Thursday 31st August 2023
A circumnavigation of Great Britain including the coast of Northern Ireland.
The challenge will take us through Four Seas, around Two Capes and along the north western fringe of the Atlantic Ocean before setting us south again towards Falmouth in Cornwall which is our start point.
Heading south west from Falmouth the journey will first see us heading towards that place which was so feared by the Romans and aptly named Bolerium or the ‘Seat of Storms’. Lands' End can be a challenge to get around, on even a relatively calm day, where the complex tides first hit Britain's Southwest Peninsula, the tides here are complex and change direction rotationally around the clock, creating many conflicting currents and areas orf rough water. This area also feels the full might of the Ocean as heavy ground swells can radiate outwards from the North Atlantic. Once rounding Lands' End we shall follow the north Cornwall coast, very quickly coming upon the first of the two Capes, Cape Cornwall, then paddling as far East as Hartland Point where we shall then cross to Lundy and commit to the first of several long open crossings, paddling northwards ,crossing first the Bristol Channel to Pembrokeshire in South Wales and then westwards across the Celtic Sea to Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland.
Once we reach the shores of Ireland, we shall follow the coast of Ireland northwards, sampling the Guinness along the way no doubt, as far as Lough Foyle, before back tracking on ourselves to the small harbour of Ballintoy (The Iron Islands from the Game of Thrones) and then commit to another crossing of the infamous North Channel, the section of water that separates Ireland from Scotland. Crossing to the island of Islay and then on into the Hebridean Sea and the many islands of Scotland.
Once amongst the Inner and Outer Hebrides, we shall island hop to the northern aspect of the Outer Hebrides, passing the Small Isles, Mull, Skye across to The Shiants (home to the Blue Men of the Minch), South and North Uist, Harris and Lewis, until we cross over eastwards, from the Butt of Lewis back to the mainland of Scotland, rounding Cape Wrath at 59 degrees North.
The Pentland Firth and the roof of Scotland now lies before us, one of the remotest areas of Great Britain and these rugged shores are swept by some of the fiercest tides in the world, the fiercest and most dangerous race here is known locally as the ‘Merry men of Mey’ and can reach speeds of up to 30 kilometers an hour and when coupled with strong winds can create seas which mariners have come to fear the world over.
As we approach the Island of Stroma we shall have to decide whether to head north through the ‘Swilkie’ or south through the Inner Sound before rounding Duncansby Head and proceeding southwards into the North Sea and beyond……………..
Throughout the expedition we shall be monitored by SAFE Global using their SafeApp and shall also be using the Garmin Inreach for satellite communications when required.