CREW REGISTRATION UPDATE from Andy Stewart, team leader
18th May 2011
To Everyone - who has taken an interest in ALBERT'S restoration and Repatriation Project which will soon culminate in the long awaited 'Highroad to Oz' overland adventure to Australia - a Big Thank You!
With the engine overhaul and back in the bus together with extensive chassis and lower deck restoration complete, work will now proceed apace to re-furbish the rear lower-deck, to fit out the upper deck and to place ALBERT back on the road.
Recent Publicity - in Scotland and in Australia - where ALBERT went nationwide on prime-time Sunday television - has generated huge awareness and more applications have been received to join the trip.
It is time, therefore, to formalize the various degrees of interest that have been expressed and to invite those who seriously want to secure a place on the overland adventure to proceed without delay.
To assist you all in your deliberations please read carefully the following review of the Project to date, detailed exactly as things are.
The RRR Project (Recovery - Restoration - Repatriation) - now at the half-way point, fell behind the original schedule principally because of the time required to expertly overhaul the engine, work done on a voluntary basis under some extreme Scottish winter conditions.
As with any such undertaking a delay in one area inevitably holds back progress in another and so it was that our journey dates had to be changed. Now that the bus is independently mobile again and with the extra time available our new travel dates are published (below).
The ALBERT Film - well, two films, actually. First, our Edinburgh based movie maker is persistently ear-bashing his concept of a TV series or documentary spectacular onto the powers that be, the same powers who are no doubt experiencing budget cuts.
Second, all stages of the restoration are being photographed and filmed for own in-house records, as will be the great adventure itself, so we will have our own permanent adventure movie. As with all things ALBERT, patience remains our best friend, always.
Our Sponsorship Partner to assist with the shipping has not yet arrived, but no worries, he/she will come. Albert has sailed on 10 ships in the past and will sail again. We have fall-back funds if necessary so for now we simply maintain pace and keep to schedule.
Overland Timetable - 2012
Sector 'A' Sunday 01 April dep. Glasgow
Wednesday 18 April arr. Istanbul
Sector 'B' Sunday 22 April dep. Istanbul
Wednesday 16 May arr . Almati
Sector 'C' Tuesday 22 May dep. Almati
Sunday 17 June arr . Shanghai
Sector 'D' Sunday 08 July dep. Perth
Saturday 21 July arr. Sydney !!! ------ to be escorted into town by a convoy of restored Albions!
Joining the Project - to become a part of the trip means sending in a Crew Registration form and, when accepted, buying your Albert-Shares. These two processes are detailed below.
Crew Registration - the form is attached to this Update (some of you already completed this so no need to do again). Simply, print the form, complete, scan and send back . . or . . transfer the required information via a regular email.
Trip Vacancies - with Crew Registrations now arriving frequently this is an opportunity to secure your place if you are ready to do so. Right now there are more applicants than places without including many who have verbally expressed a desire to join (but have not applied).
Those who have already joined have agreed to be flexible with regard to on-board duties, therefore all slots are 'vacant'. The aspiration is to allocate in the most appropriate way based on individual skills and anyway, we can all chip in and help one another - no problem there!
Buying Albert-Shares - first please read the Page "Become a Shareholder" at top RHS of the blog. Albert-Shares (one share = £250 or $450) can be bought as a single purchase, or incrementally as follows:
To follow the project all the way by live film footage: One Share-- makes you a silent partner.
To join project : 2 Shares - guarantees place on trip
by 28 July 2011 : 50% of Shares balance for your travel sectors
by 28th Sept 2011 : 100% of Share balance for your travel sectors
With an Option to buy in either Australian or British currency, there may be an advantage in buying in British pounds. A bit of swings and roundabouts perhaps, not uncommon when you travel, but it is your choice as to which currency you choose. Please note, if only joining us in Australia then your Albert-Share purchase must be in Aussie $.
Your Investment - in ALBERT is confirmed with your Albert-Shares purchase. If you are forced to withdraw for a genuinely unforeseen reason and if we can replace you with a suitable participant your investment in the ALBERT RRR Project may be refunded to you.
If Albert's Repatriation - does not take place for any reason your investment remains in the outstanding balance of the Albert operating fund and in the value of the bus.
ALBERT. The fun of all this is the bus which really has a personality of its own; an Aussie bus with Scottish ancestry and a gearbox that all enthusiasts fall to the floor to listen to. Crazy people! If you do decide to come along, ALBERT will be your home on wheels for the duration.
Accommodation. Two-tier bunks on the upper deck. Basic, but cosy, comfortable and secure. Some nights we park in official roadside parking areas; sometimes in suitable caravan parks; more regularly 'out East' in safe off-road parking areas. In major cities pre-booked hotel accommodation is an option to the chosen city caravan park.
Lounges (firm bus seating) - front and rear lower deck; front upper deck.
Chart Room - for navigation, online contact, film making etc.
Galley (kitchen) - with gas rings, pressure cooker pans, sink, fresh water, refrigerator, cupboards, work top. Strictly for Chefs of the Day!
Bathroom - Outside! hand shower, wash bowl, mug and limited water.
Loo - No! Near civilisation we stop by public facilities; out 'east', desert rules apply, stopping where there is cover. Never a problem.
Extra Costs - Beyond your on-board travel entitlements budget for:
a) Food Kitty, The bus carries reserve supplies plus basic food, (dried and canned products) to supplement meals. Fresh food is bought along the way at local markets from the Food Kitty to which we all contribute in local currency. Approx £10/$20 per week each.
b) Visas - approx £150/A$300 for full trip (for AU/GB/NZ passports)
c) Personal spending along the way.
d) Your airfare(s) to connect with ALBERT travel.
Accurate detail on all these additional costs will be provided later.
Crew Responsibilities. ALBERT travel is participation travel. We all take on a role for the trip, look after the bus, help one another. Our input will add to the trip - for you and for your companions. The difference between being a 'passenger' and being an Albert-eer!
Detailed Updates - will be circulated well in advance of travel. Meanwhile the website information is up to date and correct.
All Elements - of this ALBERT RRR Project are portrayed and will be conducted in Food Faith and with Honesty and in accordance with the Principles of Fair Play and Common Sense.