By Nick Ray, expedition soloist
“2015 in 2015 is a solo sea kayak journey around the coastline of Scotland, visiting each of the forty seven R.N.L.I. lifeboat stations. I will be raising funds for the charity as I go and I hope too, raising useful awareness of the service they provide. This journey has been endorsed by the R.N.L.I. which enables me to associate myself and my sponsors with their logo.
This is my first major sea kayak expedition but I have plenty of sea kayaking experience. I have worked as a lead guide with Clearwater Paddling out on Barra leading clients on trips to Mingulay, Sound of Barra, Sound of Harris, West coast of Harris, Raasay and Skye, Inner Hebrides, around Jura and the coastline around Moidart and Arisaig. I have undertaken personal expeditions such as a solo circumnavigation of Skye and attempting to climb the 3 Peaks (Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis) by kayaking to them. I got as far as Whitehaven before becoming storm bound.
Sea kayaking is more than a past time for me – it is an intrinsic part of my life and who I am. This expedition is a personal challenge and what I term to be my ‘rite of passage’ into my later years. I am fifty one years old. I see this journey as a means for me to explore my deep connection to the natural world and write about this. I am also very interested in the people and communities who live along the Scottish coast and I am hoping that I will learn much from them too. I will also be talking to, even interviewing, many of the life boat crew who I will meet because I am interested in what it is that compels folks to volunteer for the service of others.
This is going to be an incredibly rich journey where I will encounter so many opportunities for new awareness and knowledge.
I am under no illusion of the physical challenges that I will face and neither do I under estimate the potential hazards. I have accrued much wisdom through my years as an Outward Bound Instructor and general outdoor adventurer and I will be liberally applying this wisdom when making decisions about each days paddling. I have purposefully allowed myself four months to complete this trip because this enables me not to feel compelled to make marginal decisions because of a fear of a lack of time. Importantly too, a more relaxed time schedule allows me to fully immerse myself in the landscapes I am kayaking through and visiting.
With regard to my personal safety, I will carry the necessary life saving equipment and means for alerting the rescue services if necessary.”
Nick’s blog is here
Twitter pic here