‘Harbour Master Sailing Challenge’ by Stephen Perham, Clovelly Harbour Master
While on passage to Clovelly the yacht “Good Dog”, a Nauticat 34, overheard a vessel in trouble talking with the coastguard about the possible need for a lifeboat. Skipper Mark Ashley-Miller was in sight of the vessel so turned the “Good Dog” around and gave the vessel a tow to the safety of the harbour.
Mark had set out from Dartmouth on March 29th on a 2 year voyage to circumnavigate the British Isles and while doing so his plan was to visit every Harbour Master, Port Master and Slip Master he can. It is a challenge he is undertaking in order to raise money and awareness of the charity ‘Seafarers UK’.
Established in 1917 following the great loss of life and wounding of sailors in the Great War, King George V himself gave his name to the charity. For 100 years as the ‘King George fund for Sailors’ the charity has helped seafarers and their families through times of hardship, continuing today as ‘Seafarers UK’. The charity continues to campaign on behalf of the Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and the UK fishing fleets, raising awareness of the nation’s maritime sector and the challenges it faces.
Clovelly was Mark’s 25th port of call and I met him outside the Red Lion Hotel for a photograph and a chat. Recently retired, Mark had often thought of circumnavigating the UK but wanted the trip to have a purpose. He mulled over ideas like visiting churches in sight of the sea but eventually came up with the challenge of meeting all the UK’s Harbour Masters – extracting a photo and a short interview out of them whilst raising money for a very worthwhile cause and raising awareness of mental health in the maritime industry. Luckily for Mark, Harbour Masters are an extremely friendly bunch and so far, his trip has been met with keen interest. As there is an estimate of between 400-600 Harbour Masters around the UK, he has his work cut out.
From Clovelly the “Good Dog” set sail for Ilfracombe where he shall meet Georgina Carlo-Paat, one of Britain’s few female Harbour Masters and from there up the Bristol Channel to Minehead.
You can follow Mark’s adventures on Instagram.com/harbourmastersailingchallenge/ or using any marine traffic app, search for “Good Dog”, and see where Mark is sailing.
You can donate to his cause at virginmoneygiving.com/HarbourMasterSailingChallenge
We wish him Bon Voyage