Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: My little access awareness trip for 2013

  1. #1

    Default My little access awareness trip for 2013

    I've been getting very fed up with the river access problems for the last few years. Probably more than most people.
    The reason is, I've had epilepsy for the last 6 years & I can't drive.
    I used to paddle quite a lot in Scotland (Loch & sea.) That's where my paddling mates live, apart from my wife, but she'll only do flat water.
    Anyway, I live near lots of great rivers up here in Yorkshire, but I don't want the aggro from the anglers, as it might effect the ****** epilepsy. So my paddling time has really gone down.
    I seem to have got a lot better this year, although I don't know why, or how??? So I wanted to raise some money for the epilepsy society & I thought it would be great if I could raise awareness to our river access problems at the same time.
    Right then, here's my plan. (Well, it's not a plan anymore, as I'm doing it come hell or high water.)
    A circumnavigation (I hate that word ) of England.
    I'll be starting somewhere on the south Cumbrian coast, on St George's day 2013. My wife has very kindly given me 4 months to do it in, I'm very luck to have married her.
    I'll paddle down the Irish sea, until I reach the Welsh border, where I'll be carrying everything along the full length of the Offa's Dyke footpath. (This will be fine, as I do a lot of backpacking, although it means that I'll be using a surf kayak & not a sea kayak for my journey.) I'm hoping that I might get some publicity for the cause, as the only way to legally do it, is to carry all 25-30kg of it. (15kg kayak + 10-15kg lightweight camping kit, BA, paddles, etc.)
    From the Severn, it will probably be a slow paddle around England to the Scottish border, where I'll use the tweed, a few other rivers & portaging to cross the border. From there it will be back down to South Cumbria.
    I'll be fine soloing most of it, but North Devon & Cornwall are the bits that I'll be most worried about, so if anybody fancies a bit of a paddle on those bits, it would be a great help. Also, any tips or ideas are welcome as well.
    There's not much point in telling me that I'm off my head to want to do this, I already know. But I'd really like to see the access on our rivers change in my lifetime. Something needs to be done, that might draw more attention to it & I have the time & experience to do it, so I am. (Eeeeeek!!!)
    I have a blog, but it's not very good yet.
    http://paddleblogs.com/chops/

  2. #2

    Default

    I could offer some support on the bits that worry you... North coast of the South West peninsula needn't be a no go zone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southport, really in Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    1,942

    Default

    It sounds like a brill idea but in a surf kayak! Are you taking the martyrdom a little too far? You're going to be doing some very long days in hours paddling and distance. Would you consider a seakayak for the bits that IMHO need it?

    If you intend stopping near Southport for an overnight rest I would like to offer a pickup from any place - (Southport to Crosby), shelter, bed, home comforts, food and drop off. I could also offer "me" as a paddle buddy for the same coastal stretch.

    PM me if you are interested.

    All the best,

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  4. #4

    Default

    I must say, I agree with Doug in your choice of craft.

    A sea kayak would be more suitable...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    cambs
    Posts
    1,498

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chops76 View Post
    There's not much point in telling me that I'm off my head to want to do this, I already know. But I'd really like to see the access on our rivers change in my lifetime. Something needs to be done, that might draw more attention to it & I have the time & experience to do it, so I am. (Eeeeeek!!!)
    I have a blog, but it's not very good yet.
    http://paddleblogs.com/chops/
    Good for you! - off your head and very brave! and an understanding wife as well. Keep us all up to date with progress. I live over an hour from the coast and have to work - but if I'm available when you are doing east anglia, I'll certainly come and paddle with you - and lend you a more appropriate boat
    Sam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    21,172

    Default

    Sounds brilliant. Well done for coming up with such a great plan!.

    Are you aware of Ray Goodwins "Circumnavigation of Wales"? Rather than portage Offa's Dyke, he paddled using various rivers and canals...

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Sounds brilliant. Well done for coming up with such a great plan!.

    Are you aware of Ray Goodwins "Circumnavigation of Wales"? Rather than portage Offa's Dyke, he paddled using various rivers and canals...
    Yep - that's the way to go, for sure...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Lancaster, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Nice idea, and if there's anything I can do in support around Morecambe Bay, let me know.

    Pav
    There's madness to my method.

  9. #9

    Default

    Ta for the comments & offers of paddle buddies, I'll probably take you all up on it.
    About the surf kayak... Yes, it'll be slow, but its also light & not too long. The most important part of my journey is across the Welsh border & I think that carrying a kayak will draw more attention from the public & press towards the river access problems. Heck, I'd love to paddle it, but It would be against the whole point of the journey. I want to do this as a protest to raise awareness.
    I'd feel like I cheated, if I swapped to a sea kayak after the portage. The surf kayak is a Venture Surfjet sit on, with a drop down skeg. It tracks well & it seems quite quick for its size. I've done a lot of research & its the best solution I can find.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Basingstoke
    Posts
    353

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chops76 View Post
    I'll be fine soloing most of it, but North Devon & Cornwall are the bits that I'll be most worried about, so if anybody fancies a bit of a paddle on those bits, it would be a great help. Also, any tips or ideas are welcome as well.
    If I was going to do this bit I'd contact Mark Rainsley at UKRGB. As a planning guide you might want to get a copy of his book on the area, and have a look at his blog.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    459

    Default

    I think that carrying a kayak will draw more attention from the public & press towards the river access problems.
    Great idea! Local press along the journey will take much more of a story from the question of why someone is carrying their kayak rather than paddling it than if he used the rivers and canals.

    In fact there's an idea for a mass protest idea! Rather than paddling a certain stretch of river in protest, how about everyone doing a walk carrying their kayaks rather than paddling them?!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    459

    Default

    In fact to go one further, how about a mass kayak carry to Kinder Scout?!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    459

    Default

    Chops, one thing reading your blog I'd like to draw attention to. It has never been proven that going on a disputed river is trespass. The idea that paddlers are committing trespass is merely an ill informed opinion from opposing parties.

    This is one part of the battle. Many paddlers have been hoodwinked into thinking that they are trespassing or breaking the law, when in fact they are not.

  14. #14

    Default

    Yes I understand that, but I've read countless articles saying both things & I'm getting very confused. Anyway, whatever the law does or doesn't say, we need it clarifying.
    I want to raise awareness to the river access problem, which to me, seems to be one B******* up mess. Why are things much more sensible in Scotland, than they are anywhere else in the UK?

  15. #15

    Default

    The mass kayak carry up Kinder Scout, is a great idea. How about organising lots of different demonstrations next year & ending with a mass kayak/canoe portage to downing street? I'll be a bit busy, but I could pop in on my way round.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    717

    Default

    In fact there's an idea for a mass protest idea! Rather than paddling a certain stretch of river in protest, how about everyone doing a walk carrying their kayaks rather than paddling them?!
    The mass kayak carry up Kinder Scout, is a great idea. How about organising lots of different demonstrations next year & ending with a mass kayak/canoe portage to downing street? I'll be a bit busy, but I could pop in on my way round.
    I looked into London a few years ago. The amount of police hoops you had to jump through was crazy. Might be worth contacting them again... or do one in a few different main cities.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,657

    Default

    Best of luck on your 2013 venture. I have a nephew and two young acquaintances who can't drive because of imperfectly controlled epilepsy. Yet they have been able to participate in hiking, light climbing, baby tending, etc., without incident.

    It's clear from my nephew's experience that choosing meds with effectiveness and acceptably low levels of side effects is still very hard for some.

    In the 70s, we had a dynamic canoeist, scoutmaster, and whitewater guide in the club who had problems with his epilepsy meds. Maybe he wasn't consistent about taking them, I don't know. One day he was paddling an easy river with friends, not wearing life jackets, and they were splashing, horsing around, and laughing uproariously. Then his companions noticed he wasn't with them. They paddled back upstream and found him floating face down. We speculate that something, maybe hard laughter, set off a seizure. Isn't just anger that can do it.

    In old age, I can get atrial fibrillation which renders me faint and weak. So I always wear my life jacket, and I paddle boats that don't tip over at a thought, or at the lack of one.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Cheshire UK
    Posts
    1,624

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMW View Post
    In fact to go one further, how about a mass kayak carry to Kinder Scout?!
    Kinder will be a long slog with a Canoe, why no take inflatables and fill them with Helium Gas.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •