I’ve been in London for nearly a week doing my on call duties for the London Fire Brigade. This has severely impacted on my training, but every cloud has a silver lining. I’ve been seriously tackling other avenues, namely planning & fundraising.
I’ve had some nights in a hotel where I’ve had time to hover over a chart and detailed information of my first big hurdle on the expedition; The Mull of Kintyre.
This has given me a good idea of the basic tidal movement and limiting weather conditions that I might encounter. The window for using favourable tides appears to be about 5 hours in length which is fine. The problem is there would appear to be several wind directions that can cause problems. In reading the pilot books, almost any wind can cause problems. I want to catch the tide from the SE heading NW and I want to dodge almost any winds except maybe one out the East. Anyone that knows the SW of Scotland will realise what I am saying here. I’ve got two chances…..and slim better not leave town!
So far I’ve felt that the SE of England has not been engaged in my project. Aside from a couple of good friends, the most affluent end of the country has not come up with goods, yet. This is extremely disappointing when you consider that The Royal Marsden is the pre-eminent non surgical cancer centre in the SE.
Last night things changed for the better. I had a meeting with some friends who are heavily involved in a few of the paddlesport clubs in west London. This has been hugely helpful because we now have several ideas of ways in which we can engage the local canoe and kayak clubs and try to reach people outside of my own circle of friends.
Hopefully this will help get things in the SE moving, after all my southern friends, the Marsden is YOUR hospital. So a special message to one of those friends who was kind enough to show last night, yes Phil, I’ll stop posting links about this project on Facebook when you tight fisted southern jessies dip your short arms into those deep gold lined pockets of yours!
On a slightly more serious note though, its the winter solstice today.
That means the vernal equinox and the biggest tides of the year are only a quarter of a year away.
75 days to go………