Best Blogs 2015 – holiday reading


imageAs I reflect on 2015 I have to say it was a brilliant year. I spent time with my much-loved family, I acquired a new darling little Chinese grand-daughter, I travelled, I had time with friends, I  pushed myself photographically and I’m still here. The aches and pains become insignificant when you weigh up the good times.

Many of you are too busy to read blogs throughout the year and I understand that. However I have chosen 6 of my most popular blogs from 2015 to give you some holiday reading. A little like  short stories. Click on the blue links to be taken to directly to my blogs. Enjoy

Read more here Continue reading

Christmastime – make dreams come true.

Denis Clayton  1942-2003 –  Denis always wanted to sail around the world, 12 years after he died his dream is coming true – sort of. We are sending Denis around the world on the Pixel Boat.  His photo is already on board. Denis loved sailing and we think this would make him smile. As a family we spent 20 years sailing around the north of New Zealand, we all have magical memories of those happy times. You too can sail around the world without getting your feet wet!  Or give this unique gift to someone this Christmas .I  want to share this English sailors dream with you, and maybe you know someone who would love this voyage.pixel boat


So what is the ‘PixelBoat?

The idea behind the PixelBoat campaign is ultimately to break the Solo Around the World Record for a boat 40’ or less. This record has only been attempted once before and currently stands at 137d 20h 1m 57s, set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan.

Why ‘PixelBoat’?

In order to raise sponsorship for the campaign, the sides of the 40’ yacht are covered in 5cm x 5cm squares. Individuals and companies can buy as many squares as they want to and upload an image to go on to the virtual boat online and also be transferred on to the actual boat as well. They can also have a link to their website online if they want to, then anyone clicking on their image will be taken to their site – so the bigger the image, the more likely people will be to click on the link. Everything is done via the website on the following pages, upload your image, add you link and pay via BACS or PayPal – it’s as simple as that.

How much is each square?

Each square selling for either £25 or £35 depending on its position on the boat – the higher up, the more expensive they are.(That is less than NZ$80.00)

alex alley

What pictures can you upload?

Anything goes really as long as it isn’t offensive.  Companies upload  their logos, individuals uploading wedding pics or friends and family, either for fun or as a gift. One girl so far has uploaded a picture of her father who passed away – ‘dad always wanted to sail around the world, now he can with Alex…’ Where can we see the boat?

The campaign is based in Gosport Marina, in Portsmouth Harbour. Alex will be sailing and training in and around the Solent initially, and then heading further afield as he becomes more familiar with the boat and its systems. The boat will look pretty iconic, and if you do see the boat then please say hello.

How can you get involved?All at Sea Nov 2015

Click on the button to see the virtual boat and then follow the instructions on screen

Who is Alex Alley?

Alex began sailing as a child in Mirror dinghies. A highly competitive individual who after teaching himself to sail, began to become more and more interested in making his boat go faster. He was bitten by the yacht racing bug in Ramsgate whilst crewing on other peoples boats. After leaving school, Alex moved to Southampton to study Yacht Design and manufacture and to be nearer the heart of Yacht racing, the river Hamble and Cowes. All his spare time was spent ‘roaming’ the pontoons and getting a ride on as many boats as possible for experience.

Alex ended up as part of a team selected to represent England in an International Team Competition in Ireland. The 3 boat English team, of which Alex was a part, went on to win. Alex is also a very keen motor sport fan and has been lucky enough to have driven a range of sports cars including Formula cars such as Formula Ford, Formula 3 and the awesome Formula 1 car. 600kg and 600 bhp, the acceleration is unbelievable as is the handling.

He has also driven other sportscars such as GT40’s, Ferrari’s and Aston Martin. Always looking for something different, in 2010 he entered the ‘World Bog Snorkelling’ championships in Wales. Literally a contest to swim two lengths of a water filled peat bog trench, 60 yards long and about 2 yards wide. The challenge was further heightened by the fact that he did it in fancy dress! Still managing to come in second – behind a pantomime horse!!!

Currently the boat is heading to Falmouth to try and set the Lands End to John O’Groats sailing record. All going well it should take us 4-5 days. You can track our progress via our tracker


All your pictures/logos are printed on the boat for all to see – certainly whenever we rock up in a new marina the boat draws a crowd…Please do pass on the details of the campaign to friends – without people like you and your support, things like this can’t happen, so thank you. We have had a spate of people asking about buying pixels as Christmas presents – well of course you can, just direct them to and follow the instructions to upload pics.


keep up to date on Twitter – @alexalley

Contact Alex… email:         WebSite:

alex on mast

“There is only one thing stopping you achieving your goals. That one thing is yourself. If you are determined enough to succeed, then you will.” Alex Alley2015