Day 1 – Boosh!

Kayaking out from Tower Bridge (Photo: Jim Shannon)

I write this from Gravesend Rowing Club. Barefoot, in my thermals, headtorch illuminating the space in front of me. Justine, my Paddling Chief & Film Guru, has just tucked up into her sleeping bag on the floor behind me -where my own sleeping bag is laid out ready and waiting. We arrived at just after 7pm in the softest of spring sunsets – the air calm and mild, mirroring my own space inside, now calmed after the storm of the final preparations this last week.

Today has been so special – the finale of nearly two years hard work from my team and I to get L2L ready to go, and the start of the journey ahead. I have grinned from ear to ear most of the day and inside I have been singing, so happy and proud that we even made it to London. From here on in, the journey is the reward – but I am stoked that so many people have backed us and came out to Tower Bridge to cheer us on.

It’s 11.41pm and the alarm is set for 2am. This means that really I should be in my sleeping bag by now too. But I am on a bit of a high, so I won’t go before sharing with you a few thoughts from Day 1 of this 800 + day adventure.

First, a thank you – everyone and anyone who hooted, hollered or hugged me today – from near or afar. I am only here because of the collective efforts and energies and support of people and groups and businesses all over the world. This isn’t just my journey any more – it is for everyone.

So – some stats for Day 1:

* Miles paddled – 25(ish)

*Hours spent grinning – 24

*Hours spent sleeping – 0

* Mars bars eaten – none. Saving them for tomorrow.

* Bird species spotted – at least 6 (Shelduck, black headed gull, grey heron, fulmar, oystercatcher, cormorant)


Tomorrow we leave at 02.30am to try and make the most of the tide – the Thames Estuary starts flooding back in around 7am  so we need to try and get to somewhere sensible like Whistable around then or shortly after, as being on a sandbank might not be the best fun.  It’s looking like it will be blowing a fairly fresh and blowy southerly wind, so this should make for some interesting conditions as the water gets shallower and we shall probably get rather soggy with the splash.

Forgive the lack of coherent structure – although I am on a high, my brain is a little tired. So it is probably time I catch some sleep. It’s now officially tomorrow which means that in just 2 hours we get up to get back in the boats.


Onwards to the world my friends – we’ve a few more miles to go yet.

Happy happy days to you,

Sarah and Nelson (the kayak) x


PS Weather looks good for Monday – we hope to make the crossing to Calais, France – from Dover or Ramsgate

PPS Who made the caramel shortbread that we found on Justine’s boat before departure? It is delicious!

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14 Responses to Day 1 – Boosh!

  1. corriepaw says:

    Hi Sarah & Justine (and of course, Nelson)

    I’m very excited for you and I’m land-locked and left behind in Herefordshire! Started following you on Twitter, Sarah, about 3-4 months ago and have been looking forward to the start of your fantastic journey. Good luck to you and keep us informed – I love wildlife, so please keep us up to date with what you see and meet.
    I’ll follow you and hope to see you return in person, come 2013.
    Please be careful and take care, but enjoy every hour of this period of your life. You are lucky indeed (and quite a bit courageous, too!)

    Kind regards,

    Colin Walford. x

  2. Mark Allison says:

    A great start. Will be following your remarkable adventure over the next few years. Best of British.


  3. Michael says:

    What you are doing is fantastic! I’m insanely jealous as I love both biking and kayaking! Someday I would love to follow in your wake and complete an epic journey like yours! Take care!

  4. Andy Cross says:

    All the best Sarah. I’ll be following you on your tracker and your blogs daily. I hope your exhibition goes as well as it possibly can. Enjoy yourself and look after those saddle sores ;o)
    Andy x

  5. Richard Godman says:

    Good luck Sarah, I will be following you all the way! Thankyou so much for supporting the MNDA. Stay safe. Richard

  6. mark says:

    well done! good luck

  7. TERRY B says:

    Hi ! SARAH
    Congratulations you re finaly on your way ,a lot of hard work to get
    their ,but you can enjoy it all now.
    Great send off for you ,we are so far away ,but still with you all the way , will be following you all the way and will be there to support you.
    Cherrio for now ,will check on you tomorrow
    Keep Safe & Well TERRY B !!!!!!!!! West Aussie

  8. Christine & Kathleen says:

    What wonderful day and so proud to have made it up to London to be with you and meet all those extra wonderful people. What a joy and pleasure.

    Glad you have now staretd on this wonderful challenge, what a send off but what a return will be wiating for you in 2 1/2 years.

    All good wishes

    C & K

  9. Bethania Luz says:

    Hi Sarah
    Good luck, safe travel.
    I´m so excited for you.
    Can´t wait to read and see this amazing adventure as it happens.
    You are simply amazing.
    Big hug from Portugal.

  10. KIKO Quijada says:


  11. Good Way! says:

    Dear Sarah, welcome to Sakhalin! I live in Okha-town on Sakhalin island (Russia). I and my friends are follow to your voyage!

  12. ian says:

    hi sarah,this is a really good site,will be following your progress daily on this epic trip,really hope you enjoy this,telling everyone in the hope they’ll follow you…… safe!

  13. Sam Hale says:

    Wow Sarah! What a star. Congratulations on completing the first leg of your amazing journey. The whole Advance Performance team is following your every move. What a wonderful send off you had from Tower Bridge – thank you for including us! Good luck and let us know if you need anything.

  14. Brenda says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Glad to know you are safe and well – as regards the tent poles your remind me of my sister who went camping in the midlands of Ireland without poles but managed to find a Lidle store selling Gazebos – so bought one – improvised and returned it the next day with full refund – how bad!! Keep laughing and well. All the best

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