What do you know about…

Charity Oars?

Charity Oars

 

Well, Charity Oars are a pair of oars, hand crafted by a master carpenter and boat builder. These oars are being signed by sporting heroes, television, stage, movie stars, local heroes and public figures. All to help raise awareness and funds for Thrombosis UK.

I recently met the man behind the Charity Oars and he has written a blog. The blog is extremely embarrassing and flattering. Paul (the man behind the Charity Oars) is a particularly likeable man who has come up with this great idea, having suffered from a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) himself – sounds nasty and it is!

Here’s Paul’s blog:

“Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream ….!

What wonderful memories these few words bring back, rowing a boat slowly down a stream, no doubt in the sunshine, with the wind blowing softly through the tree’s as the ripples made by the oars float off into the distance.

#Blissful

Not quite the same scenario for Charlie Martell.

Firstly the “row, row, row your boat” is partly correct, however it would be more along the lines of “row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row your boat.”

The “gently down the stream” should in all fairness say “violently, up and down 6 meter high waves across 3,716 miles of ocean.”

Not too sure if there is a Charlie Martell appropriate turn of phrase for “merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.” I’m guessing the closest would be “merrily I see land…!!”

The line “life is but a dream.” It doesn’t matter if the dream is big, or if the dream is small, but a dream is still an ambition, a challenge, a goal and so much more, and life should be a dream.

So far this crazy (inspirational), mad (heroic), silly (admirable) chap has taken part in a race to the North Pole, Rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, taken part in The Real Boat Race which is a 500-mile, six-day rowing challenge starting In London, at The London Eye, and ending at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Crews have to navigate two of the world’s most historic rivers and must also cross the English Channel – the world’s busiest shipping channel. Charlie attempted to row the Pacific Ocean (only to be beaten by Typhoon Mawar). Charlie is now planning to take on the Pacific Ocean “again” in 2018 …! To top it all off Charlie is part of the team “Flying for Freedom” who are mounting a daring expedition, which will be undertaken by eight wounded and injured servicemen. Its objective is to focus attention on the urgent need to build self-sustaining activities that get our injured veterans back into work and daily life.

The Expedition, which is organised in partnership with Help for Heroes, will show their ability not their disability as they each fly by microlight to the South Pole.

So let’s recap … North Pole, South Pole, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and a jolly jaunt from London to Paris ….!!

So, when you have the opportunity to meet and chat with such an inspirational person it seemed the right thing to do. As you know the whole Charity Oars campaign is about gaining support from sportsmen, women, television, film stars and people who are inspirational within the community. Charlie Martell certainly is an inspiration.

So off we popped to Paddington station, trying not to look too suspicious or out of place. Standing casually by the “meeting” sign with an 8 foot oar, I seemed to fit in rather well. True, a couple of the other people were standing there with flowers and presents, I dread to think what they thought I was up to…? Answers on a postcard to ……

Well up walked Charlie, a cheery handshake and off we went for a coffee …!

To accomplish all of the adventures that he has undertaken to date, and the support he’s had from his many sponsors and most importantly the charities that he has supported along the way, is a testament to all that is right with the world.

Now this is the part that I’m hoping the lovely Ellisa skips past (of course she might not get this far I do tend to waffle on..!) Well, as Charlie and I chatted on about life, adventures, mentoring, life challenges and other such admirable subjects, the conversation came to “what happens once the Charity Oars are auctioned off?” Well, according to Charlie “The Atlantic is an achievable goal…!”

So who’s up for a row?

It’s all too easy as time passes (a sad truth I’m afraid) to just stop and think you’re done and there’s nothing left out there to drive you, to push you, to stop you living…..!

Well along with Charlie, I couldn’t disagree more….! After surviving Typhoon Mawar, the “normal” response you’d think would be “nope, not doing that again…!” But no, in fact Charlie’s response was; “What if we experience bad weather again? I’m certain it will happen, but I hope it’s not of typhoon strength. If Blossom and I were to find ourselves in a typhoon again, I’m confident we would not only survive again, but would come out of it relatively unscathed and able to continue on our journey.”

survivor səˈvʌɪvə/

noun: survivor; plural noun: survivors

a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event – A person who copes well with difficulties in their life.

Survivors come in all shapes, sexes, colours, heights and sizes. Survivors come from all professions, communities and backgrounds. Now here was someone who had survived a typhoon, and countless other “adventures” personally and professionally.

In the journey so far, the Charity Oars have met some truly amazing people, I mean “truly” amazing. The bizarre circumstance of sitting in a coffee bar at Paddington Station, chatting with a double Guinness Record holder, a chap who has rowed the Atlantic, nearly the Pacific (damn that typhoon), been to the North Pole as well as soon heading to the South Pole, and wants to look for that next adventure, well how could we be anything but in awe…..?….!

It truly was an honor to meet such a chap, who’d of thought all of those years ago I would have been chatting to a Double Guinness Record holder? Not I …!

So, oceans, polar expeditions, an apparent gentle row from London to Paris, now chatting with the Charity Oars …. How amazing is Charlie’s life?

So from a son of a RN Commander (I really wasn’t ever going to follow in his footsteps…!!) all those orders…!! I’d like to give a huge “salute” of thanks to Charlie, for all he’s accomplished so far, for all the amazing adventures in the future, for all the amazing support he’s given to charities and individuals and for the inspiration he gives to so many people. The Charity Oars say …

#Thankyou #TopChap “

Polar Challenge 2005

HMS Mersey visiting Team HESCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DW Start

Sunset Pacific Ocean 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G-CHGA Sundown

 

To read more about Charity Oars: Charity Oars website  To read (and learn) more about Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE): Thrombosis UK


Mobile Support

Having returned from Sweden, I’m leading the charge on trying to secure us (British Antarctic Microlight Expedition – www.flyingforfreedom.org) two winterised and Antarctic prepared 4×4 vehicles… There’s no way my 1952 80inch Series 1 Land Rover will make it across the continent, at least not without a massive and costly overhaul.

Providing our mobile ground support team with two vehicles, prepared for the extremely harsh environment Antarctica offers, provides a sponsor with a unique opportunity to be involved in this very special British expedition.

If you are in a position to support us, please contact me. If you know someone you think may be able to support us, even in some small way, please contact me. We need your help to ensure the success of the expedition, enabling our wounded pilots to complete their mission safely.

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Sweden to Goodwood

G-CHGA  G-CHGA Sundown

Our training expedition in Northern Sweden can be considered a success in many ways. Our team was almost complete for the first time. Unfortunately, one of our injured servicemen was undergoing further medical treatment so was unable to join us. As a team, we learned a lot about the aircraft and how they perform in particularly cold conditions. The coldest temperature we experienced was -17C, not as cold as Antarctica but cold enough for testing and training. Although some winter training has been completed, we still need to do more. Further training may be taking place in March/April, most likely back in Northern Sweden.

2 Man Tent prep

The Swedish people we met were warm, welcoming and helpful. Everywhere we went, the local people would say “hej hej” (hi hi). I don’t think I have ever been to a place where everyone acknowledges each other. It took us by surprise at first and I’m sure they don’t think much of us when we returned blank looks the first time we were acknowledged.

On our return from Sweden, several of the Flying For Freedom team were invited to Goodwood to meet one of our Royal ‘sponsors’, HRH Prince Harry. He can be seen in the attached image with (l-r), Flying For Freedom founders James Harris and John Laity, as well as one of our injured servicemen who is now a qualified Microlight pilot, Nathan Forster.

Since our return, we have been busy trying to secure further financial support, in particular for two Antarctic prepared 4 x 4 vehicles, which will be used by our mobile ground support team. Without these vehicles, it will be extremely difficult to provide the support out pilots and aircraft need. If you can help, or know someone who may be able to help, please do contact me.

(Main image HRH Prince Harry at Goodwood (courtesy of Kirk Watson), image 2 training microlight, image 3 ice runway, image 4 measuring out for tent)