Jonathan Bretherton’s Sail
RNC Governor sails around Britain
In July 2014 RNC Governor, Jonathan Bretherton set sail from Falmouth and returned six weeks later after a 2000 mile anticlockwise voyage that took in almost all of the British Isles.
He had just finished a gruelling 8 year contract and had decided to take a break to fulfil a lifelong ambition to go on a great journey – in this case, sailing round Britain. Although he had done his fair share of messing about in boats he had never done anything like this, so it was quite a challenge. He was one of a four man crew led by an experienced skipper.
Through this personal challenge he raised £1,200 to support students at RNC while they learn how to live independent lives and fulfil dreams of their own. Jonathan funded the journey himself, so that every penny he raised could directly support students.
During Jonathan’s epic journey he sent regular blogs to keep us up to date with his progress. He even sailed with simulation specs on, to gain a further understanding of what our students experience on a day to day basis.
Here are a few highlights;
Greetings from The Wash!
Testing the SimSpecs at the helm (happily for crewmates, this is a twin helm yacht and Barry is at the other one). Hard to imagine how difficult blind sailing must be but the sound and smell is certainly enhanced.
Imagine being on the most dramatic ride at Alton Towers. Now imagine that for 12 hours. We left the Sound of Hoy in the teeth of a strong force 6 gale, but the issue was the waves. We were leaving in the tail end of a storm system heading for Norway that had whipped up big waves in the Atlantic that we were bouncing over. And over…One of the team promptly returned his lunch. I’m lucky in not suffering other than a little queasiness below deck.
It was certainly exhilarating but sleep in oilskins and boots was virtually impossible as the waves built up to the size of houses and we belly flopped over them. Olly noted our personal best splash was 10 m, being half the height of the mast. That water then came straight over the top of the two of us.
Unfortunately, the storm was strong enough to put a large rip in our foresail at about 1am, making it useless for the rest of the 20 hour passage. That’s like suddenly losing 40% of your engine going up a very long, steep hill. Eventually the storm abated after I had the good luck to be at the helm as we rounded Cape Wrath and at 04.15, I set a new, southerly course for the first time on our trip.