Strontian paddler back home after historic round-Britain canoe trip
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.