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


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