Chasing New Horizons — Sea Kayaking Initiations

"A ship in harbour is safe. But that is not what ships were built for…"

Over the last decade I have raced, toured, and explored the European Continent by bicycle. Road, gravel, mud and sand; from mountain pass to windswept flats—Life In The Saddle has proven a diverse adventure and challenge.

On my 2018 solo #RoadsFromRome tour—a 2400 kilometre ride across Europe, I relished the challenge, enjoyed the wide-ranging scenery, and embraced the life of wild camping, and self-supported travel and adventure. Yet, the journey left me wondering 'what next?'—another endurance ride, another continental crossing? Then, I realised the thing that keeps me motivated is my love of new horizons; that led me to think of one horizon that has always fascinated me… the ocean.

What if I took a sabbatical from pedal-powered challenges to instead pursue an ocean horizon? It would push different boundaries—different comfort zones, and it would introduce a collection of new and exciting brands.

The idea was born… in 2019 I will attempt to kayak 100 kilometres non-stop around the Isle of Wight.

I am not completely crazy. Although Larry Page (Google) said "good ideas are always crazy until they're not". As a teenager I was a keen kayaker, and a Junior National Coastal Rowing Champion. I have grown up by the water, and as a qualified RYA Sailing Instructor and Yachtmaster I have done a number of offshore passages.

As yet though, the opportunity to combine my endurance fitness with water-based exploration has not occurred. This new challenge will provide fresh mental and physical barriers: a new sport, with new targets, training and preparation.

It also presents the need for some significant new investment in apparel and equipment for ocean-level sea kayaking. Everything from the boat (I have purchased a Valley Etain RM Sea Kayak) to the navigational aids and safety equipment; it is all interesting and exciting to test and trial. I am looking forward to working with a selection of new partner brands within the Sea Kayaking network.

The new adventure will be covered here on 'The Expedition Journals'. Stay tuned...




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