I hope you will spend a few minutes, if you have not already,
browsing some of those pages below,
so you know me better, my family, including my long-suffering wife June, and my wicked sense of humour.
I feel that you may share this enjoyment of the occasional "wind-up",
but - unlike me
- you have considerable "bottle", and experience in sea-kayaking - or possibly some other craft,
capable of only 1.5 knots in those conditions between Barton-on-Sea and Isle of Wight,
that afternoon of Tuesday 27th November 2012. i.e. that wind of 20mph and tide of 1.8 knots.
I'm hoping that you may decide to contact me and confirm my belief on what happened
between about 1pm and 5pm that Tuesday. Maybe you even have a photo, and you
can give me permission to put it on my page, to convince and entertain others ?
I know this will not help us find Snoopy: after you released him after 5:30pm and
about 200 yards off-shore, we saw him end up on the rocks near that old military bunker.
If you chose that spot to put him - that was a stroke of genius !
Our "best guesses" on where he may be now are unchanged in weeks,
and are less important, since I will soon be making his next boat for a 2013 attempt.
If I can be absolutely certain on what happened that Tuesday afternoon,
I can stick to my existing design with complete confidence, saving some time here.
I'm not into conspiracy theories, such as someone in a faster boat, deliberately crawling
at 1.5 knots back to the IoW, taking hours, when they could have simply "opened up" the throttle.
To me, one of several possible explanations, was that you saw the BBC TV News broadcast at 1:35pm,
where that idiot "retired NATO scientist" waded into the sea, fully dressed, to launch Snoopy
- or maybe you heard the BBC Radio Solent broadcast.
It would not have been difficult to have seen the SPOT map, after that GPSS.co.uk on the sails,
and see that nice straight line course, and make a good guess where you might intercept Snoopy,
after a rapid paddle - probably from where you parked your car at Alum Bay.
It must have been an exhilarating moment when Snoopy came in sight, where you expected him !
But then it would have all been much more difficult - particularly if you've forgotten
that length of string to tow him, instead of Snoopy slowing down your boat so much !
Those hours must have been "very interesting", from about 1:45pm until it got dark,
with you paddling (or sailing?), aiming at The Needles - your only visible landmark.
The tide was against you and that 20mph north wind would have caused quite a swell.
I'm sure you had plenty of time to think what to do over those hours in heavy seas.
Was it a surprise when Snoopy's navigation light came on at dusk ?
I bet you were pleased to get rid of him, as you got closer to your safe harbour.
This sort of thing has happened to Snoopy several times on Bray Lake, earlier in the year.
On one occasion two young schoolboys took Snoopy home, then 'phoned to ask if there was a reward.
They did get £10 - but not for finding him - for advice on that "I am tracked" sticker on Snoopy.
My wife and I took round printouts showing Snoopy in their back garden, and a Google Streetview
picture of their bicycles "parked" on their front lawn. Other incidents involved young kids in canoes
or helpful dog-walkers. The French Team told me recently that their robot boat, on test, sailing around
an island off the French coast, was "stolen" by a local fisher-woman, who took it home for her kids.
She then heard the local radio news reports, and contacted them to give them their boat back.
But I'm not asking for Snoopy back - just confirmation that is what happened.
Maybe even a photo to amuse everybody.
Christmas is a time for forgiveness - but, in my book, you don't need it ! :-)
Have a lovely Christmas and New Year.
Best Wishes from us all here in Sunninghill.
Lots of information about me and our family is on
Details of Snoopy's robot boat, and why I think it was "snatched" are on www.gpss.co.uk/autop.htm
Our Christmas 2012 Newsletter, with us dancing, dressed as elves is on www.gpss.co.uk/xmas12.htm :-)
p.s. added in March 2013:
Whoever you are, PLEASE don't do it again ! :-)
But photos or video clips are most welcome, to share with others.
Have a safe and happy year.