We’re pleasantly amused to note that Boleh has moved up the social scale following HRH The Princess Royal’s visit. Our unique Junk Yacht now features in a recent edition of the Celebrity and Lifestyle magazine, Hello!, sharing column inches with Royalty, high flying socialites and the world of glamour. The article pictured reports HRH’s keen interest in the Royal Navy, her support for Service families and her re-commissioning of Boleh in Haslar Marina with a dash of cider.
Following HRH The Princess Royal’s visit, we’re proud to have received this message:
“As part of Pompey’s Military Kids affiliation with the wonderful BOLEH, Aggie’s Families Pastoral Worker, Nikki Burge and NFF Education & Childcare Policy Advisor, Becky Lovell, along with PMK representatives and pupils from Wimborne Primary and Mayfield Secondary, were extremely privileged to meet Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne.
Princess Anne was keen to know about our connection and the work that we do, as well as question the children’s knowledge on knots! A wonderful and memorable occasion for all, with a massive thank you to the Boleh Project for our invitation and for the incredible opportunity for PMK to sail with them.”
PMK’s thank you message included snaps of their Royal day, with pictures of the PMK team, the banner showing the generous funders making all this possible, and HRH on the pontoon with Boleh. We’re already looking forward to hosting next year’s sailing programme for PMK!
Our Trustees are proud and honoured to report that last Tuesday, 1 November, HRH The Princess Royal visited us to re-commission Boleh for charitable service. During her visit HRH heard Boleh’s remarkable story from adults and young people who had contributed to, or benefitted from, this unique vessel. Picture shows HRH in Haslar Marina’s new Creek Restaurant meeting Service children from Wimborne Primary who had sailed in Boleh.
The highlight of the visit was a traditional ceremony on Boleh’s foredeck, witnessed by children from Mayfield School, dedicating the restored Boleh to her new life. This involved The Princess Royal pouring a libation of Westcountry cider over the bows and invoking even more inspirational ‘can-do’ charitable work from Boleh in the future. Finally, HRH unveiled a commemorative Plaque before the ceremony ended with the restored ship’s Bell, cast in San Francisco over 70 years ago, sounding.
Page 201 of Robin Kilroy’s book ‘Boleh’ records a 9 knot run on the final leg of her 15,000 mile passage from Singapore in 1950. Naval crew member, Peter Aplin, wrote: “ . . . .on watch this evening, I reckon Boleh went faster than she has ever been before. We had up full main and both Genoas, and, with a very fresh wind on the starboard quarter, I am sure she was doing 9 knots – and no apparent effort.”
You can see the entry in the book by clicking https://www.bolehproject.com/book/BolehByRobinKilroy.pdf
Now the Navy has done it again. Navy and Marine crew from the third Group of our RN/RM Wounded Injured and Sick (WIS) recovery programme recently put Boleh through her paces in the Solent. With new volunteer Skipper, Nigel Craine, and a good wind, Boleh recorded 9.8 knots – with a little bit of help from a friendly tide!
This was the culmination of another successful week with a WIS crew from varied backgrounds rapidly mastering the intricacies of sailing Boleh. Our thanks to the RN&RM Charity for funding this programme, and to our Volunteer Skippers, William Barker-Wyatt and Nigel Craine, to the WIS team, and to Recovery Manager, Angie Cheal for making it all happen.
Once again we’re happy to report Boleh won the backing of another Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust school. Brune Park students from Service families described their recent day at sea in Boleh as ‘really good’. Even those apprehensive about risking the ocean wave admitted they ‘really liked it’. While, for others, it was the company that mattered – ‘the other students were chill!’
Picture shows long term volunteer and Mate for the day, Chris O’Connell, pointing out the finer points of Boleh’s unique rig to a trainee sailor. As a successful and varied Season draws to a close, we look forward to next year’s programme with Pompey Military Kids and the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust. Thanks to our generous funders who help us ‘make the difference’ for local young people.
Salcombe registered Boleh was proud to compete with a crew of Devon cadets in last month’s ASTO Small Ships Race starting off Cowes. Organised by the Association of Sail Training Organisations and supported by the Royal London Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron, over 200 young people and 19 Sail Training vessels took part.
Following a Parade of Sail, the Fleet enjoyed a fair Northerly breeze but struggled with fading winds and contrary tides on the return leg. Lead Skipper Richard described his Army Cadet Force crew as ‘Brilliant’ and said only their ‘sheer determination’ enabled Boleh to round the windward mark. Picture shows Boleh and her crew with other competitors in Cowes Yacht Haven
We’re delighted to start the new month with a lovely Collage put together for us by Pompey Military Kids from Wimborne Primary. Their Teacher Mandy said: “ I just wanted to write and say thank you so much for a really great day on Thursday. The children and Rachel and I loved it. A truly unique, safe and enjoyable experience.” Boleh Skipper Craig and Mate Nigel were equally complimentary about their charges. We look forward to bringing the Boleh experience to many more Service children during our Autumn sailing programme.
In a charity partnership new for this year, Boleh recently took 12 young carers and their 4 case workers from Youth Action Wiltshire sailing in the Solent. The young carers, aged between 10 and 15, face responsibilities in their everyday lives that many adults would find daunting. It was therefore a pleasure to give these inspirational youngsters some ‘wonderful respite days’ from their normal routine.
Feedback shows how much the young carers took from Boleh’s ‘can-do’ experience, with comments like: “This is so cool, I never thought I would be able to do this”; “I have had the best day…I want to do this again”; and “I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did“. The days were also much enjoyed by YAW staff and Boleh crew, with both days being judged a great success for all involved. We look forward to further rewarding sails generously funded by the Samuel William Farmer Trust.
Boleh’s been busy over the holiday period and one of her most worthwhile sails was getting to know a new client – Veterans Outreach Support. Operating from the Portsmouth area the charity looks after the welfare of former members of the Armed Services and of the Merchant Navy, including their spouses and partners.
We hope this successful first outing will lead to further opportunities for local veterans to share the Boleh experience and her ‘can-do’ message. Boleh is only able to carry out her important work thanks to the support of our generous funders – most recently from the Payne-Gallwey Trust – for which we are very grateful.
We’re proud to report that Boleh had a prominent place in the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron off
Cowes last Saturday. Heralded by a Spitfire display and led by the charity Wetwheels with Boleh not far behind, over 300 vessels from Solent based Clubs and Classes left Osborne Bay to parade past HMS Severn. There, in perfect weather and with bunting and flags flying, HRH The Princess Royal took the Salute.
Lead Volunteer Skipper, Richard, Ops Director, Craig, and prospective Boleh volunteers Gary and Vass ensured Boleh was at her best and formally dressed for the occasion. But the stars of Boleh’s day on parade were Craig’s young family Daisy and Charlie, seen at home in the cockpit with their mother Liane. The Boleh Trust is very grateful to the families whose support helps to make Boleh a success and also to our many donors, most recently Trinity House, who literally keep us afloat. We also acknowledge the amazing work of Wetwheels and are proud to have made a donation.
Please head over to the Royal Squadron to hear more about the event at https://www.rys.org.uk/
You can also head over to Wetwheels to hear and see more from them and the event at https://wetwheelsfoundation.org/