Thursday, 1 January 2015

It's 2015 - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you. I hope that the coming year is a truly wonderful one for you and your loved ones.

The turning of the year is always a time of promise and hope for me, more so this year. For many years I have held within me the desire to undertake a major sea kayaking expedition and suddenly it seems, the possibility to fulfill this ambition lies within my grasp in a few happy months time. 2015 is going to be the year when I set out on the most ambitious personal challenge in my life so far. I will embark on a 2015 mile circumnavigation of Scotland with the aim of visiting every one of the forty seven Royal National Lifeboat Institute stations dotted around the coast. This journey will include kayaking out and back to the Outer Hebrides, the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands.

I intend to begin my expedition in mid-April when the settled Spring weather begins to take root in Scotland. This means that I have the following four months of high summer to complete the journey. Sitting here aboard the wee yacht I live on, which is bucking and dancing on her lines while a gale blows hard outside, it doesn't seem possible that I will encounter sufficient fair weather at all. However, being an experienced and seasoned sea kayaker up here in Scotland, I know full well that four months is ample time for me to succeed in my goal.

This is a solo undertaking which is what I have always intended. I want this to be a personal undertaking where the responsibilities for all aspects of the expedition lie with me. In many respects I view this as my rite of passage from my middle years to the senior quarter of my life. I am fifty one years old. There will be many opportunities for friends and acquaintances to kayak with me for short legs of the trip and I will certainly enjoy their company. I am hopeful too that I will meet many other folks around the varied coastline of Scotland.

 It goes without saying that a journey like this requires careful planning and preparation. I have the time to do this and I am looking forward to pouring over tidal information, nautical charts, OS Maps and researching every intricate detail of the route. This is one of the great pleasures of such an undertaking. If you have any words of advice you wish to offer then I am more than happy to receive them.

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope that you return once and again in the months to come to see how I'm doing.