THE BALL IS ROLLING

Here we go. At the moment we are enjoying our Z-list status. And hopefully there are more to come.

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MEETING WITH THE “ENEMY”

Sometimes I think we should be writing more about our preparations or about training for the journey. Deep down we know that we should be spending time on the water in order to be in shape for our big trip. Well, the reality is, we don’t have the time. When the idea of the paddle around the UK came up, we haven’t had the slightest idea what it means to prepare an expedition. At the moment we just about manage to scrap some time to write things, letters, proposals, something all the time. As for the time spent on the water, even with Michal naively having various trips in mind for perfect training, we have to treasure moments we manage to steal to have some fun paddling.

Last Saturday was one of those special days. We were invited by our big film fan, Jason Cole, to paddle with their group of paddlers from Chiswick, down the river Thames towards Thames Barrier and back again; all this with the tide.

Here a little problem appeared for us, the logistics. The choices were to drive early morning to Chiswick, paddle up and down, pass our house twice and then spend long time driving back to the east. Or try to get a boat in West London and take public transport.

We opted for the third option; paddling up towards Chiswick to meet them and then go back with them. There was a little catch; we had to paddle against the tide. And so, on Saturday morning we woke up at five am, drove to Basin to get our boats and started to paddle at 6.10am. The river was calm, the air fresh, the flow against us was fairly strong and demanded commitment as every stop brought us very quickly back towards Shadwell.

We paddled for just over two hours, stopped for breakfast at Chelsey and met with the Chiswick and Putney group just after Wandsworth Bridge.

This was very exciting since part of the group was “The Paul”, as in Paul Barrett, one half of the Eat, Sleep, Paddle Team which also circumnavigates the UK this year. In the time Michal was shaking hand with him I did not know that the other member of the team was present as well. Actually, I only found this at home, when Michal told me. I am so sorry, Eurion. Never mind. What is more interesting is the small size of the sea kayaking world.

Paul and I actually met two years ago passing our 3stars, as for Eurion, he fished me out at The Bitches this summer.

It was a very good trip; we paddled with them to Greenwich for coffee and then let them go at Shadwell.  It was very nice meeting the other team, as for competition, we all agreed we just want to have fun.

FINISHING PHASE ONE, MOVING ONTO PHASE TWO

The last few months before and after announcement of the expedition we have been working on the first preparation phase: looking for sponsors.

Now it is time to move on onto the second part.  However it does not mean that we have all the kit sorted but we are getting there.

Since one of the reasons, why we decided to undertake this challenge is to raise money, we are now focusing more on the fundraising part. We know that we won’t be able to achieve our target staying invisible; so we are in the process of communicating with various media. It is a very exciting part of our preparation phase. So far we had one phone interview and one face to face interview. The journalists wanted to take our photos, but having faith in Michal’s skills and knowing how useless we are in front of a camera, we have produced several photos ourselves.

At this moment it looks like the first article should be out tomorrow in The Wharf, following with Docklands and City in February and East End Life in March.

You can read more about our causes and fundraising in the section CAUSES and if you would like to help, don’t hesitate to click on DONATE button in the menu.