As you may know, Maiden left Hamble at 13:00 on Wednesday 7th November.
Even though we knew the weather was awful, this was a great chance for Nikki Henderson and her crew to ‘shake down’ the boat before the Bay of Biscay. The plan was to head down the Channel which gives access to a number of ports on the way if Maiden needed to shelter from the storm or correct any issues.
Pupils from Meon Cross School hand over the Message of Hope to Nikki Henderson before Maiden departs. It was a bit wet and windy!
Despite the fact that there have been a number delays to what has been a somewhat fraught refit, Maiden was ‘handed over’ to us as ‘sound and seaworthy’ on 1st October 2018. During October we then had to deal with some ‘coding’ issues in order to be certified. This means that a number of safety features had to be addressed so that Maiden complies with Code 0 category in order to be able to take paying guests on the tour to raise funds for girls’ education.
On 26th October 2018 after an extensive survey Maiden received her Code 0 certification which meant that she was sound, secure and safe.
However, despite this, the team did discover a number unexpected problems. In the face of dreadful weather, Maiden’s valiant and courageous crew led by Nikki Henderson sailed Maiden safely to Plymouth after 36 hours at sea. A shore team are now working on repairs to correct the problems.
The crew are devastated not to be on their way but the most important thing is the safety of Maiden and her crew. The team’s overriding inspiration to keep going and get back to sea is remembering the work of our Partner Charities who battle every day to get girls into education. Their passion keeps us going and reminds us that our job and that of Maiden, is to sail round the world raising funds and awareness for girls’ education. Just like thirty years ago, we never ever give up and remember that ‘anything is possible’.
We will keep you all updated and soon as Maiden is ready to resume her tour we will let you know. Thank you to HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein for her continued support and to everyone who has assisted us and inspired us and kept us going.
And finally all of us at The Maiden Factor would like to wish HRH Prince Charles a very happy 70th birthday!
Also on this day we remember a truly great man on his birthday, His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan. He once told me that ‘with faith, honour and courage, anything is possible’; His words will be carried around the world on the yacht Maiden on the world tour in his honour to raise awareness and funds for girls’ education around the world. Gone but never forgotten.’