Why I'm doing this challenge?
My name is Roger and I am 53 years old.
I have been married to Jude for 10 years, and we have two young girls who are at Ysgol Bro Gwydir, here in Llanrwst, of which I am a Governor.
I am a Land Surveyor and I teach HSE first aid courses.
I started Sea Kayaking in 2009 after a break of almost 20 years and in October 2010 I joined the Llanrwst Canoe Club, to train, practice my rolls and meet other kayakers, somehow, during this period, I ended up as the Club Secretary!
I am very lucky now to have a lot of friends who also sea kayak, and I often paddle around the Anglesey coast with them where we see an abundance of sea creatures, including seals, porpoise & dolphins.
A year ago I changed from paddling with a “Normal” paddle to a Greenland style “Stick” much to the amusement of my friends who threaten to use it as firewood should the need arise!
But I like it, it just feels right, and is easy to roll with, in fact I now have 4 different ways to roll, and I am keen to learn some more.
My training regime for this trip is;-
Paddling as much as I can on the Sea, and as the evenings get lighter I will also be getting out onto the Conwy River and local lakes.
When I can’t get out paddling, I aim to use my old rowing machine and my New Wobble board (from Anglesey Stick) at home. I also hope to get out on my bike, use the kids trampoline in the garden, and of course, walk the dog.
A couple of years ago I thought that this trip would be a fun thing to do, a good challenge for me and a reason to develop my paddling skills.
To date, I believe that this trip has been done about 5 times by different people, using different types of boat and at different times of the year.
As the departure time approaches, I realise that by having this self imposed challenge, it has helped me to focus on my skills as a paddler and forced me out of my comfort zone, which all helps me to develop as a sea kayaker.
In the early days of discussing this with friends, I was often asked if I would do it for charity, this appealed to me as I know I would have more commitment if I had this responsibility.
My initial thoughts about which charities to sponsor were a) had to be something to do with the sea/coast and b) help introduce young people to the outdoors. After a while I realised that an obvious choice was the RNLI, who’s services I never hope to have call on, but I know that they are there if needed.
I have changed my mind with regard to the other charity because a very close friend of mine passed away recently, he was a lifelong diabetic, and was very active in the outdoors, it always impressed me how he never let it stop him doing what he wanted to do, and he always tried to encourage other young diabetics to have no limits, so I have chosen Diabetes UK.