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Eeking out a few more miles this evening in awful conditions to give us a chance of finishing Sunday. We left Arklow at 7pm and managed 10 miles before we decided to pull over in fading light just after 10pm.

Another battering by the wind but then the Manigo family at Ballymoney came to the rescue and invited us in and made us tea and sausage sandwiches at midnight! How amazing is that. Was a perfect way to spend our last night of the expedition. Such a lovely family. Thanks guys!  Hope we didn’t leave too much sea water behind on your floor.

Tomorrow we have 30 miles to finish.

A big thank you to Toby, Ruby. Alex, Jess and  Pickle, Tim and Pip, and Maggie for your very generous donations!

  

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Geoff and Andy will be giving at talk about the trip tomorrow night at St Mawes Sailing Club.

Look forward to seeing you there

Geoff and Andy

http://www.stmawessailing.co.uk/xml/eventssource/index.php

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Hope to see you there!!

Geoff and Andy

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Hi folks,

Hope everyone has had a fab Christmas and is looking forward to the new year!

If you are struggling for things to do once the festive season is over, you could always pop down to The Harbour Club, Portscatho on Tuesday, 15th January at 8pm.  Geoff and I will take you on a little journey around Great Britain, share some of our experiences, stunning scenery, incredible wildlife and some of the inspirational people we met along the way.

We have some photos, some videos and plenty of tall stories to tell (getting taller as the weeks go by!)

Entrance is free, but we’d welcome donations to charity.

Hope to see you there!

Geoff and Andy

Home Coming

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Already three weeks since we finished.  Beards have gone, swollen numb hands almost back to normal, kit all cleaned and put away and we’ve just about finished sorting through the 500 or so video clips and 1,000 photos.  We’ve started preparing a short talk about the trip and have a couple of opportunities to test the boredom thresholds of audiences next month. “Then on day 7 we paddled some more………on day 8 we did the same….”

Once we’ve had a chance to do some editing we’ll share some of the video clips with you all.  There are some cracking shots but clearly we only got the camera out on sunny days – very little evidence of the worst summer on record!

Just in case you had wanted to be at Portscatho Harbour when we arrived three weeks ago but couldn’t make it, a couple of video clips for you.

The first is from Mark Hatwood who runs Roseland Online:

http://youtu.be/yhykmIuQkhA

The second is from ITV News West Country.

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Well, a little later than advertised (2.30pm) on Thursday, Geoff and I paddled into Portscatho Harbour, let off a couple of smoke flares, jumped out the boats and gave each other a big hug. But the biggest hugs and kisses were for Sue and Tanya.

2,318 miles, 115 days, 92 paddling days, around 2 million paddle strokes (no we didn’t count). Job done, expedition over.

We had paddled to Portloe on Wednesday night and caught a glimpse of Portscatho in the distance between Gull Rock and Nare Head. Just for a moment we discussed just pushing on and landing to surprise everyone but that was just for a moment. We were looking forward to a couple of beers on our last night in the knowledge that we only had 5 miles to go and of course seeing all our families and friends.

That night we washed, changed and slept on two benches pretty much in full view of the village. Sorry about that Portloe but we were demob happy and didn’t care! The next morning after breakie and a chat with a few residents and holiday makers we launched. To our surprise we got 3 cheers from them as we left. We were both in tears as we paddled out of the harbour.

We had plenty of time so we paddled round Gull Rock and waited for some friends who said they would meet us to paddle in the last few miles. Mike Greenslade, who was so much part of the expedition early on, Simon Osborne, from Sea Kayaking Cornwall who coached both of Geoff and I to get ready for this expedition, and his fiancé  Roz Leahy. To our surprise John Shaw, Zoe and Pete Shepherd also paddled out to meet us. A couple of motor boats (sorry no names) joined too. So that was our amazing little flotilla as we made the last few miles.

As we got close to the harbour we could see the crowd that had gathered. I think we were more nervous than we had been all trip. Such an amazing welcome. Better than we had ever imagined.

Thank you all so much!!

Sorry we couldn’t get round and say hello and thanks to all of you!

It may take us both a little while to adjust and certainly a few days to clean and repair all the kit. I may just write a couple more reflective blogs as we get used to life back on land. But in the meantime thanks for following our journey. It’s great to be home!

Andy

(Photos courtesy of Mary Alice Pollard http://www.justnicephotos.co.uk/ and Simon Osborne Sea Kayaking Cornwall)

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Tonight we are in the bivi bags on top of what I think must be a sewerage pumping station. Mmm lovely.

So 140 miles in the last 4 days since Lulworth Cove and only 35 remaining till Portscatho Harbour.

We thought at this stage we might just be paddling in gentle seas and reminiscing about the trip. Unfortunately we’ve been slogging it out against some stiff winds and cursing rather a lot.

Yesterday will go down as one of our little expeditions epics. Slog against wind and tide from Oddicombe Bay to Brixham. Great stream then to Start point and the tidal races but then we lose the stream for the remaining 4 hour paddle to Hope Cove. 12 miles of clapotis and slow speed = soul destroying. But just to keep us alert we encountered out largest set of overfalls so far in this trip. Will spare our mothers the scary details but it was an experience right up there with getting round Cape Wrath.

Today we’re back in Cornwall. Hoorah! Another slog of a day and tomorrow is going to be the same. At least though the wildlife is returning. Seals are making more frequent appearances again and we’ve seen our first sun fish too. In fact several of them.

Today was also a first for me. Lunch on board a yacht. Paul and Anita – a couple of friends of Geoff were sailing in the area and invited us on board. Such a lovely couple and an amazing boat too.

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