Stron­tian pad­dler back home af­ter his­toric round-Bri­tain ca­noe trip

The Oban Times - - LOCHABER TIMES -

COLIN Skeath ad­mits there were times dur­ing his record­set­ting pad­dle around the UK in an open ca­noe when it was far from plain sail­ing.

For­mer po­lice in­spec­tor Mr Skeath, 50, who was part­nered on the 12-week ad­ven­ture by his nephew, Davis Gould-Duff, 25, from Lim­er­ick, made land­fall home at Stron­tian shortly af­ter 7pm on Mon­day. By the time the in­trepid duo were wel­comed back by a small gath­er­ing of fam­ily and friends, they had cir­cum­nav­i­gated al­most the en­tire coast­line, about 2,000 miles, in­clud­ing three cross­ings of the Ir­ish Sea. Pad­dling a £4,000 open ca­noe, made by Swift in Canada and named Temagami af­ter a province in On­tario, they en­coun­tered winds up to force seven and swells reach­ing al­most four me­tres. ‘Peo­ple were quite wor­ried about our safety when we rounded Cape Wrath and ca­noed through the Pent­land Firth,’ said Mr Skeath.

‘But that was one of the high­lights for me. There were some other amaz­ing mo­ments – it cer­tainly ful­filled the defini­tion of the word “ad­ven­ture”.’

So far the two pad­dlers have raised about £2,000 for the For- get Me Not Chil­dren’s Hos­pice in Hud­der­s­field.

It is the first time the voy­age around the UK has been made in an open ca­noe and Mr Skeath’s wife, Ka­t­rina, says the hope is it will have changed the per­cep­tions of what is pos­si­ble with open ca­noes. Speak­ing to the Lochaber

Times the morn­ing af­ter their re­turn home, Mr Skeath said he would be back on the wa­ter soon. ‘Al­though at the mo­ment the fur­thest trip I’m plan­ning is into Fort Wil­liam!’ he laughed.

For more on this story, turn to page 32.

F30 Ca­noe round Bri­tain back home 1JP Colin Skeath, left, and his nephew Davis Gould-Duff back home this week af­ter their his­toric trip.

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