We're Off (Well Almost)

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It’s half past nine on Good Friday evening and in about an hour and something the third expedition member will be joining us, we’ll load up the wagon and drive through the night to make the morning Holyhead - Dublin ferry. After a few hours orientation, rest and final planning Will and Sammy Kinnear will embark at midnight tomorrow on the first leg of their Dublin to London marathon by kayaking the Irish Sea in aid of the Get Exploring Trust. So why am I going? Good question.

Late replacement compass job……. Gorilla Tape?

Late replacement compass job……. Gorilla Tape?

I don’t mind admitting that it’s good to get the old band back on the road; it’s been a while since I’ve been included in the adventure thing. Some cynics among you may be muttering, ‘because they needed someone to drive the kayak and vehicle back.’ Well, I have just one thing to say to that - I’m not just a taxi driver you know; I am in fact Chief Drone Pilot, a job for which I have every confidence in myself and one which, even the doubters must agree, I am more than adequately qualified. If I’ve seen the Battle of Britain and the Dambusters once I must have seen them a thousand times. I know my barrel rolls from my Immelman’s. I even have the advantage of being given an ‘experience,’ in a Spitfire simulator at Goodwood for Christmas. While I haven’t yet had my ‘experience,’ I feel just having the certificate takes me half way there. My aerial experience also includes being a former Gold Card holder on BA, (and Virgin), and I always wear a jacket and tie when flying on Easyjet. The real trick is going to be being in the right place at the right time when the boys make land on the Welsh Coast on Sunday afternoon. You, like me, will be able to follow them on the Garmin website here with the Delorme tracking thing which we used in the Caribbean on the Golden Arc Expedition. Should make for a more entertaining Easter Sunday than many usually endure.

As you will have surmised by looking out of the window, weather conditions have been improving throughout the week and currently look reasonable for the crossing. More pertinently sea conditions, (swell, chop, interval, swell and chop direction), are managable but do look to deteriorate somewhat later into Sunday.

Updates will of course follow. I can’t say I’m looking forward to this; the worry factor is never a bundle of laughs but as always, risk has been mitigated on everything within our universe of control and at the moment; everything is looking as good as we might hope for.

Grateful thanks to all our kind sponsors and supporters. Anyone stumbling upon the page who may wish to add to the cause may do so here. We’re here to help change lives.

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By Sea, By Land

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Where is that boy off to now? Some people will do anything to get attention.............. Weird to finally see the kayak for real and odd to think they did 2,000 miles in that wee thing last year, right through the current path of Hurricane Irma. The boys are in fact off to the Base Camp Festival give a talk on the expedition. Thoughts of course, are with everyone on the Islands. Hope the Royal Navy arrive soonest and that we fly out Royal Engineers and all other help to them at the earliest possible opportunity.

GET Going!

Back in the day, I left school on a Friday afternoon and seeing no reason to muck around and waste time, joined the Army the following Monday. As it happens, one of the Crumble Kids has a few months spare before he kicks off as a long term employee of HM Gov and what bat-shit-crazy plan has he come up with this time? He and a friend are planning kayaking the 2000 nautical miles between Grenada and Miami. Moscow is closer to London than is the length of this undertaking. I swear, that boy must spend every waking moment dreaming up things for his mother to worry about. She's had a lot to worry about.

With just 24 days to go before the start preparations for the Golden Arc Expedition are warming up and every day more kit arrives at the house from kind sponsors, more 'no thanks,' emails drop into the in-box from not so kind potential sponsors and new challenging last minute issues raise their ugly heads......... 'son, this kayak which is being shipped to Grenada from Vancouver; are you on top of import duties?' 'Import what Dad?' So, what's the point?

Will and his chum George have started a charity, the Get Exploring Trust, (Charity No 116901). The aim of the trust is simple and straight forward. It aims to assist in the advancement in life of young people between the ages of 13 and 25 by providing small to medium sized grants to allow them to access recreational and leisure time activities in the outdoors designed to improve their life conditions and life chances. 

It is extraordinary just what a great equaliser clinging to the side of a windswept hill can be when you are all cold, wet and hungry. Being close to the elements on land, at sea or in the air is inspirational and life affirming. Way too many of our kids don't get the opportunity to access the outdoors. They genuinely don't know what they are missing. The Trust will help more of them discover the outdoors, and themselves, and from there they can make their own minds up.

Now, here at Expedition Headquarters we're not proud  and will of course accept help in any shape or form. If anyone were so moved to assist in sponsoring the actual expedition then there are still some niggly, naggly safety items which need to be purchased but any advice or local contacts through the route would be gratefully received. Obviously, the funding of the expedition is completely segregated from raising funds for the charity. All charity monies will go to the purpose for which donors intend and we are funding both the expedition, and the charity's administrative costs, separately.

If you did wish to donate to the charity the 'giving,' page may be found here while our bank details are, HSBC Sort Code 40-34-18, Acc No 54342615.

Of course, should you happen to be enjoying the azzure blue waters of the Caribbean between October and December and happen to see two blokes paddling in the direction of Florida then do give them a wave. If you see them paddling out to the Atlantic then give Air, Sea Rescue a wave. A bed for the night or dinner would be nice but then we wouldn't want to spoil them, would we?

I will be updating throughout.