Fundraiser aims for marathon trip

A SEAFAIRING fundraiser has completed final preparations to his boat before embarking on a UK wide charity voyage.Ray Dunstone's 55ft ketch, Angele Aline was blessed at Woolverstone Marina before setting off on her tour.

A SEAFAIRING fundraiser has completed final preparations to his boat before embarking on a UK wide charity voyage.

Ray Dunstone's 55ft ketch, Angele Aline was blessed at Woolverstone Marina before setting off on her tour.

Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury was there to perform the blessing of a boat with a fascinating history.

Launched at the birth of the Jazz Age, she survived the Depression, rescued countless Allied troops as one of the famous Dunkirk Little Ships in 1940, was sunk in 1941 and refloated, and in 1943 was scuttled by the Germans as part of the blockade of Nieuport harbour.

Mr Dunstone, 56, of Bury St Edmunds and his crew of five will take in Cowes Week regatta in the Solent, navigate Lands End, traverse the Irish Sea negotiate the Scottish islands and return via the East coast, visiting Edinburgh and Whitby.

Mr Dunstone will be joined all the way by Rev David Burrell, of the Lark Valley benefice, who has been there for every step so far.

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And the pair have invited experienced enthusiasts and complete sailing novices to join the Angele Aline for a leg of the voyage.

Mr Dunstone said: “I can't wait for this trip. It's going to be a fantastic couple of months with some great people on board to share it with. There are still places available so I do urge any keen sea men and women to come and learn more over some fine food and drink.”

There is room on the boat for four or five experienced yachtsmen and women and two or three beginners.

The big sail is all in aid of Mozambique charity Vila Maninga and East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

Angele Aline will depart from Ipswich on August 2 and is due to return on November 1.

Information about her fascinating history and planned itinerary can be found at angelealine.org.uk.

If you are interested in taking part in the vessel's adventures or obtaining tickets for the launch meal, e-mail raydunstone@aol.com for further details and availability.