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On Friday 16th April Peter Mansell will set off to paddle solo around the Isle of Wight to raise money for the Martin Booth Memorial Fund.Sea kayaker

Martin was a good friend and worked with the Colt Hill team to try to develop a Canoe Clubhouse on the Basingstoke Canal at Odiham.  Unfortunately Martin had an untimely death in 2009.

The Martin Booth Memorial Fund is administered by Basingstoke and Deane Canoe Club and will be devoted to the development of a canoe clubhouse at Colt Hill wharf.

The passage through the NeedlesThe kayak circumnavigation of the Island is 120km and includes passage through tidal races off Hurst Spit, The Needles and St Catherine's Point.  Peter will be paddling alone and will be trying to complete the circuit essentially non-stop.  Janella and Hilary will be following from the Isle of Wight and with luck updating the blog below.

Thursday evening

The planning is complete and I had a phone conversation with the Coastguard this afternoon so they know my plans.  Tomorrow I plan to set off from Lepe Country Park at about 14:30.  With luck I'll have shown Janella how to update this blog before then.

Friday morning

Weather forecast updated, now its time to pack and go.  Janella has been shown how to update this site.

Monday evening

Well the Blackberry technology failed to provide acces for Janella to update the blog, but the more traditional art of paddling did not fail.  I completed the circuit in 23hours, including a 4 hour sleep in the middle of the night.  What were the highlights:

  • Speeding down the western arm of the Solent assisted by a gentle tail wind and a superb push from the spring tide;
  • Watching a raven at Alum Bay;
  • Flat calm through the Needles;
  • Scary stuff in the night around St Catherine's Point - not much swell but I could hear waves breaking on the shore, waves breaking on partly submerged rosks further out to sea and able to see nothing;
  • A surf landing at Shanklin in the dark;
  • A beautiful sunrise;Sunrise from Shanklin
  • Sighting the Spinacker Tower as I rounded the eastern tip of the Island at Bembridge;
  • Finally seeing Lepe in the distance and eventually making landfall.

And impossible without:

  • Shore support from Janella and Hilary - moral only, no physical assistance
  • Encouragement from the Coastguard each time I spoke to them
  • A kayak trolley for the haul up and down Shanklin beach!

Culver CliffPeter

At 09:30 Friday the inshore forecast issued by the Met Office for the period from 06:00 was:

24 hour forecast: 

  • Wind - Northeast 4 or 5, occasionally 6 for a time, decreasing 3 or 4 later. 
  • Sea State - Slight or moderate. 
  • Weather - Fair. 
  • Visibility - Moderate or good. 

Outlook for the following 24 hours: 

  • Wind - Northeast 3 or 4 
  • Sea State - Slight. 
  • Weather - Fair. 
  • Visibility - Moderate or good.