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Achilles Sailing Yachts built by Butler Mouldings
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Around the Coast 2010

Setting sail and changing lives


Chris Baker is a chaplain at the University of Greenwich.

What is he doing?

Chris is taking on his biggest challenge yet: to sail solo around the UK to raise £1500 for the University of Greenwich Alumni Fund & £1500 for Bexley and Greenwich Cottage Hospice


Chris will sail 1500 nautical miles in a anti-clockwise direction in his Achilles 24, Meltemi. The boat will rely entirely on wind and sea energy to power onboard systems. The engine will only be used to enter ports or in emergency situations. Chris is funding the entire trip himself so all sponsorship money raised will go directly to those who need it most.


Chris will set sail on Mon 5 July 2010 at 9.00am from the River Thames bordering the Greenwich campus.

The Bishop of Woolwich, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, will send him off with a Nautical Blessing.

The trip is estimated to take around 42 days, depending on sailing conditions.


· Chris will set out from Greenwich and stop at various points along the journey including: • Isle of Wight •Wales • Isle of Man • Arran • Inverness • Holy Island • Whitby • Great Yarmouth • Medway • Greenwich. As this is Chris’ first major solo voyage, he will sail through the Irish Sea and the Caledonian Canal to avoid the dangerous waters around the west coast of Ireland and the north coast of Scotland. Whether he takes a clockwise or anti-clockwise route will depend upon wind conditions and directions.

How can I help?

• Join us on Greenwich Campus next to Queen Anne Court to wish him well as he sets sail on 5 July.

• Follow his progress by following us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/greenwichalumni

or visit www.gre.ac.uk/alumni

where we will be keeping track of his voyage.

• Send him a message of support via alumni@gre.ac.uk – we’ll pass messages to him during the trip.

Why Greenwich Alumni Fund?

Chris sees first-hand the welfare needs of Greenwich students every day: “A little assistance can help them stay on their chosen course and a small emergency donation can change the direction of their life. I meet students training to be nurses, teachers, scientists and engineers, with many family commitments, striving to contribute to society and all they want is to succeed.” www.justgiving.com/around-the-coast2010

Why Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice?

Chris volunteers for the Hospice and is raising money in memory of Jean Baker. There are outreach teams, a day centre and hospice care all in one location and they need to raise over 3m per year to run the Hospice.


The voyage will be both a physical and spiritual challenge A Spiritual exploration: During the voyage I will explore spiritual themes and undertake an extended retreat.

Avery Hill: 0208 331 9854/Medway 0208 331 8750

Mobile at other times: 07767 201 565;

Email: c.baker@gre.ac.uk


original text

Around the Coast 2010©

The Reasons, The Boat, The Person, The Cost.

The distance is approximately 1500 nm dependent upon weather tides & stopovers

The Reasons

A Spiritual exploration: During the voyage I will explore spiritual themes, undertake an extended retreat and will be in regular contact with a spiritual director. I will be keeping a journal/blog and will be stopping at least 12 times to rest, replenish supplies and make repairs. Stops will include: South Coast England, Wales, The Caledonian Canal, Whitby, Holy Island, Norfolk and ending at Greenwich. The route is clockwise and through the Irish Sea for safety reasons as the West Coast of Ireland is battered by the Atlantic swell.

Charitable: All money raised will go directly to the charities and no money will be used for the voyage or boat, it is a self-funded trip.

Physical and Mental endurance: Sailing, Navigation, Weather routeing, Maintenance, Safety and Communication and watch keeping are the sole responsibility of the single-handed sailor. Solo sailing requires management of ones physical and mental wellbeing vital to any prolonged voyage even with scheduled stops planned. The UK coast is one of the busiest in the world and has significant tidal movement and a multitude of hazards to shipping.

Environmental: The boat will rely entirely on wind and sea energy to power any communications and systems and the engine will only be used to enter ports and to assist others or myself in emergencies.

The Boat Achilles 24 has the seaworthiness and speed that is normally associated with larger yachts and I feel confident placing trust in her ability to keep her crew safe in all conditions.

The Achilles is renowned for outperforming larger boats and needs only a moderate sail area to achieve a good performance in all wind conditions. Achilles is built of hand laid glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) and the hull is ‘overbuilt’ with safety in mind As I own the boat the costs will be minimal and covered entirely by me. All money raised will go directly to Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice

The duration of the voyage is dependent on the weather and tides but the estimated time overall will be 6 weeks. The journey can be accomplished in a faster time but this is part of a spiritual retreat. It is not intended to be a race but a personal and spiritual exploration

The Person

Chris Baker is a priest in the Church of England, a chaplain to Greenwich University and married to Jeanette who is also an Anglican priest. He is working towards his Yacht Master qualification and is eager to prove he has the determination, focus and desire to make this voyage a reality. The journey is both a personal goal and charitable endeavour. Later he hopes to sail single-handed, non-stop around the Globe.

The charities to benefit from this are Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice and the Greenwich Alumni Fund. Please log onto www.justgiving.com and enter the amount you wish to donate or donate directly on the Charity


2 New Batteries £160

Fit Furling gear (currently have)

Auto helm £199 & wiring

Wind speed handheld £50

Sail repair kit

Antifouling and hull preparation £100

Rigging checks and repairs £150

Mainsheet Blocks, Sheet & Spinlock £90

Fuel Tank £33 x2 =£ 66

Total = £815

Safety Equipment

Life Raft Hire £465

Emergency Positioning Indicator Radio Beacon £200

First Aid, Medical pack £50

Handheld VHF £170

Charts £260

Emergency fuel £95

Safety Ladder £39

Lifeline £40

Jack lines £32

Sea Anchor £35

Cable Cutter £40

Radar Reflector £40

Total = £1466

Food £300


Total £2580

Chris Baker to Sail around UK
in Achilles 24     Rev Chris2010
[Link to Greenwich Alumini is here ]
News Archive 4