the police after seeing us fill nine jugs. They pulled us over and then followed us down to the docks getting excited about the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage.
After that we drove off into the dark. Can you believe the busiest river in Europe and one of the busiest rivers in the world is not marked with lighted channel markers? Much of it has no lights at all. We were driving into the darkness and it always seemed that the canal would just open up as you got close to the end.
About 60 miles from our destination we ran aground. It was just a couple of inches deep and we are loaded down with weight. It was a hard rock bottom, the boat took it fine, and unfortunately the prop did not. The jack plate broke a thousand miles ago. Big waves often don't do equipment any favors. Since the jack plate was not working we could not suck the prop up into the tunnel. The prop hit one of those rocks and wiped out a couple of blades. So at zero dark thirty, we were out changing our prop and moving on again.
We only have a base map on the GPS so winding through a channel without lighted markers was fun. But we kept at it and arrived on time for our press conference. Unfortunately the Press, well they were not quite as committed.
But they are coming tomorrow.
Many ask “How long we are staying?” The answer is we don't know. We have to make arrangements to ship the boat back and fly back ourselves. We are trying to find sponsors for a publicity tour that could pay for the shipping or if we are lucky we can find a ship going that way with empty space.
It is very important that we get back soon as there is a lot of interest in our story. That publicity is the publicity that we will use to raise most of the money for the Do More Campaign to help wounded heroes.

After Over 8,000 Miles And 2 ½ Months Docking In Approximately 1 Hour For Landstuhl Regional Medical Center ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
After more than 8,000 miles and 2 ½ months of travel, the smallest power boat that has ever crossed the Atlantic Ocean will be docking for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in approximately 1 hour!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

After Being Stopped By The French Police, We Enjoyed A Perfect Night With An Orange Moon And We Made It To Rotterdam ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Last night we pulled into Dunkerque Harbor in France. It was an absolutely beautiful trip from London all the way over there, glassy day, calm seas, just as nice as can be! I think God smiled on us after we had to fight for London as ever inch of ground we took to get to London was a fight. Things were falling apart. We just moved forward. We lost several things. It was a fight. But, that trip across the English Channel was just as glassy and as calm as could ever be.
However, when we got to Dunkerque we could not go through customs. We could not meet with the Harbor Master. We could not do anything until morning. So Bob and I said forget this, we are moving. We came on to Rotterdam. We got here this morning. The trip from Dunkerque to here was as gorgeous as you could imagine. The most beautiful sunset anybody has ever seen! Then a bright orange moon popped up!
As the bright orange moon went away as we were cruising along I decided to take a nap. Only one thing, I was not allowed to sleep. I had to sit up and enjoy it, because it did not take long before the French Police were coming up behind us. (Police siren sounds) They were checking us out. After they stopped us and checked out our names, and all of that kind of stuff, they let us go. But, it was kind of exciting. They were excited about the I Am Second Wounded Hero Voyage!
As we headed up we got into Rotterdam in the wee hours of the morning. We asked somebody for directions and he was a harbor pilot. He said “ah, come on over here”, so we ended up in their office and the police came out. Immigration came out at 3:00 in the morning!
We were going down the Rhine passing ships right and left. It was dark out, we had moon light and the stars were out. It was nice! Our last day at sea was some time to remember! It was the most beautiful night at sea we have had the whole trip.
Right now we are in Rotterdam. The Mayor has come out to meet with us. The newspapers are already here and the television news media are coming out.
Then we are going to shoot on down the river toward our final destination Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. It is a 270 mile run from Rotterdam to Landstuhl. We will do almost all that in one day. We will be there tomorrow morning.
Take care, God bless. Bye

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dunkerque France Closed, Moving Past Belgium To Rotterdam Holland /Netherlands !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Well, we are in Dunkerque Harbor right now. We got in after hours and could not get the harbor master on the phone. We could not get customs and we want to get on to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center sometime Thursday morning, so we decided to go ahead and pull out. We have got maybe a half hour of daylight left with beautiful conditions. We are going to just book on up the road to Rotterdam. We are heading to Rotterdam right now with great conditions out here, so we are going on.
Thank you so much. Have a great day.
God bless you.

Land Ho ! We See The Coast Of France !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
This is Ralph with the I Am Second Wounded Hero Voyage. Land Ho! We see France, we see France, we see France! It is kind of neat. After 7,700 miles we are going to see the coast of France. We will be there in about an hour and heading up the Rhine River tomorrow. We are heading for Dunkerque right now and we will be in Dunkerque in less than an hour.
Take care. Bye

Monday, September 7, 2009

Notes


1. We leave London tomorrow morning for Calais, France then to Rotterdam and down the Rhine heading for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.

2. Suzuki brought us a new motor cover today, Thank you Suzuki.

3. The accurate mileage as of today is 7,682 miles according to our GPS.

4. We would appreciate anyone who copies the press release (a few blogs past) and fits it to their local press. This is an everyone issue..... DO MORE....... Be sure to change the date put Bruce as the contact person (USA) 408-829-4193

5. We are also willing to do on air interviews with Radio Stations. I am usually pretty good at stopping the boat anywhere and making the call. I have to admit I have missed a couple, but I have kept most.

6. We have been staying with the Cruising Association, The Cruising Association is the largest organised group of sailing and motor cruising enthusiasts in the UK. From its purpose-built London headquarters the Association provides members with information wherever they cruise. A members-only website offers downloadable cruising guides, up-dates to published pilot guides, and a wealth of other
information contributed by members. Thirteen Area Sections organise
lectures and social events for members in the UK, and also those
cruising in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, and the European Inland
Waterways. visit their website at: cruising.org.uk

MSNBC did a special

Check this out

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some pictures





Here is what the T-Top looks like every pole is broke in at least one place most are broke in two or three places. We have held it together with knives, wooden strips, and wrenches that we have wire tied and taped into place with duct tape then used a pile of rope to hold it down. We also cut Bob's pole up to reinforce it.
We also broke the motor mount for the spare motor twice. We also broke the hydraulic pump on the jack plate. The boat remains seaworthy in our opinion even though we have damaged the deck, as we have more than 500 miles to go.
We also lost the motor cover and built this make shift one out of extra signs I AM SECOND knew to bring the day before we would need them. We asked for two they provided six not knowing that we would need them to keep the motor from stalling because it was getting wet as waves and gale force winds would pound us.

New Videos



London Victory



Three Oceanic Fishing Boats



Heading into the storm


More to come

We still have a few more miles to go as we run to France and over to the LMRC medical center in Frankfurt. I would like to know who is reading this blog. Would you be kind enough to send me an email, even if you already have? Please put a small note with it and include where we met, or even if we never met and how you heard about us.
This would really help us.
Thanks
ralph@CrossTheAtlantic.com

Friday, September 4, 2009

We Have Just Stepped Foot In London And Have Set Multiple World Records ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
At 6:40 PM tonight Zulu time, Greenwich Time, Bob and I stepped foot off of the I Am Second Intruder made by Dream Boats, making world history as the smallest power boat to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean! We stepped into London Territory! It is also the first flats boat to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean, and also the longest ocean voyage in a flats boat! We have reached that point and made the step off.
We are standing at the, they call it the “Cruising Association House”, at the Limehouse Marina in downtown London. It is exciting that we are actually here! By the way it is a beautiful place. Here we are!
We will talk with you later. We still have to finish out the I Am Second Voyage when we get over to Frankfurt Germany, we will stop in Paris on the way. But, we are here now in London! What an exciting time!
God bless you, talk to you later. Bye

London Arrival Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 5, 2009
Historic Event

Made it alive

While experts said it was impossible, after surviving 7,000 miles of open ocean the Brown brothers stepped off their tiny open fishing boat at 6:40 pm, London Time, Friday, September 4, 2009 at the Limehouse Marina in downtown London making world history by setting several world records, The Smallest Powerboat to Cross The Atlantic, The First Flats Boat to Cross the Atlantic, and the Longest Ocean Voyage in a Flats Boat.

The tiny open fishing boat, an Intruder made by Dream Boats in Hudson Florida, separates itself from other smaller boats that have made the crossing is that it does not have a cabin, a keel, a sail, or an escort and it had to carry its own fuel. This boat literally runs in less than an incredible four inches of water, including the motor.

The brother’s remained completely exposed to the elements for the entire voyage and did not have a keel to right the boat in the event it were to flip. Ralph and Bob Brown survived being run over by an iceberg in Greenland, almost running of fuel hundreds of miles from shore, refusing to be rescued three separate times, surviving massive waves from the remnants of two hurricanes, being slammed into rocks by gale force winds, running out of money and many other amazing events. Although the boat retained it’s seaworthiness the attached equipment has literally fallen apart from the impact of an estimated 140,000 slams during the crossing.

The I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage was made in honor of John Harvey, George Holmes, and Dewey Johnson three fallen US Marines who died in Ralph Brown’s place, fulfilling a 29 year old promise and will be used to kick off the Do More Campaign in raising funds for wounded hero foundations in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. They began their voyage at the Central Command Center, Tampa, Florida and will be continuing on to Paris and to Landstu Regional Medical Center in Germany. The record setting portion was from Tampa to London.

Details can be seen at www.CrossTheAtlantic.com
Ralph and Bob Brown are staying at the CA House, 1 Northey Street, Limehouse Basin, London

They may be contacted through Bruce at USA 408-829-4193
Ralph’s Cell +44 (0) 79 0785 2329 Usually best to call Bruce.
bruce@CrossTheAtlantic.com

Loosing Suzuki # 2

Thirty miles outside of the Thames (Tims) river leading up to London, we hit a pipe under the water. The boat slid over it fine; however, the motor did not do so well. We can't bring it up all the way because the Jack Plate bit the dust during an earlier crossing. The pump bracket broke.
The motor slammed into the metal pipe and kept right on running however, the impact caused the engine cover to bounce off and sink before we could get back to it.
Shortly thereafter we were going into 40 mph plus winds with super choppy and steep four to five footers we got the engine wet. It wanted to cut out in the middle of a washing machine type situation. Usually these are some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, but because of the storm there were hardly any vessels on the water at all. (It doesn't take a whole lot of brains to figure out why; I guess that shows you a little about us, not too smart.) I ran it super slow while getting soaked and praying, don't let us fail this close to the finish line.
It dried out enough to keep moving. Bob came up with a great idea. We had asked Interstate Battery and the I AM SECOND team to make us new signs out of corrugated plastic. We asked for two they made six. Bob made an engine cover out of three. They were the only things we had that would work and it just so happens that we received them last night, just in time.
Suzuki, if you are reading this, we need a new engine cover, a lot of pictures are being taken, and a lot more will be soon.

I Am Second and Interstate Batteries Came To Meet Us And Provided Additional Support As We Continue On To London ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hi this is Ralph Brown with the I Am Second Wounded Hero “Cross The Atlantic” Voyage. I want to say that we are not in London yet. We had major breakdowns yesterday as far as our t-top and we tied it with a million ropes. Every single pipe on the t-top is broken at least in one place, most of them 2 or 3 places. We are going to try to keep the t-top on the boat all the way to Frankfort.
We were into some, I guess it was gale force 8 and 9 yesterday part of the time, I am not sure, but it was pretty heavy winds against us and it was really rough on our t-top that is falling apart. We are still going to make it in. The seas were not real rough, some roughness, probably some 4 to 6 foot real heavy chop, but most of it was not that bad. It was the wind and the t-top falling apart.
We could only make 60 miles yesterday. We did stop to meet with one of our sponsors last night. The good people from I Am Second and Interstate Batteries came over and gave us some additional money which we are grateful for.
Anyways, we are still making this happen. We are grateful for everybody that gets involved in the project.
God bless you. Bye Bye

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moving on

The guys at the RNLI, Royal National Lifeboat Institution, are super. I did not know that they were all volunteers. These guys absolutely loved the I AM SECOND Wounded Hero Voyage. I tell you what these guys are Super Heroes in my book. They go into harm’s way all the time to pick up distressed vessels.
Now, they have some pretty good equipment, but these guys do it for free, well they get paid about $10 per rescue, so it is almost free. They do it because they love to do it.
This is why we need to grow the DO MORE Campaign, organizations like this one should not have to worry about financing. If everyone who hears this message or reads about our voyage donates $30 (Close to £20) organizations like this one would not need to worry about money.
Everyone says they care and they support the cause, but some really mean, "I support the cause with my neighbor’s money, not with mine." If we are not willing to come up with a small donation we are not being honest with ourselves when we say, "I support the troops", or "I support the cause".
Some say what will my $30 or £20 do? Not much, but in connection with everyone else’s $30 or £20 it can change the world. So let’s change the world.
We are heading on, the winds are out of the west at 32 to 55 knots, and we will go to as far as we feel reasonably safe. We hope to make it in to London tonight.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Being Responsible

The storm has caught us. The wind is supposed to turn out of the West and has yet to do so. If it turns out of the west we will be able to hug the coast and run all the way down to London. But since it has not turned, we are running straight into a strong wind well over 40 mph and gusts a lot higher. There are a lot of shoals all around and it is dark out, the waves are getting bigger every minute and breaking. Bob points out how irresponsible it is for us to be out there when there are plenty of ports all around for us to duck into.
Know what, he is right, so I reluctantly agreed to stop into the next port. Once we enter we find that we were the only boat there was facing directly into the wind with nowhere to hide. So I suggested we go to the next one, Bob wanted to call the Coast Guard for directions, fair enough.
They don't want to give us directions but rather send a boat to show us the way. Ok, the boat gets there and wants to tow us.
That is where I say NO WAY, they can't believe it. After further discussion with the Coast Guard, they reluctantly agree. We follow them into the next port. It was rough, real rough, but the Intruder took it well.
They were all excited as they could not believe we came all the way from Florida. They had a film crew on board, from the Discovery TV series, they are making a new series on search and rescue. I can't wait to get to see the video. Unfortunately, we will not be on time for London. In the morning we will look again, in gale force winds waiting for the turn.

The People In Wells Were Unbelievably Helpful With More T-Top Repairs ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Make that 3 pipes instead of 2 that bust. We stopped in the town of Wells. The people were unbelievably helpful. In the short period we were here, about an hour and a half, two hours. We got all these people out here helping us and made some quick repairs and we are off.
London by 11 AM tomorrow morning or bust, hopefully not the bust!
We will talk to you later.
God bless you. Bye

More T-Top Problems ! ! ! London Or Bust ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
London or bust! Those were the words I was saying to myself, London tomorrow at 11 AM or bust, when suddenly I looked down and BAM, BAM! Two more poles on the t-top busted in half. We will get pictures of that up on the internet before too long. Bob wrapped them in tape and then clamped a couple of wrenches around them and off we are away!
Now we are at Wells trying to get gas so we can be on time tomorrow at 11 AM in London coming up the Thames. Bye

The Scottish Coast Guard Offered To Bring Us A Mechanic At 1:00 In The Morning ! ! !

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Good morning, this is Ralph. We are filling up with gas in Bridlington Scotland, and then heading down to London. Hope we will be there tomorrow morning at 11. We are committed to tomorrow morning at 11. Unfortunately there is a major storm rolling in and we have to race that storm in order to get in tomorrow morning at 11.
Last night we broke down, the first time ever our engine broke down on this 7,000 mile voyage. The Scottish Coast Guard offered to come out and tow us in, and we said “We can’t be towed in”. We were 15 miles offshore drifting out to sea. We refused to be towed in. When they did the research on the website they came back and said now we understand why you do not want to be towed in, you will lose the record. What we will do is bring you a mechanic at 1:00 in the morning to help you fix the boat! But by the time that they agreed to bring the mechanic, we found a wire that had weakened and broke. Bob and I crammed something into the console and we weakened the wire connection. Eventually it vibrated loose and broke. It has been fixed.
Now we are zooming off to keep our commitment for tomorrow morning at 11:00 in London down the Thames. Hopefully you will be there. Bye

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Slept In The Rain ! ! ! Changed The Oil, Fixed The Bilge Pump and Motor Bracket.

Ralph via SAT phone (transcribed)
Hey folks, we stopped in Edinburgh, a town in the middle of Scotland. We stopped here and slept out in the rain which was kind of fun. We refueled. We fixed the bilge pump problem that we have had. We fixed the bracket on the boat motor, temporarily at least anyhow. We changed the oil. We should be able to zoom on into La Zoom, depending on how bad the waves are. We are heading into London and plan to be there Thursday at 11:00 AM.
Now we are heading for a town called Whitby, then maybe after that another town called Grimsby. I am not sure about Grimsby but Whitby we are planning to go to. We will go from there.
We will talk to you later. God bless you. Bye Bye