I was at work in the afternoon of 16th October when I logged into the forum on AnglersAfloat.com to see a message entitled “Proposition !!!!!” I saw that it was from Barry (aka Barto) and saw it said:
When you get a minute, please would you give me a call as I have an interesting proposal for you – and no its not marriage !!!
My initial thought was immediately that he had a big paddle in mind as I had seen recently that he had paddled (or maybe I should say peddled in a Hobie!) a 22mile trip to the Shambles Bank. I picked up the phone and Baz outlined his plans in a clam and well thought out manner.
He said that he had noticed that I was paddling lots and would I fancy a long paddle….I said that I bet it was France, thinking that the 27 odd miles from Dungeness to Cap Gris Nez was tough enough but doable. He then calmly said, “Alderney…” He continued to say that he wanted to do this for Heroes On the Water which is a newly formed charity that provides Kayak Angling to help in the physical and mental rehabilitation of our wounded heroes including military, emergency services and civilians who have suffered while carrying out a public duty. Sessions are provided free to all participants. Coaching and equipment are provided free to all participants.
Having completed a few 30 milers in my Scupper Pro (sit-on-top kayak) and numerous other paddle trips I sat back and had a think…..”How far is it?”……..”About 100k? As the crow flies?”……”What about the shipping lanes?”…..”Don’t worry about that, I’ll sort it”……..”OK then, count me in”.
I slept on it, with loads of thoughts going through my mind. I was not aware of anyone having done anything like this, well certainly not on a Sit-on-top kayak. It was going to be a groundbreaking epic adventure of between 18-24hrs constantly in the saddle so to speak. Not a trip to be undertaken lightly…..
The next morning Baz phoned me up again to check if I was still committed after a nights sleep. Yep, 100%.
That was that really.