Friday, 27 July 2012

News from Brian

Poor Brian is suffering from heat problems.  Only been in the boat once since his return and only managed 45 minutes in 40+ degrees.  He says that he will be training, from now on, late in the evening perhaps in the dark!  Meanwhile he is making use of his local gym but that is not as much fun.


Trevor and David have now twice paddled from Fell Foot at the Southern end of Windermere up to the Ferry and back - around 12 miles in a little over 2 hours and both of us survived well. We have set a date of 18 August for the big test - double the length of the lake, around 21 miles.

David is away on holiday for a week so no training for him.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Good News and Bad

First the bad news....

Brian has returned to Oman where he lives and works.  He has paddled with us on our training sessions on Windermere for the last few weeks but now his stay in the UK is over. 

There are not too many lakes in Oman and the poor chap will now be training on The Arabian Sea where I suspect it may be slightly warmer! He will be back in England only a couple of days before we start our trip.  Keep up the hard work!

Now the good news....

We have a driver.  Brian's friend Ian Roberts has "volunteered" to drive our support vehicle - Brian's camper van with a canoe trailer.  Not sure how Brian persuaded him. Was it blackmail or bribery? But what a relief.  Ian will drop us each morning and collect us each evening - taking us and our boats to a suitable overnight camp ground.  Having the vehicle and trailer will be an enormous help getting round some of the longer tunnels if we are unsuccessful in our bid to gain permission to paddle through.  But Ian's main job will be to scout a suitable hostellery for a well earned pint at the end of a hard day's paddling.


We now have our donations page up and running on the new BT managed site "mydonate".  Unlike other similar sites there is no charge and no commission so every penny donated (other than normal credit/debit card charges) will be going to our charities. If anyone would like to be among the first to support our good causes then go to mydonate

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Detailed planning is now well underway.

It's amazing what resources can be found on the web.  Jim Shead's site has been very helpful
and Trevor is now putting together very detailed daily itineries from  Using this site Trevor is able to chart in fine detail the locks, bridges and points of interest on each stretch of canal and the distances between each point. He is looking particularly for places to finish each day with good access for the vehicle.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Kendal to London by Kayak

Three old paddlers, David Oates, Trevor Hughes and Brian Wilson. Combined age 185, plan is to kayak from Kendal to London on the Inland Waterways over 16 days in October 2012 - a distance of 379 miles. We have been in training for the last 3 months regularly paddling on Windermere, over increasing distances and at ever higher speeds. We hope that our fitness levels will have risen, above that of couch potatoes, before the off.

Preparing for a training run.

We will be supported by a driver taking Brian’s camper van and towing a canoe trailer to meet us at the end of each day and to bring the kayaks and the weary paddlers home from London at the end of the trip.

Trevor and I are members of Kendal Rotary Club and we hope to raise sponsorship, through the Rotary Club’s charity account, to support two causes.

The first recipient is to be Sandgate Special School in Kendal and in particular the School’s Outdoor Education programme.  The School serves a huge area of South Lakeland and has some 60 children on roll all of whom have severe or profound learning difficulties.  The school recently gained accreditation as an “Adventure Learning School” and is nationally recognised as a leading school in special needs education through physical activity and adventurous pursuits.

A fine example is the annual week long Sea Kayaking trip in the Sound of Arisaig on Scotland’s West Coast.

Taking children with special needs on trips such as this is extremely expensive. There needs to be a high ratio of adults to pupils, equipment, for safety reasons, has to be of a very high quality and the accommodation needs to be suitable for the children. On the other hand the children benefit enormously from the challenging experience.  We are hoping to raise at least £3,000 to cover the cost of the sea kayaking trip next year – we would however like to raise substantially more! Much of the school’s outdoor equipment and clothing was donated some years ago and is now in urgent need of replacement.

The second nominated charity is to be Shelterbox, a charity originally set up by Rotarians in Cornwall and now an independent charity fundraising worldwide and providing immediate vital aid when disaster strikes anywhere. 

The ShelterBox solution in disaster response is as simple as it is effective. The charity delivers the essentials a family needs to survive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Each large, green ShelterBox is           tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and filtration equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

Please take a look at

Dar Al-Tifel Al-Arabi Organization (DTA) was founded in Jerusalem, by the late Ms. Hind Al-Husseini, the pioneer in voluntary work in Jerusalem. It is a charitable organization, formed to serve Palestinian orphans and needy children, providing them with good care, accommodation and education. The organization was formed after the massacre of Deir Yassin, a small village located nearby Jerusalem, in the year 1948. The Israeli gangs invaded the village, demolished its houses and killed most of its residents.

Some managed to survive - 55 children, whose parents and relatives were killed, escaped to the Old City of Jerusalem and were found traumatized near a wall between the Holy Sepulcher Church and Omar Mosque. Ms. Hind Al-Husseini sheltered them initially in two small rooms in a small market in the Old City .She then formed a society under the name of Dar Al-Tifel Al-Arabi, in its recent location, her old family home, as the number of these orphan and needy children increased day after day.

We often aspire to ‘ build the new Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land’. As Kendalians we thought what it would feel like if someone came and massacred the residents of the village of Staveley and the children were found wandering homeless and traumatized in the centre of Kendal! In supporting the existing orphans of Dar All Tifel who are now effectively cut off from the rest of Palestine by political boundaries, we can do something practical and meaningful to help .
Please take a look at


This centre caters for children with special needs including profoundly physically handicapped children whose mobility is very limited. It is run by a few dedicated staff and a team of volunteer professionals, both Omani and expatriate. The two two school physiotherapists, both of whom are volunteers, have identified the need for a pony walker and need to raise 1500 pounds sterling ( OR1000) for this piece of equipment. This team of volunteers is personally known to Brian.

Brian is hoping to raise funds towards the purchase of an item of equipment called a pony walker