NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 21st, 2012.
A Wrexham hospital worker has successfully completed a gruelling eight month solo sailing expedition across the Atlantic and back, raising over £2500 for Nightingale House Hospice in the process.
In October last year, Tom Williams said farewell to friends and family who came to see him off from Caernarfon at the start of his 9500 mile journey, which took over 8 months to complete.
With his trusty boat Makatea, measuring just nine metres long, Tom spent a total of 78 days and nights at sea, survived 3 bad gales and visited 15 different countries.
The 35 year old completed his journey on 26th June and blogged his journey en route here.
Tom said: “I was particularly worried about the return Atlantic crossing to the Azores (a distance of around 2400 miles which took 22 days) as the sea in this region can be treacherous and unforgiving.
“At one stage I had to go so far north because of the wind direction that I was only 30 miles from the summer ice limit! It wasn’t all plain sailing; when I was north of Bermuda a rope became entangled around the keel. I had to dive over the side to cut it away and just hope that I didn’t get separated from the boat or end up as shark food.”
Tom has beeing sailing since the age of 5 having started off at the Flash in Gresford sailing Oppies and Mirrors.
A former paramedic and A&E nurse, he is now settling back into life on shore and will be returning as Clinical Skills Tutor at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
He expressed his thanks to all those who sponsored him, including Mat Arnold owner of Central Station.
Staff at Nightingale House Hospice said they were delighted to welcome Tom back from his extraordinary adventure.
Margaret Hollings, Events & Fundraising Manager said “It is always inspiring to read and hear these stories and we are so grateful to Tom and others like him who do extraordinary things to raise money for our patients.”
So far, Tom has managed to raise over £2500 for Nightingale House and donations can still be accepted through www.justgiving.com/Tom-
Even if a solo sail sounds a bit too adventurous, the hospice has a number of challenges that you can take part in coming up, including the Etape Cymru Closed Road Bike Race, the Flintshire 10K and the Summer Stroll amongst many others.