Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Skye’s the limit! Expedition prep time again… by Tavi Murray

Skye’s the limit! Expedition prep time again…                 

The last few weeks have been jam packed – it’s now just days before we head north to circumnavigate Skye. The Isle of Skye has some 280 km of the most amazing and committing coastline in Britain. We’re paddling in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK as two of us have parents with dementia.

I’d been planning to circumnavigate Skye since last summer, but unfortunately the person I was hoping to paddle with had an accident in December that meant she could no longer commit to the trip. So at that point I set about assembling a new team with the aid of facebook … “Team Skye” now consists of a friend, the friend of a friend and a responder to a Facebook advert! Hopefully at the end of the trip we’ll all just be friends!

Introducing Team Skye: Kevin Brown, Fiona Buttrey, Anita Daimond, Tavi Murray.

Over Easter we all met for the first time on Anglesey to paddle together. We spent a day planning (big thanks to Penny and Stan at Anglesey Outdoors for the loan of the dining room) and 2 days paddling, getting some distance in as well as practising rescues etc. We even managed a forward paddling clinic!

Since then our nights and weekends have been busy with expedition preparation. We’ve been getting in some fitness paddles, pounding the canals as well as on the coastline round Anglesey and south Wales. Kevin described the Manchester canal as feeling like a Scalextric track! I’ve managed two 40km paddles on the canal as well as some evening paddles, fewer long paddles than last year but I hope I’ve regained some of my fitness! We’ve all been to the pool practising our rolls and self-rescues too.

We’re a group with complex food needs … Various allergies and a vegetarian and a vegan team member means we need to take our own food and not rely on the small shops on Skye. We’ve arranged resupply so we don’t have to carry it all at once, and now our food has been purchased and packed. Maps have been made and we’ve all practised packing our boats. My new boat gives a bit of extra space but has needed lots of small jobs doing to get it ready from drilling the skeg to installing new deck elastics.

I think we’re ready for the off! We’re travelling north to Skye this Friday 22nd April and hope to start paddling on Sunday. Fingers crossed for some settled weather – we’d like to get some of the committing west and north coast done as soon as possible. As yet though both our start point and the direction we’ll go is weather dependent!

I’m so much looking forward to the stacks and caves and reputedly amazing coastline … we’ll post on facebook as much as we can as we make progress– send Tavi Murray a friend request if you’d like to follow us!

If you’d like to make a donation to Alzheimer’s Research UK we have a justgiving page:

By Tavi Murray

This is an independent trip that Tavi has organised separate from Coastal Spirit and Roger wishes Team Skye a successful and rewarding experience.  Paddle safe and enjoy the journey.

I look forward to hearing about your adventures on your return.

Thanks Roger.

PS: Tavi is on Coastal Spirit's mentoring programme.

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