London to Auckland

The Jayco Ultimate Ride by Personal Watercraft

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Can You Get Arrested For Boating Under the Influence?

August 14th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Part of relaxing on the water means kicking back with a beer or beverage of your choice – but is it safe? The laws governing this change from place to place, but to get a general idea, a great model to examine is California, USA. Bordering the Pacific Ocean, residents of this west coast state love to enjoy sea, but sometimes to much fun can come at a price.

If you’ve had too much to drink, you can get cited for what’s known as a DUI first offense. Police keep an eye out for anyone who seems to be driving their boat erratically. Sunshine, ocean spray, and vibration caused by the vessel can exacerbate the effects of alcohol, which is you want to party responsibly on the open water. Even if you’ve never been cited for anything, a DUI can wreak havoc on your life, and can possibly include jail time, major fines, and a suspended license. It’s not exactly an experience you want to go through.

Unfortunately, some boaters don’t learn their lesson the first time. Ignoring the consequences of the original infraction, they continue partying, which can be highly dangerous, not just to themselves, but to other boaters and swimmers as well. A 2nd DUI in California comes with more extreme charges, and may get you to seriously question whether or not you want to drive a boat again. Yet some people don’t seem to learn their lesson. But no matter how you feel about the law, just be safe. To avoid that second dui residents have come to disregard, ask someone to take the wheel next time.

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Day 31 ‘Black August’ Continues

September 2nd, 2010 · 3 Comments

Ultimate Ride Team Rescued by Greek Air force.

At c.1.30pm on 31st August Jeremy Burfoot, Travis Donoghue and Ivan Otulic were rescued by Greek Air force helicopter about 60km south east of Santorini in the Aegean Sea.

The three men set out at 5am from the island of Karpathos with the intention of making Santorini before a predicted worsening of the weather in the region.
By 8am they had made the half way point but the weather worsened and they found themselves riding into 60-70km per hour winds and battling 3-4m waves almost head on.

Burfoot said that progress was slowed to about 15km per hour and their Seadoos were taking immense punishment, often being completely submerged by waves.The machines were slowly taking on water as their forward speed was inadequate for the venturi bilge system to work well. Auxiliary bilge pumps that the team had installed all failed because of the extreme conditions. Eventually the first machine started having multiple problems because of the hull being full of water. While this was being dealt with, the second Seadoo succumbed to the same problems and the third was showing signs of distress.

At around 10.30am the team made the decision to set off their GME PLB (personal locater beacons) and waited for rescue.

They were pulled from the water by a Greek Air Force helicopter around 1.30pm with no injuries except cuts and bruises and sunburn.

Burfoot said that any suggestion that the Seadoos were to blame were totally incorrect. “No PWC (personal water craft) is designed for hours and hours of that sort of punishment. Under the circumstances I can’t speak highly enough about the handling and ride of the S3 Hull, especially given the weights of gear and equipment we were carrying.”

“The GME beacons were life savers”.
The new 406 GPS equiped beacons that are not much bigger than a mobile phone sent a GPS position accurate to within 10m direct to the Rescue Coordination Center in Wellington New Zealand.The RCC contacted the Greek authorities and the helicopter was directed straight to the three men.They were lifted to nearby Santorini, taken to hospital for a check up and then later discharged.

Burfoot said that the team would like to thank the Greek Air force team and the Coastguard team on Santorini for their professionalism and helpful and friendly attitude.

The men will remain in Santorini for the next few days to deal with formalities.They plan to continue their mission of promoting healthy living and early detection of cancer by other means.

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Day 29 It’s all over.

August 30th, 2010 · 8 Comments

This post in memory of Douglas John Ell and Vanessa Margaret Beare

Dear Friends/Supporters

You have probably noticed that not much info has been forthcoming in the past few days. I apologize for that but there is a very good reason. We did make the south coast of Turkey at Fenike two days ago but since then there have been some major changes. I have been waiting until now to tell you all as I didn’t quite know what to say.

Months ago, my wife thought it would be an interesting thing to do something new in preparation for our trip. She had called a psychic and gotten a reading of the future. Tana Hoy told us his peace and accurate psychic readings are not (apparently) a myth.

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that The Jayco Ultimate ride has been called off. There are a number of reasons for this and in no particular order they are:
1. Even though Seadoo are still the best PWC brand in the world, they are not designed to take the continuous punishment that we have subjected them to with our hectic schedule and the modifications that we made to them. We found that we were continually losing time for maintenance and struggling to get spare parts in out of the way places. As a result we were getting further and further behind. When a fuel leak developed in my long range tank, effectively ruling out long open water crossings, we knew we couldn’t make Australia in the time I have available. The sponsored money from Jayco was always conditional on us reaching Australia as Jayco is an Australian Company with nothing to gain from exposure outside Australia and NZ so we offered it back on this basis and the offer was accepted. We have always struggled financially with the ride and this situation became unacceptable as a result. We are all in too much debt already.

2. Due to a rise in tentions in Yemen the NZ department of Foregn Affairs has strenuously warned us not to proceed south of Egypt unattended. The risk of terrorist and pirate attacks in Yemen has risen to an unacceptable level and we would be a prime target.

We all have families and it woul be unfair to put their futures at risk for an adventure, even with such a good cause.

So friends, I am sorry if you feel we have let you down. I and my team have worked hard on this ride for three years now and we are absolutely beside ourselves with disappointment.

Keep spreading the healthy living message and early detection of cancer message. I will be. Even if we have saved only one life with it, all of this will have been worthwhile.

We are now in Rhodos in Greece riding north to Croatia where Ivan lives so that the skis can be returned to BRP. By the time we get there we will have covered some 8000km.


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Day 24 Still in Kumbag

August 24th, 2010 · 1 Comment

We’re still here. Hoping the parts will arrive today. If they do we ‘ll be off on a mission tomorrow to make Cairo by Saturday afternoon so watch the tracker.

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Day 23 The Futility of War

August 24th, 2010 · No Comments

What would you do if stuck in north western Turkey waiting for parts?

The answer was obvious to us so we hired a car and visited the Gallipoli Peninsular. This is the site of a major battle in 1915 between Commonwealth forces and the Turks in an attempt to control shipping in the Dardanelles and force Turkey out of the war.

We visited most sites including ANZAC Cove where the Kiwis and Aussies came ashore. In a few short futile months, 37,000 Commonwealth soldiers including 2,700 kiwis, 10,000 Aussies and over 20,000 British were killed. Countless more young Turkish boys lost their lives. Nothing was achieved there except deaths and misery. Mothers should not let their sons go to fight other peoples wars.


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Day 22 Jayco to the Rescue

August 24th, 2010 · No Comments

Most of you will be aware that this ride was seriously underfunded from the start. But we persevered because it’s a great cause and we were optimistic that more funding would come.

But until yesterday that wasn’t the case and with expenses on our credit cards reaching their limits, I put out an emergency call to my good friend Gerry Ryan from Jayco. I am pleased to say that Gerry has agreed to help by making another significant contribution. It won’t fix our credit cards but it will keep us going and we won’t have to sell our houses. We greatly appreciate Gerry and Jayco’s contribution. As a result we have renamed the ride, ‘The Jayco Ultimate Ride’.

If you are in the market fora RV or caravan, check out Jayco products first and support our sponsor.

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Day 21 Frustrated in Kumbag

August 22nd, 2010 · 4 Comments

We had asked the boys from Aqua Motors who had done the service to pick us up from our hotel at 6.45am for a 7am departure, but they were late so we caught a cab to the marina thinking they might be there waiting. They weren’t. They were now waiting outside our hotel. We couldn’t leave because they had some of our gear. Hence our 7am departure became 8.40am.

Once we got going we had been riding for about an hour in reasonable but windy conditions when suddenly Ivan’s machine hit a bigger wave and the damage to his nose area got worse and he started to take on water. This meant a dash into the closest marina and a two hour delay while Ivan got materials for and carried out the repair.

Once back on the water we adopted a strategy of sticking close to the north coast of the Sea of Marmara to reduce the effect that the howling northerly wind could have on the waves. This worked to an extent but was still uncomfortable. For those of you who are interested I am going to give you instructions to follow so that you can experience the same feeling. The rest of you can go and make a cup of tea or do something useful. Here goes….oh and you will need five helpers so perhaps you can take turns.

Look in the yellow pages for your local ‘mechanical bull’ shop(but be quick as they won’t have enough stock for all of you). Purchase the bull and give it a name…, not Greg or Ross, something like Brutus. Mount the bull on a sturdy concrete pad in a wind tunnel in your yard. Set the wind tunnel to blow at an effective speed of 80-90kph from your 2 o’clock. Now get on the bull and set it on the variable speed function. For the next 8-12 hours you ride the bull. Friend one starts your lawnmower nearby and revs it up and down continuously. Friend two squirts a powerful garden hose in your face at 2-4 second intervals and sometimes for 30 second bursts at a time, friend 3 who is hiding so you can’t see him, throws a full bucket of water in your face every minute or so, friend four burns a five dollar note every minute to simulate the fuel burn and friend 5 pops in a couple of times during the day pretending to be water police and asking to see your passport. (If you get a good sort of the opposite sex to dress up in a sexy Police outfit this will ease your boredom and may open up other possibilities but it will be totally unrealistic).

Did you enjoy that? Welcome back to the rest of you. You really missed something. Anyway, on with the story. So we started to head south west towards the Dardanelles. Here the Marmara Sea funnels into a very narrow gap and causes the seas and wind to rise. We were surfing 4 meter breaking swells in very windy conditions and I was starting to wonder how much worse it would get from the funnel effect when Ivan’s machine broke again. The connection between the drive shaft and the impellor was stuffed, a result of damage from debris on the rivers earlier in the ride and no reflection on the Seadoo brand.
We were close to the coast and could see a town so Travis set up to tow Ivan because my machine was taking on a lot of water for some reason(yet to be established). For the next 40 minutes, the boys towed while I kept an eye on them and went ahead to find a suitable spot to come in. This was great team work in awful conditions.
Finally we limped into the beautiful little fishing village of Kumbag. The locals were very friendly. They helped us pull the Seadoos out of the water and then invited us to tea.

We are now stuck here for at least the next two days waiting for parts.

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Day 20 Istanbul

August 22nd, 2010 · 1 Comment

Today we spent the day repairing the damage to Ivan’s Seadoo and doing a routine service on all three.Thanks to Vidal Itkin and the boys from Aqua Motors for all their good work and assistance.

In the evening we had a wonderful Turkish dinner on the waterfront near our hotel.

I hate to take advantage of you, but while I have your attention, some of you, or someone close to you that you know, should be thinking about our early detection of cancer message and getting some tests. It’s better to find out early. Here it is again. If you qualify then just do it. It has saved my life twice.

SKIN CANCER: If you have sun-damaged skin, get regular skin checks done by a specialist. If you notice that a mole has changed shape or is bleeding, get it looked at.

CERVICAL CANCER: Pap smears are strongly recommended every three years starting at age 21, or within three years of sexual activity, until age 65.

BREAST CANCER: Mammograms are recommended every year or two starting at age 40.

COLON CANCER: Screening is strongly recommended for people aged 50 to 75.

TESTICULAR CANCER: Men should be familiar with themselves. Any change in size or feel of a testicle should be investigated.

OTHER CANCERS: Many kinds of cancer screening tests can benefit people who have symptoms or a family history of cancer. For more information consult your doctor.

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Day 19 A Day Off. Yeah Right!

August 20th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Waking at 7.30 we ate breakfast and then decided to head down to customs via the Seadoos. When we got to the Seadoos, we were again thrown into shock. Some one had got on them to steal from the glove boxes and front compartments and had untied Ivan’s front rope. This meant that his machine had thrashed around in all the boat wash and the upper front end was completely destroyed with bits of Seadoo all either floating around or sitting on the bottom. To top this off his Seadoo had damaged the boat we had tied up to and the ACTUAL boat owner(not last night’s scammer) was there and yelling at us in Turkish.

While Ivan and Travis tried to retrieve pieces of skis and put the jigsaw back together again, I paid the owner off and apologized in sign language. We decided to skip customs, regroup to a friendly marina and do customs by taxi and were getting ready to leave when the water police turned up and demanded to see our passports. More time was wasted there before we were invited to follow them by water to customs.

This wasn’t as easy as it might sound because Ivan’s machines steering cable was broken and he was steering using cable ties(don’t ask).
When we got to customs there was a huge slop hitting the wharf and we asked if we could go to Kalamis Marina across the Bosphorus to clear customs in more peaceful conditions. After much ringing of hands and more phone calls, this was approved and we were escorted to and left at Kalamis. Contrary to all advice, including that of the water police, there is no customs at Kalamis. But all was not lost as the visit to Kalamis afforded me the opportunity to lose my Seadoo key.

Now we had to call Vidal Itkin from BRP Turkey who had been waiting for us for 4 days and for the whole of this day at Pendik Marina further down the coast. Vidal was organising our service for the machines. We had to tell him that while we appreciated that he had been waiting for hours at Pendik, that it would be more helpful if he could come to Kalamis and bring a laptop to program another key. To his credit he did and later we did make Pendik and Vidal and his men pulled us out and took us to the BRP HQ for a service. We are very grateful to BRP Turkey and Vidal for all their help. It was outstanding.

Later that afternoon George and the crew turned up and we sorted the gear out, shook hands and sent them on their way back to the UK. Thanks guys.

In other news, it was always only going to be three riders from Istanbul and the 4th would jump ahead and join us as necessary. Due to the ride being severely underfunded, we have had to can that idea and unfortunately Jed now goes home to go back to work and earn some money instead of spending it. We thank Jed for his contribution and enjoyed his time with us.

Now we are down to three. We are on our own.

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Day 18 The Mother of All Rides

August 20th, 2010 · No Comments

We had planned to leave Port Tomis at 6am to avoid the wind and after a minor mechanical, got going at 630am but the wind was up already. The wind was howling from the north west and the sea was getting rougher all the time so we curved in towards the Bulgarian coast to avoid the worst of it. It was very rough the whole time and we were working hard.

We had left with less than full tanks so had made the decision to call into Igneada on the Turkish side of the border with Bulgaria for fuel and a break. Due to the slow going and heavy weather we limped into Igneada with nothing in the tanks accept the smell of an oily rag.

My research had led me to believe that there was both fuel and customs available in Igneada. For the record, there is neither.

When we rode into the harbor we were summonsed (with much waving of arms) to the coastguard center where a group of coastguard guys and one officer were taking tea in a pavilion. They were all very friendly and we were forced to take tea with them. Then we were escorted to the local petrol station with a 44 gallon drum in a coastguard van and refueled (at great expense) efficiently and quickly and sent on our way before we became a paperwork problem for them.

The weather on the sea had been crap but we worked out that we could cover the remaining 120km to Istanbul in 3 hours. This, however was not the case as our run of bad luck continued and it took us 5 hours to cover the distance and the last two hours were in sloppy 4 meter waveswith strong wind from the north. Our pace was glacial and the sun was going down. This was not fun.

We eventually did make the Bosphorus(or I wouldn’t be talking to you now) just as the sun was going down. Again I ask, “What’s new?”

Positive note: Istanbul is the most beautiful city from the water I have ever seen.No ifs or buts.

We were running out of daylight so headed through the Bosphorus to Karakoy marina for customs clearance and to park for the night. It was pitch black on arrival, customs wasn’t opened and the marina was full of large passenger ferries all charging around at high speed making huge wake. No one wanted to know us. One place we tied up at had killer dogs salivating at the prospect of eating Travis(i am too tough and old).

After being told to bugger off from anywhere we tried and being absolutely exhausted a friendly old man said we could tie up to his boat(Burfoots fifth law:If it seems too good to be true then it probably isn’t true. See the next post for verification of this). He then dragged us to a very seedy place for a beer each and some chips for which he charged the princely sum of 30 Euros. Ripped off again but what can you do? We eventually found a hotel and crashed.

Stats: 12 hours 45 riding in ugly conditions for a total of 430 hard earned kilometers and that, ladies and gents, should impress you.

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Day 17 The Black Sea

August 20th, 2010 · No Comments

There are some who say that the Black Sea is always rough. I for one can not argue this point. We had a late start out of Tulcea due to the fuel pump opening time and the need to change dollars to kashushniks at the local money changer to pay for the fuel.

By the time we hit the Black Sea it was ready to hit us, and it did. It was a 1-2 meter brown(not black) slop and the wind was blowing quite strongly from the south east. As a consequence we plodded the 160km from Sulina to Constanta and made shelter at Port Tomis for the night.

New Record: First PWCs to transit the European Waterways from the North Sea to the Black Sea.

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