The Winner of Natalie & Michal Time Challenge is

Natalie and Michal reached tonight  CAISTER- ON- SEA 25/7/12

Therefore the winner of time challenge  is Fiona with Lowestoft.

Well done.  Please email me the item you have selected for your prize.

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Special offer, fundraising match, 72 hours only, help!

We received an offer from one of our supporter. If we can collect up to £200 in donations within 72 hours, he will match that.

I placed the first £20 there, can you help?

Can we make it? From now (24.07 at 10pm) till 27.07 till 10 pm.

If you can have it, you must grrabbit!

This was a frase from a book I read ages ago. I sadly don’t remember its title, but it was about an old jewish lady living in an old house in Islington. Quite fun.

And grabbing opportunities was the theme of yesterday. It started in the morning with these.

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If you see “Cappuccino special” on the menu, you must have it. We accompanied it by Banoffee ice cream pie. Again an opportunity to grab, since our days of carefree cake and coffee eating are being numbered. No more, once we get back to normal.

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The next opportunity came in the form of Mark. The one who put us up with his friend in Aberdeen. He came to Skeggness for meeting and found us on the beach. His strength was very welcomed since the water moved considerable distance from the shore.

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The paddle across the Wash was idyllic. The slight sea was gently rocking us by waves generated by F5 wind. The wind was blowing into our faces cooling us in the afternoon sunshine. The turbines of the wind farm which we passed hummed in the air.

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Just when I decided to take a relief a boat came very close, probably for a friendly chat. Well, when a lady needs to go, she needs to go. Hope all on board made it safely on shore.

Norfolk announced itself as Mark said, by sandwich terns making lots of noise. The land looked golden in the evening sun. It was high water when we landed, therefore even the beach looked inviting.

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The last opportunity of the day emerged as three strong young men. Who didn’t mind to save me lots of hassle and energy.

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Grrabbit, you’d love it.

North East Lincoln Amusement Arcade

“A seaside resort or resort town, is located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.”

North East Lincoln seems to us to be one big seaside resort. Caravan park after caravan park, seaside town with its attractions after seaside town. The popularity of such holidays grew since mid-nineteen century. However from mid-twentieth century popularity of such holidays started to decline with more people being able to take holidays abroad. Many British seaside towns changed from being mainly beach resorts to hosting entertainment industry.
Here we go, few photos from Mablethorpe. But not all’s like that there. We fund a nice licences quiet cafe, Marlborough cafe, with very good freshly cooked food and beautiful prices.

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What’s more, last night we camped in front of Buttlins between Ingoldmells and Skegness. Now, I have heard about these many times. I figured out they were big holiday parks offering affordable holidays to ordinary people. Staying in front of one last night made me to find out more. The one we camped in front of, was the first one opened by Billy Butlin in 1936. What I like is the reason why these were establish, according to Wiki: “Billy Butlin’s inspiration for his holiday camp empire came from an unhappy holiday on Barry Island in his youth, when he had been locked out of his bed and breakfast accommodation all day by his landlady, which was normal practice at the time.” We could hear the fun and amusement sounds all evening, but when I woke up at 3.30am all was dead quiet and very strange.

Crossing the Humber

First we have here two photos from paddling towards Withernsea and after the landing there. Of course as usually with photos the surf looks much much smaller than what it was.

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The day we didn’t leave because the surf still looked menacing enough we went to do some sightseeing. Now Withernsea was something. Once it used to be a great and popular seaside town with many attractions. Nowadays it’s still is a seaside town, only it looked less glamorous and not very popular at all. And we had to show great effort to find decent coffee shop. On the other hand it has lighthouse which is situated right in the middle of the town.

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Of course it wasn’t always like that. When the lighthouse was built, there was no town, no houses. The lighthouse was built among dunes far away from eroding shore. But once the shore started to be strengthen the houses appeared and slowly spread all around reaching the sea.

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Right, it’s time to get to our heading for today. Ever since leaving Aberdeen we were told about it. We heard about it all the time. Crossing the Humber. Who cares we done Cape Wrath, Pentland Firth or something foolish like going over to Northern Ireland, history. Humber, that was what was getting us interest and fame.
Well now we know why. If the other crossings were hard, this one, was one of the hardest. Only ten kilometres from shore to shore, due to few launching or landing possibilities before and after the crossing, it is a considerable distance. In the end we made over 24NM without landing. The tides are strong, too and happily play with the kayaks dragging them left or right as they wish.
On the pictures our path can be seen, we held the same 150 course for the whole journey.

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And then there are the ships, big and many. We had four big ones passing us very close and few lurking in the distance. We also found a tiderace or overfall, and when we were fighting our way through them, I was only hoping that shipping lines don’t go through these. No, they didn’t. To make it more interesting our not so favourite friend, the headwind, joined in at the very beginning and kept us company at solid F4 all the way till the finish.

Fortunately the seals saved the day. They joined us in hundreds and followed us for miles, playing and showing of. Some of them also tried to splash us and succeeded with Michal getting few showers.

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We decided to land in natural harbour of river Saltfleet. At its mouth we met few members of Satlfleet boat club. They were very friendly and straight away offered us their grass for camping and toilet to use. There are very simple things that make us happy after so many months of kayaking.

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GET CLOSE AND GET OUT

The wind swung from headwind to tailwind over night. The sea during our morning departure was nice and calm due to being sheltered by Flamborough Head. Soon after passing Bridlington the following sea started but even with the tide agains us, we were quite pleased with progress we were making.
As we progressed south it became more obvious how much shelter there was in the morning. At Hornesea the sea was bigger and messier than what we would like for nice and dry landing to have lunch. Instead we decided to continue towards Withernsea and finish there for the day. Well from the roadmap we knew this stretch of coast was pretty exposed but now we could finally see what it means to follow exposed coastline. With moderate sea, there are no landing options.
We hoped for some surf landing on a beach in Withernsea. Unfortunately at high tide there is no beach, we had to continue. Now we were looking for any gap between muddy cliffs. Soon there was a place, where cliffs were low enough to drag the boats up. More importantly there was a strip of sand in front of it. And surf with huge dumping wave.
While we were getting closer, it became obvious that this would be a swimming landing. I knew there was no chance to stay upright and there was no point to attempt rolling. It was much better to be dumped on the beach out of the kayak than having it dumped on the head. We both knew that it was all about getting as close as possible and getting out fast. We put our helmets on and went for it.
In the end we managed to find all the bits and pieces of the kit, mainly the shewee and our water bag, on the beach. A bonus came in a really nice place to pitch our tent.

The importance of the competition

Jean-Pierre is helping us with the fundraising and is running the “WHERE MICHAL AND NATALIE ARE GOING TO BE” competition.

We love the competition for two reasons. The first one is obvious, it helps us to raise money for Shadwell Basin and Joshua’s Journey. Two causes that are very close to us. While the first round raised £5,-; the second one made an amazing £81.

The second reason is purely ego-centric one. Yes, I can admit this, it makes our paddle more interesting and motivating. Motivating as it let’s us know, that people are still interesting in our journey, watching us paddle day by day through the good and not so good, fighting or succumbing to the elements, our moods, other people’s moods, discovering, learning.
Interesting as often we don’t know what lies ahead, in a geographical sense. We only have the road map, not much detail there. For Scotland 70 kilometres fitted on page. Try coastal navigate with that.
So the last round was inspiring. Let me explain.
When I read that we would be on the 2nd of July in John O’ Groats, I was horrified (sorry Yali), but when I read we should be in Dundee, I was hoping. Please, yes, I would love that. We really wanted to be in Aberdeen at that time, thank you Tony. But we also read the name Lossiemouth, never heard of it, didn’t know where it was, had to find the relevant sheet. Yes, not far, sorry Ali & Nick, not you, I thought.
Then we were held in Wick, still chance for Lossiemouth then, or Dunbeath. And then we attempted the crossing, thinking sorry Ali & Nick, Fraserburgh it will be.
When we had to turn during that crossing due to the conditions and other circumstances, I thought, I wish we make it to Burghhead, at least.
Once we passed Lossiemouth on the 30th of June, yeah, sorry Lossiemouth. But the headwind had the last word and JP had to check the distances between Cullen – Fraserburgh – Lossiemouth carefully.

The third round has had one entry so far, but where is that? We don’t know yet.
But, please, we do need more entries, otherwise this round is going the fairly boring (no offence, Sarah), what lies ahead is mud and sand.

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Can we have some fun, please?

North England

The road map sheet number 225 gone missing. It wouldn’t be that important if it didn’t contain our route for almost two days. But following the coast, we managed.

It had some benefits. We didn’t have to worry about miles long beaches with surf or cliffs without landing possibilities.

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We saw some interesting sights but didn’t have to match them to their geographical names.

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But we know we crossed the Tynemouth and the Teesmouth. There were some impressive cliffs in between with a lighthouse on Lizard Point.

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Crossing of the harbour in Middlesborough knocked the air out of us due to strong side wind and it being 3NM wall to wall. We finished that day right pass the spit in a hole between dunes, hoping the tent will last the wind. We don’t like sandy beaches and definitely camping on sand with sand in the air and everywhere.

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Yet, with the lit gas rig and the gas works humming gently in the background it was almost romantic.

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We passed Redcar and stopped in Saltburn for a Jacked Potato for Brunch. Brunches are our latest invention, we do them now, to speed up and save time. This jacked potato was very important, because on its fuel we continued all the way to Yorkshire.

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We stopped in Whitby. We should really have fish & chips here, but the potato, even after few hours, was still going.

Then there were the cliffs, dark in the rain. But we enjoyed them nevertheless. The rain and clouds transformed otherwise just another ordinary cliffs into something atmospheric.

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Not knowing where to stop kept us going, but when it started to be just a little bit uncomfortable we spotted some houses and landed. The name of the village wasn’t what was written on that stone which greater us on the beach, it was Robin Hood Bay.

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The dinner that day confirmed we were in Yorkshire for sure.

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Next day the cliffs were green and we could see the true Yorkshire landscape above. We enjoyed its views till Scarborough. We continued to Filey Brigg. From there the view towards Flamborough Head opened. Just there we also though if we ever were going to see birds again, for example puffins.

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We crossed the bay easily. These cliffs may the last ones till London. They are definitely the first chalk ones since South East Coast.

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The paddle around Flamborouhg Head was magic. If you haven’t done it, you should. We are coming back to do so. It’s like one of my favourite paddles, Old Harry’s Rock times hundred with the addition of thousands birds.

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We paddled in silence since their voices were so great that we would have to be shouting in order to hear each other. The wings flapped above us. The gannets stayed high. The razorbills, guillemots and puffing flew quite low around us.

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Just sometimes the peacefulness was interrupted by splashing in the water. I just hoped they could see the “No droppings!” sign on top of my head. They have, but missed Michal’s, fortunately only got his shoulder.

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We rounded the headland and stopped at South Landing. Grassy car park made a great camping spot, firm sand and slipway made the landing easy, too.

THE NEW COMPETITION IS STARTED

The spot finder is now working. Therefore, it is time for a new competition Natalie & Michal are now homeward bound and should be back in London in 3 to 4 weeks all being well. Last night they reached Redcar.

They should achieve one of their goal, circumnavigating mainland Britain. To help them to achieve their fundraising goal of £7000 for the two charities ( Joshua’s Journey and Shadwell Basin Outdoor Centre ),please click on the donate button.

You will make a contribution and you can also enter the competition for just £3 for your chance to win a prize (for more details click on the competition button).

Thank you so much to all the people that already contributed to their causes, Natalie & Michal are very grateful for your help.