So they say practice makes perfect.
Well in our case practice made us colder and then colder. On Friday we set about on a training paddle from ‘Dreadnought Reach’ to ‘Teddington Lock’ down the river Thames, thus being a long and challenging 50mile day out on water that we had never paddled on before. We knew that when it was snowing and a ‘-‘ sat in front of the thermometer on the drive up it would not be the warmest of days out! Added to the fact that on arriving at our start destination we met a fellow toothpick paddler who said, “Hey guys are you going out today, as if you are its HORRIBLE”. With that thought in our mind and a solid easterly wind in our faces alongside ice forming on our paddles and boat we opted to dress like a pair of arctic explorers and ‘get it done’.
On mile 1 we nearly fell in, then again on mile 2,3,4,5,6…….. However the ‘twitching’ was thankfully just that and amazingly we did not have to put our certificates and training in ‘survival on the water’ to practical use. Being hit by a 3mile section of bow smashing waves created a silence between us like never before as we both concentrated putting every surfski skill that we had ever gained to good use just to stay upright.
So…… With a handful of blisters later we learnt a lot about our kit, what we have adjusted and has worked for us alongside what we now need to spend more time on making work better for us. Pam and Vic yet again worked as hard as us to be the best support in the business and supplied the very welcomed three course meals at our portages to keep us fuelled till the very end. Friday was a hard day out so big thankyou to David for putting us up in London and offering his advice on Friday night as sleep rather than driving was what we needed!