THE ATTEMPT JUNE 21st & 22nd 2013

I was up early as I had slept on the rear seat under the canopy (Ouch a bit squashed) then I ventured into the cabin to find Richard and Peter also getting up with some aches but cheerful all the same. We had a light breakfast as there was so much to do that morning before the off.

The Formidable Charging Station that I made

Battery Talk

Here you see on the right the formidable battery charging station. When we all arrived we erected the gazebo so that I could get the batteries on charge for the next 18 hours as this would keep them at nearly 100% fully charged.


Informing the back up boys how to charge the Batteries

I decided to give the Scrutineers and the back up boys a talk on how to charge and keep charged all the batteries. The batteries have special connectors and I had to make sure that they understood how to use them. This done I moved on to replenishing the model with batteries and how to install them correctly. I had given a lot of thought about what type of connectors to be used and I decided to use the following types, EC5 & XT60 type. Also we had to install the batteries correctly and have the weight balanced every time we charged them. We had used soft foam to keep the batteries in place but I threw out that idea as they still could move around, so I made wedges from balsa wood and these seemed to be spot on!

The Working Group

The_Challenge_010 - Copy

Last minute checks

What's to do then, well it's the last minute tearing your hair job, that's what is! Checking out my cruiser for water, drinks, food, fuel, clothing, life jackets and they should be on now. As the time of off is fast approaching. The next thing to do was to fire up my cruiser and moor it on the main quay heading and then put the HMS Norfolk into the water and install the batteries ready for the off.
Dave Leatherland had brought us 2 soft material type lilos for us to sit on at the bow of my cruiser.
The last minute check on the transmitter and Oh Boy it would not transmit to the model and Dave was looking VERY perplexed at this precise moment in time and he said "OH NOT AGAIN" and something like BL--DY electronics under his breath. So we had to do a systems RESET and then reset all the instructions for the model and this an took extra 15 minutes to do. So the start was delayed by 15 minutes much to the annoyance to everybody in the team. So the start was 15 minutes past Noon prompt.

We're Off

Richard flat out, Roger kneeling & Graham flat out

As you can see Richard Flatt is flat out hanging on for dear life and Roger Black is holding a battery waiting for me to install the rear one. This done the model was floated out to see that we had it trimmed out correctly and the batteries in the middle and that it was not leaning to one side, so we pushed it out for Dave Tedstone to take over.
It was up to Dave now as Peter Dorsett & I legged it to my cruiser. Dave now controlled the model over to my cruiser and embarked.
We also had on board the Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club's photographer and he is John Skinner who would be busy filming, taking photos and drinking tea & coffee.


Our Super Phographer John Skinner

Our Number 1 Driver Dave Tedstone


HMS Norfolk on the River Waveney awaiting the off

Peter Dorsett on duty

The Second Lap

We got away at 3.23 pm after about 21 minutes changing batteries, greasing prop shafts and pumping water from bilges. It was on this battery change that we lost my little front radar arm that decided to fall off into about 5 feet of water NEVER to be seen again. Oh what a sod!! Now Graham was at the helm of his cruiser Blithe and Richard Flatt controlling the model with Dave Tedstone by his side. At this time the river was kind being flat and gentle with not many other cruisers. We recorded seagulls and swans that did not threaten the model and canoes.
Dave Leatherland said, "Where's the malt whisky?" and I said he would have wait until later so he said," That's not good," but I said it would cloud his judgement in everything. Richard Flatt found the going good and he seemed to keep a good turn of speed. When we arrived at the railway bridge pier he said, "That's not nice to meet on a black night". Little did he know that he would meet it that night. Richard F turned at Boaters Hill Quay at 4.42pm for the return trip, arriving at HQ at 6 pm and now 24.8 miles were completed. This lap was scrutineered by Roger Black.

Peter Dorsett looking ahead

Did not see us coming

Did not see us coming

The Fourth Lap

As we started off the onlookers and our crowd sounded VERY MERRY indeed, the booze must have been flowing well. All right for some I thought!! The time was 9.25 pm when we moved off on the water, with Peter Dorsett at the controls and Richard Thurston by his side and they found the going good. The river was smooth and quiet, but punching the tide and going at a steady 4.5 mph.

The Moon 4

The moon came out for a very short time to shine on Blithe, HMS Norfolk and the crew.

The Fourth Lap continued

We were also taking up Nick Ward and Stephen Swanson who would be taking over scrutineering duty at Boater's Hill Quay through the night. We duly arrived at Boater's Hill Quay at 10.40 pm where we dropped off the boys and then turned to come back. John and Ann welcomed them to his narrow boat

Stephen Swanson

About a third of the way back Peter Dorset had problem in seeing the model in semi darkness so he asked Richard Thurston to take over from him. We also had seen a Barn Owl, a Reed Warbler, a Grey Heron and we heard a Cuckoo earlier in the evening. It is nice to spot the Cuckoo. We arrived back at 11.59 pm.

The Moon 2