We just received a thank you card from the excellent charity Epilepsy Action, thanking us for raising £7,249 as a result of Jim’s great Paddle Boarding Expedition in June. So a big thank you to anyone who donated to this very worthy cause, together we have made a difference and raising awareness of the charity and their work to support families with Epilepsy.
Thank you also to Alex, Will, Chris, Nathan and Adam for your support on the day. We set out on the 6th of June to Paddle to French territorial waters which with Covid restrictions and border controls is as far as we could go. A distance of 14 miles through some of the busiest water in the world.
Having spent weeks waiting for the perfect weather (flat calm) we picked the 6th with a days notice to get all 6 of us together in Hastings near our departure point of Rye Harbour. The sea was calm but visibility down to about 40ft with a sea mist that cannot be predicted. Luckily our support vessel had all the required radar AIS and chart technology on board. Plus a seasoned veteran at crossing the channel. Decisions had to be made and because of the logistics and cost involved in running the expedition, we decided to alter course slightly and plough ahead.
Throughout the day the waves begin to build and I have to confess it became much harder than we had imagined. The most tiring part is actually total concentration at all times to stop falling off. With waves coming at you from all directions it presents a challenge to the legs. Along the way we had sightings of seals dolphins and multiple marker buoys, Not to mention the rather scary Dungeness Power station that appeared like a post apocalyptic film set out of the mist.
For 2 hours of the journey we witnessed an entire immigration operation happen right alongside us. Drones flying overhead trying to identify the dingy followed by a coastguard call out and collection of the immigrants and their craft. At one point we were paddling within 100 yards of the boat. Those on board must have thought us to be quite crazy paddling away 5 miles out to sea while they were in the middle of a struggle for survival.
So thank you to all who supported us and responded to Felix’s story.