one man, one boat, one paddle and one goal!! to kayak the length of england for water aid to raise as much money as possible, some 380 miles along a route which has never been attemted before in a world record attempt. read everything here and view updated pictures for the training and the journey itself as well as the aftermath!! please please make a donation and be part of this with me

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Gone with the wind!!!!

Today I managed get out training again with my dad which is just as well as it has been a week since I last paddled and with only two left until I start we really need to up the pace. Thankfully today the stakes were raised and it wasnt a choice we could make ourselves!! As we started to load the kayaks onto the car it started to rain with that fine cold soaks you through rain, brilliant!! I mean I know its a watersport but that doesn't mean I have to get wet!! As we drove upto Coniston the weather started to clear a little so enthusiasm was was lifted. We got out on the water and headed south as far as the lake would allow. Then turned round and set a course straight for the northern point of the lake. As we started to paddle we could feel the wind picking up on our backs and pushing us forward a welcome assistant. As we progressed further up the lake the waves began to increase on the water until we were surfing in 80cm swells, great fun and a little different for open water! As my confidence grew I was taking wave after wave and trailing the paddle to play in the waves and really enjoying it until........ I caught one just wrong and span my boat the wrong way making me wobble slightly :( I thought to myself here it is the first swim of the year, thankfully I managed a slap support and flicked my hips to stay upright but that didn't stop the legs of jelly arriving as I shook under the cover of my spray deck!! With waves crashing down on me from behind this was no time to freak so I turned North and took the next wave. As I progressed my confidence built again and the we reached the Northern Bank catching the last wave to shore a most enjoyable and different trip up the water. This however was only the easy bit of today's paddle, so far we had been paddling with the wind behind us and with the waves on our side, now as we turned the boats around we could see just what we had to overcome for the next 6 miles to get back to the car. That swell we had so much fun playing in now crashed onto the boats spraying in our faces as the wind blew us back up the shore. Well we said looking at each other only one thing to do now, point the front and paddle hard!! Every stroke effort was doubled as you had to pull back to move the blade through the water at the same time pushing the other end of the paddle forward against the wind. As you fought the wind, waves again swelling upto 80cm would push the front of your boat up into the air before slamming you down into the next wave, with your vision blinded as spray filled your eyes. As we fought our way slowly up the lake it was a case of gritting your teeth head down and just slowly moving as far as you could. The fun had now been replaced with graft but as we approached the beach in front of the car we couldn't help but feel like we had achieved a good days paddle!!!

As we were loading the car with the gear and doing the usual strip by the edge of the road we warmed up with a hot juice and thought perfect time for a different photo opportunity so for all those people that were praying for the day the picture of my dad stripping can be seen above!! Enjoy!! LOL

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

School Rocks!!!

Today was a great day, I had to deliver an assembly today to 300 year 9 pupils at Dowdales comprehensive school with regard to fund raising for paddleAid, as already discussed earlier in the blog I came up with the idea of running a poster competition and the winning poster would be added to the boat and a prize for the child who produced it. Well today I had to go in and deliver an assembly on PaddleAid, discussing why I was doing it, how the money would help and why the children should get involved. Apparently the presentation went really well from teacher feedback but I have to say I was so nervous I kept looking at the floor and could feel my voice shaking. Is funny isn't it I can speak to complete strangers and talk them into giving me free gear to back the expedition but to talk to 300 kids my knees turn to jelly, hopefully tomorrows assembly with the year 8s will go a little better.
After delivering the assembly I went to a local Barrow sign making institute Chatsworth Signs to make sure the winning poster could be made into a sticker and added to the boat. The owner of the printworks met me and was all behind the idea and even offered to make the sticker of the winning child's poster for free so a huge thankyou to Chatsworth Signs who are going out of their way to help the fundraising thanks guys.
Also the local newspaper today confirmed they will be covering the start of the kayaking on the 9th of June at Tewitfield bottom lock south of Kendal. They are also keen on printing the winning poster from the competition in the article so extra incentive there for the aspiring artists at Dowdales School.

Friday, May 19, 2006

My TV Debut!!!! Click on Below!!!

Get this video and more at">

Strike a Pose!!!

This week has been pretty hard to get anything done with the looming exams. However on Wednesday I managed to have a very productive day. The secondary school which I attended was Dowdales Comprehensive Dalton in Furness, I returned there to see whether they would be able to help the cause by doing a fund raiser. I had a meeting with a Debbie O'Connor who was very enthusiastic with regards to helping the charity and between us we decided the best way to raise some money was to have a non uniform day after the event but to get money raised initially a poster competition is being arranged. I decided seems Dowdales is now an arts school the children could pay £1 to enter a poster for paddleaid which they have designed. The winning poster will then be made into a sticker and added to the base of the kayak so does the journey with me. Hopefully this way the children will be excited to get involved and learn something regarding the charity as they research and design their poster.

After this I managed to get out training again with one of my best mates the BIG D or Marc as everyone else will know him. Was a great day out and we managed to put in 12miles which was good going seems we had to paddle against the wind, rain and believe it or not waves. Yes a tranquil lake like coniston water can throw some big waves at you but it just made the afternoon out even more fun.

On a sad note though the day ended badly when unfortunately my beloved boys were beating in the champions league final. A brave game which was fought brilliantly by Arsenal but unfortunately one team had to lose and with ten men againstarguablyy the best team inEuropee it had to be us. Well played and lets hope with a strengthened team next year is our year.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Washer women!!!

Today was a first aid day!! Was worth practicing first aid ahead of this summers expedition as you never know when you might need it and to add this one day course to the 5day course I already have I believe I should be fine to look after myself and my dad when he is with me on this journey. Shame they could not help with rat bites on the lovely canals LOL anyway I believe the washer woman look will definitely be this seasons must as sported by jay and I so rush out and buy them triangular bandages kids!!!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bitter Sweet!!!

Today was a mixed day emotionally for the last week I have been struggling with tooth ache and the right of my face had become swollen and inflamed and very painful. This morning I finally faced upto the problem and went to the emergency dentist. This resulted in me having to have my back right upper wisdom tooth removed cos my mouth was too small! thats right too small (please stop laughing those that know me it is true!!) Anyhow it left me in pain all day and feeling rather sorry for myself as I was unable to venture out paddling. But then an email came through to say I might be on tele tonight for the article I filmed a few weeks back with Fred Talbot, you may remember my earlier post entitled my TV debut or not? bloomin old woman (still not bitter!) anyhow I didn't get my hopes up as this is often said and nothing happens but at six I switch granada on to check just in case, as the head lines come up there I was on still to come! I wet myself!!!! Amazing it was finally going to be on! Texts phone calls and emails went out to tell everyone I could hardly write such was the excitement my hands were shaking!

The article was brilliant Fred had done an awesome job and the feed back was great from those that saw! Due to coverage only being in the north west I will sort out putting the article on line so everyone can view what went on but I am still shaking now! Was such a surreal feeling to see yourself on TV as well as my dad, was strange seeing someone you knew too! But all in all was a great feeling and I hope will boost those donations on

so what started out as an awful day soon blossomed into something amazing!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dedicated or just stupid?

having been stuck indoors all week doing uni work, I was well looking forward to returning to the lakes and getting out! I mean I love rocks but there is only so much you can take when your stuck indoors doing it when the sun is shining!! Yesterday we headed out on a reckie to look at the most difficult section of the journey, the crossing of the ribble estuary and up the eriver Douglas, having looked at the area and speaking to a very helpful British waterways man who was on hand we were happy the area wouldn't be to bad to navigate and cross. With Saturday gone this meant Sunday was left purely to paddling, I couldn't wait!!! As we loaded up the kayaks and gear we felt moisture in the air but with a shrug we headed off in the direction of coniston water, as we unloaded and hit the water the rain started to pour but paddle on we thought and set off at a good pace. Having headed to the southern most point of the water we set our course for the northern end of the lake and to our dismay all we could see was a torrent of rain incoming and mist!! Brilliant! We managed to up and down the lake and put in a good 17miles training which felt good and set a very good pace of 5miles an hour, perfect for the journey. So what planned to be a good days sunbathing in the new nookie gear which arrived this week we were left like soggy little kittens reattaching the gear with numb fingers! This poses the question are we dedicated or just stupid?? Well I would waver towards the latter but that's just me LOL

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Brokeback mountain eat your heart out!!

well today has been a slow day was gorgeous out but unfortunately with being at uni was unable to get out paddling and train so decided to go hat shopping instead. Obviously the joys of a bald head result in the sun getting through so a good hat is essential when spending so long in the sunshine. After deciding that the one hat my collection was lacking was a straw hat we set out looking for the perfect one. Unfortunately we did not discover the perfect straw hat although we did come across these beauties in O'Neill and couldn't resist the gay cowboy photo pose much to the delight of the female shop assistants and the lads who went with! LOL anyway I reckon this will come back to haunt me one day but for now it makes me laugh! Well let me know what you think and if you have the perfect straw hat for me let me know cos will be happy to wear it LOL

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Magazine Heaven!

Also today I have been talking to canoe & Kayak magazine who are going to publish a build up article to the expedition next month ready for the launch as well as buy the story after the expedition ready to publish the adventure and pictures, canoe and kayak have agreed to donate the fee for the article to the charity so hopefully another bonus toward the end target! Lets hope we make it! Obviously rush out to read yours truly in next months edition!!

Return to School!!!

Today my Dad let me know that the school at which he teaches is planning a non uniform day with activities in a hope to raise money for the cause which is a big bonus, hopefully I will be able to update the site with plenty of the pictures once it has been done, Million School aim to raise between £600-£1000 which will be a massive and much welcomed achievement so a big thankyou goes out in advance to Milliom School and its pupils!!!

Thanks guys and all the best hope you have plenty of fun raising the money!!

If anyone else would like to do a similar thing at their school please feel free to email me and tell me about it so I can big you up on the website no matter what it is you plan to do big or small all help is appreciated!

email me on

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Training!! Shouldn't it be getting easier?

well since getting out on Friday night to enjoy the sunsetting behind the mountains I played in the annual glaxo chem hockey tournament, the tournament always a great day out and a good laugh was going to be no different this year! When I turned up I found out I was being placed on the better of the two teams supposedly but to take a look at us you wouldn't believe it LOL we were the beer bellied bald team but all good lads and up for the laugh as well as the hockey which was demonstrated by the on the hour everyhour vodka downing contest! As for the hockey we went into our third game without a goal to our name and 2-0 down with 5mins left. Thankfully the legend that is Pete holden put through by equally as big mikey high scored our first tournament goal yey!! Then mikey did his second great act of the game, left the field so I may return for the last 2 mins. 2-1 down and Pete strikes the ball it flies just wide of the keeper straight onto my knuckle and into the back of the net!!!!! A goal 2-2 and I had scored but at what cost my knuckle flares up instantly in pain and swell! But at least it is 2-2 some pride salvaged! well so we thought edinburgh push back, launch the ball forward and score, whistle goes we lose 3-2 our tournament over with 3 straight defeats but we still smile!

luckily when I picked up the paddle this morning I was still able to grasp the paddle with minimum discomfort thankfully, but what I wasn't ready for after 120mins of pure hockey was 13 miles up and down coniston with pins and needles! I still cant walk now!! I thought with more and more training this would get easier! Oh well foolish me! Thankfully my dad came along today and as the man of suport was awesome as we took a good route up the lake and back down again talking to passer by yachters. Ath this point I would like to mention one lady in particular, you know who you are! We were paddling along all happy and ended up in the middle of several skegs, we held back to let them pass but one lady had to turn into us and sail past saying "this is a race you know!" well fair play I wudnt have minded but she was losing and well her boat was 4times the size of ours and moved by wind! lucky lady I felt like saying well done but we are training for a world record not a ponsey Sunday afternoon race but what can you do LOL

anyway other than that a good days training and some nice photos of the old man! And well for me the lasting effects of pins and needles! I mean come on it has been 9hrs this cant be right!!

oh and just for you mum I will spell check this one sorry everyone for the spelling mistakes I guess writing isn't my strong point! Love you mum xx

Friday, May 05, 2006

last shout out!!!

the last shout out for today goes to my ickle sis who sat on the banks of coniston as official photographer so this is for you becks, thankyou xx

Late Night training!

after spending the day in uni and sitting in traffic on the M61 again!! was great to witness the last few hours messing about on coniston water. Getting a few miles paddling in taking back the breath taking scenery. Today was a good day as eckla sponsored the expedition by donating the trollies used for portages so another big shout out

thankyou eckla

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Sponsor!!!!

Today my hard work was paid off by the news that Nookie xtreme sports equipment wanted on board!!! Nookie have very genoursly agreed to supply bouyancy aids, spraydecks, cags and safety gear for the expedition. All this is being taken from their Delta touring range designed for comfort, durability and performance. This is great news as it means that the money raised from advertising space when sold on the boat will be put towards the charity as opposed to the gear!! And that i will have something to wear during the expedition and keep me safe which is always plus. Anyway a big shout out go to the guys at nookie.

Thankyou for your support!!!!

Please feel free to check out the range at:

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My TV Debut!!!! Or Not?

About three weeks ago I was filming with Granada News promoting the event with the once infamous Fred Talbot weather man, now reporter. I have to say what a awesome guy he was really down to earth and pleasent. It makes me wish I hadnt streaked across his floating weather map many years ago! Wait a second that wasnt me? Phew!!!

Anyway Fred being the nice guy he is said he would phone me and let me know when the broadcast is due to be aired, I waited one week, two weeks and then in the third the glorious call finally came!!! 'Dan your due on this lunchtimes News!!' I was so happy it was bank holiday so everyone was off so the emails and texts flew out to friends and family a like. 1.05 this lunch i will be on watch it!!

At 12.45 on goes ITV and down i sit ready to watch, lucky cos it was Benny Hill very funny lol and 1.05 on comes the news! I was so excited, it started with the usual sad headlines then got a little bit more light hearted reguarding some deer that had been saved from the stockport canal, awww i know how sweet, someones eating well tonight!! and then it came to the last article, here i am my heart lept I was so excited, thought i was going to wet myself, the tension built as i waited....... to see about lottie, some 94 year old who is still working as a walkon actress! i mean who cares? You didnt even see her in any of the shots!! So my big deal about kayaking the country to raise money and hope for those who need it most in the most deprived countries in the worl was deemed less imortant than some back of a grannies head on coronation street!!!

Well i had to laugh bless her i hope i live that long and am still active!

So the wait goes on for my screen debut but it will happen i am assured so please keep watching!!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sponsors!!! I love em!

Today was spent looking for new sponsors for the event, to date i have the above who have really gone out of theyre way to help me by donating gear , time and effort.

I am now looking to sell off advertising space on the boat to small or large businesses in order to raise the cash needed to buy the last lot of gear for the journey and obviously any residual cash getting put into the charity itself to bunk up the amounts raised.

So if you would like to buy space on the boats or official website please feel free to email me at