Pupils from All Saints School, Weymouth

Our Hopes For Boleh Next Year

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The clocks have gone back, the sailing season’s nearly over.  Boleh’s 2020 programme, so exciting at the start, has been darkened and disrupted by COVID-19.  But, despite this, the ‘can-do’ spirit has helped our volunteers and Halcyon partners make something of the year.  Boleh passed her major 5-year MCA survey, was commissioned for a limited Covid-compliant sailing programme, trained new Skippers and crews, gained new volunteers and made important contacts with ‘client’ organisations for 2021.

Now we are looking ahead.  Firstly, to Boleh’s winter maintenance where some upgrades are planned, and then to a sailing programme next year free from restrictions.  Boleh, with her ‘can-do’ history of challenges confronted and overcome, is standing by to provide an antidote to people’s 2020 experiences of isolation and deprivation.  So our hope is that 2021 will see plenty of young people enjoying sunshine and sea breezes onboard Boleh – as in this picture of pupils from All Saints School, Weymouth in happier times.

Roger and Wendy Angel

A Poem For Boleh 1985 – And A Bit Of History

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In 1985 Roger and Wendy Angel set off in Boleh on their ‘big adventure’.  Before leaving England Lesley Brown – widow of ‘Buster’ Brown, one time shareholder in Robin Kilroy’s Boleh – gave a farewell party for them in Falmouth.  Among the guests were Roger’s friends John and Liz Cynddylan who had witnessed Roger’s restoration of Boleh in Rye harbour.

John was an adventurer himself and, on hearing reports of Boleh’s passage South, including loss of the topmast, penned this Poem of encouragement to Boleh and her crew.  After many adventures, recorded by friend and helper Dave Sully in ‘Arising from the Ashes’, the Angels and Boleh finally settled in their Majorca base.  Picture shows Roger and Wendy in the sunny Med, enjoying the fruits of their considerable labours!

Boleh, September 1950

Boleh Snapped At Rest After Epic Voyage

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We are grateful to Andrew Hill for these 2 photos, taken by his father shortly after Boleh’s arrival from Singapore in September 1950.  Andrew read the article about Boleh in May’s edition of PBO, (see our 6 April news item) and recalled seeing her in Salcombe as a child.  Later, reviewing the family photo albums, he chanced upon these pictures of Boleh resting up the Bag in Salcombe.

Thinking they might interest the current owners and also add to the records of this unique vessel, Andrew kindly passed them to PBO’s editor who forwarded them on to us.  Thank you all round.

Boleh And The Army Inshore Training Centre

Boleh And The Army Inshore Training Centre

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There hasn’t been much weather to cheer about recently but here’s a Boleh crew enjoying summer sun in a previous Season.   Picture shows Soldiers from the Army Inshore Sailing Centre at Thorney Island testing the set of a spinnaker inherited from Roger Angel’s time as Boleh’s owner.  Their conclusion – a few alterations would better match the rig of the restored Boleh.  We are hoping Boleh will be able to team up with our friends at the AISC next Season to support their training programme.

70th Anniversary Of Boleh’s Arrival from Singapore

70th Anniversary Of Boleh’s Arrival from Singapore

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On Friday 1st September 1950 at 16.10, Boleh dropped anchor off the Ferry Steps in Salcombe to a 3 gun salute from the Yacht Club and ‘a tremendous welcome from the Mayor, townspeople and summer visitors’.  Her crew, ‘weary but triumphant’, had completed an epic 12,000 mile voyage from Singapore and were featured in the next day’s national press.

70 years on, Boleh was unfortunately unable to visit Salcombe to celebrate her Anniversary.  However, like so many other events this year, her visit and celebrations have been postponed until next year.  Picture taken on arrival shows Boleh’s Skipper and designer Robin Kilroy (bottom right) with crew (from left to right) Chang Hai Kun, Peter Aplin, John Rusher and George Jarvis.

‘Young’ Rusher At Boleh’s Helm

‘Young’ Rusher At Boleh’s Helm

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Our  6th April news item proudly reported Practical Boat Owner’s inspiring article on Boleh and her history.  What we didn’t spot at the time was the incorrect statement that a photo on Page 47 was that of owner, Roger Angel.  In fact, the helmsman was Jeremy Rusher whose father, Lt Cdr J J S Rusher, crewed Boleh’s epic voyage from Singapore to Salcombe in 1950.

The PBO photo was taken off Palma in 1999 by Jeremy’s wife, Judy.  She had traced Boleh the year before so her husband could celebrate 50 years since he was in Singapore as a child while Boleh was building.  Judy rapidly traced Boleh via Salcombe and Malcolm Darch, contacting Roger who invited the Rushers to Palma and then allowed Jeremy to sail Boleh for ‘a wonderful experience’.

We are grateful to Jeremy for this information and for his active support of the Boleh Trust.  In 2014 the Rusher family made their father’s voyage diary available to the Trust as a research source, and Jeremy has also arranged for mementoes, crafted from recovered Boleh timbers, to be sold in aid of the Trust (News item: https://www.bolehproject.com/boleh-reclaimed-material-mementoes-for-sale)a few items still available with price including p&p!

Mark and Chris onboard with the Flag

A Flag For Boleh

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We regret COVID-19 has so far stopped Boleh delivering this year’s sailing programme for Pompey’s Military Kids.  But we are proud to say that our major funder, the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, has given us a splendid Flag to recognise Boleh’s work for Naval children last year.  Picture shows Trustees Mark and Chris onboard with the Flag.

Thank you RN&RMC – Boleh’s ready to sail the children again, once Government Guidelines and School priorities allow!

Boleh Survey

Boleh Now ‘Good To Go’!

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To complete Boleh’s transformation in 2015 from hulk to licensed sail training vessel, she had to pass a rigorous Maritime and Coastguard Agency survey.  Like an MOT, Boleh’s licence to operate is renewed annually but, at the 5 year point, another major survey is required.  Thanks to the sterling efforts of the Boleh Team, we’re delighted to report that she has again passed this testing exam and is now all set to go,  fully coded for Cat 2 and Cat 4 sailing.  Picture shows Boleh lifted out at Haslar for the final stage of the survey.

Back to Work for Boleh!

Back to Work for Boleh!

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We’re happy to report that Boleh is taking the PM’s call for a return to work seriously.  The Boleh team have at last been able to carry out sea trials and at the same time assess the feasibility of using Boleh within the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.  The trial was a complete success and we are now planning a limited autumn programme with no more than 4 persons onboard.

Picture shows our lead Skipper, Richard Metcalfe, taking the lines on completion of the trial, as newly ‘inducted’ Boleh Skipper, Glenn Upton, guides her safely alongside in Haslar Marina.  Richard and Glenn (who works for our partner, Halcyon Yachts) are hoping the programme can take Boleh as far West as Salcombe to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of her arrival there from Singapore.  Watch this space!

Ascension Island

Boleh and Ascension Island

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70 years ago on 4 July 1950 Boleh called at Ascension Island in the South Atlantic during the closing stages of her journey from Singapore to the UK.  The Island was discovered by the Portuguese Navigator Joao da Nova on Ascension Day 1501, and is now a British Military Base and a link to the Falkland Islands.

 

Chapter 23 of Robin Kilroy’s book ‘Boleh’ describes the visit and the warm hospitality offered by residents of this tiny Colony, many of whom worked for Cable & Wireless.  Among those looking after the Boleh crew was Michael Miles whose son, Jinx, kindly sent these pictures from Australia – note top picture of Boleh at anchor with ‘tradewind rig’ booms spread.

Link to Robin Kilroy’s book ‘Boleh’: https://www.bolehproject.com/book/BolehByRobinKilroy.pdf