Sailing schoolboy waits for two technicians

Sailing schoolboy Mike Perham, 16, who is held up in Gran Canaria with autopilot problems has vowed to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get back to Portsmouth – having gone around the world first, solo and non-stop.

His latest dispatch reveals his sense of frustration:

‘The dream. The one thing I’m aiming for most. The phrase that sums up this trip better than anything else.

‘I set off from Portsmouth living the dream. As I left the dock I even had a couple of tears in my eyes as it was just so amazing. The amount of people who have dreamed through this project and gone the extra mile is what pushes me on and on…

‘To say that it’s frustrating sitting here in Gran Canaria doesn’t really do it justice in my eyes. I just want to get going, to see that sunset on that horizon in front of me as I sail away with the boat humming beneath me. I won’t be able to rest until I get back to Portsmouth as I’m on a mission, I’m on a challenge and I’m on my dream. I will do whatever it takes to get to that finish line!

‘Regarding the auto pilot, we have flown out a specialist from Spain and are now flying out another one from France too. I, the team and NKE are going to do whatever it takes to get this kit up and running.

‘The reason that it is so hard to fix is that although there is a problem there isn’t one all the time. The pilot will behave perfectly most of the time on dock and then once you set sail only then does it have a headache. This is the reason that it’s taking so long to fix.

‘Although it’s painful being here in Gran Canaria as by now I should really be well into the South Atlantic. I have to keep telling myself that every extra day here we do achieve something and get closer and closer to really fixing this gremlin and a half!

‘To “Live the dream” you really do have to go that extra mile.’