Wednesday, 15 May 2013

We did it! We made it from the Source to the Sea!

We did it! We made it from the Source to the sea in 9 days!

As well as walking from the source and cycling 25 miles, we also managed to paddle 175 miles on the Stand Up Paddleboards. That makes a new British inland waterway distance record and possibly a new World inflatable SUP distance record!

A huge thanks to everyone who supported us before, during and after the trip. A massive thanks to everyone who sponsored us, we have almost raised £3,000!

Please check out our two sponsors on the links below, their equipment was excellent!
Red Paddle Co
Palm Equipment

We have loads of funny stories, amazing tales and stunning pictures to share which may well make it in to book form?! Well we will also share more on this blog site as we go.

More pictures on the following links:

For now thank you again and enjoy!

Source2Sea Team!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

So this is it! We are off to the Source for an adventure of a lifetime!

Well the time has come for us to head up to the Source of the river Severn and start our adventure! 200 miles in 9 days and hopefully we might even get some sun!!

We have been training hard all winter even in the coldest of weather and have spent many hours planning our itinerary, but we feel we are ready to go and are all really excited to get going.
The wildlife has been outstanding so far and we are hoping to be spoilt as we travel with the flow!

A huge thanks to Red Paddle, Palm and Berghaus for your support so far!

Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far and will do on our journey! You can follow our progress on Facebook by Viewranger.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Meet Tristan Bawn, Source2sea team member

Hello my name is Tristan Bawn, I’m 34 and live in Bristol with my wife and two biggest fans! I’m over the moon to be a part of the Source2Sea team and can’t wait to get going.

I spend as much time as I can in the outdoors, especially surfing the Severn Bore, walking in the mountains, camping with the family and of course Stand Up paddleboarding! I have climbed to just under 7,000 metres, surfed lovely breaks abroad, dived clear waters and explored jungles, but I also enjoy a gentle walk through my local woods.

I have tried many different activities, including bathtubbing and bog snorkelling, but I guess I’m happy just being outdoors enjoying life!

Wildlife is a huge part of why I go outdoors in the first place, getting a picture completes the day! I’m really looking forward to seeing the vast array of wildlife the Severn supports, we have already been spoilt by Keith the seal!

The Source2Sea trip came about from years of general chit chat about traveling the length, and then one day we decided to stop talking and get doing! So here we are on the verge of leaving and the excitement is killing me. What will keep me going? Knowing my family and friends will be waiting for us in Sharpness!

You can follow our progress on Facebook:

Meet Rob Yates Source2Sea team member

I'm excited to be given the chance to attempt this challenge and achieve this feat with a great team. I have over 25 years' experience of the outdoor world with numerous activities including hill climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, caving, ice-climbing and even bath-tubing, not that I stayed in the bath for very long !! I just hope it's cold during April as I seem to like getting into cold frozen tents with most of these activities. Paddleboarding is a new experience for me so my training will be tougher than the rest but that's the thing I like the most, a challenge!!

Meet George Bush, the fifth member of our team and the support driver!

I'm George Bush, the only 'lady' of Team Source2Sea and I am the Support Driver, I have the very important job of cooking, cleaning, pitching tents, washing clothes, scrubbing backs, rubbing on sun cream, and chauffeuring....ok maybe not all of those things but definitely chauffeuring and providing food! I will be following the guys along their journey, making sure they are fed and watered, and to 'support' I will be taking the road as close to the river as I can get (I will be driving a 4 x 4 so looking forward to a lot of off roading) They think their journey will be tough....pfft, I'll be doing 100 miles further ;-) Being a support driver will be rather challenging for me, I have no directional sense, if asked to go left, I go right and vice versa...but, I have a satnav, so all will be fine!

I was born in Yorkshire, but very shortly after we moved to a very small Worcestershire village, where I lived for 20 years, I spent most of my time walking, cycling, exploring etc. But wildlife is and always has been my biggest passion, I would spend hours searching for things from tiny caterpillars to Red Deer. Whilst growing up my sister and I reared all sorts of things from day old Jackdaw chicks (I still do that now) to raising lambs in the garden that had been orphaned by the local farm. I have kept almost every animal thinkable and enjoyed every minute of it. I currently have two hedgehogs hibernating in my spare room, they will be fattened up and released when the weather has warmed up. I have a dog called Dave, a Cockatiel called Chaz, a tortoise called Flash and Turtle called Hector and my favourite animals are sheep!! I love the rain (we could do with a bit more for the river levels) and being outdoors, so I can not wait for this adventure to start!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Keith the Grey seal joins the team!

What a weekend we have just had!

The last section of our challenge will be along the tidal stretches of the Severn so we decided we would head up to Gloucester and paddle the 18 miles downstream to Arlingham. The aim was to get miles in, track the route with Viewranger to get a better idea of the speed we were travelling and also to test out clothing and watertight bags.

Little did we know as we were being dropped off in Gloucester, that things would take a very unique, interesting and unexpected turn!

We kitted up and paddled away from our drop off point, and with in a few miles, I heard a strange sound coming out of the water behind me. Looking around I was amazed to see a grey seal playing with my leash! We were after all 40 miles inland!

I quickly grabbed the camera and switched it on to film, hoping to get a glimpse of it, but instead of a glimpse, the seal played up for the camera. In fact it was as interested in us and our boards as we were with it! It was a bit of a worry at first though as the Red Paddle Co SUP's are inflatable, and with a mouth full of sharp teeth it could have all gone wrong!

At times we were within a few feet from it as it played with our SUP's and rolled, jumped and at times swam alongside us. It was a truly amazing experience for us and one that we will never forget.

For the rest of the paddle, although very scenic and full of other wildlife, we were in a bit of a daze, wondering what to do with footage, what to tell friends and family. It was all a bit exciting and as soon as we added it to Facebook, it went viral! Various papers and the BBC have been in contact, all good advertising for our challenge, but will also hopefully show what amazing wonders are tucked away in the river and why we should protect it!

Since then we have discovered the seal has recently been up near Worcester, and has been named "Keith" strange for a female seal, but matching the markings on its neck area confirmed we had the right seal.

We managed to cover the 18 miles in 4hours 44mins which we were also very happy about!!

May the good times on the Severn carry on in to our challenge in April!

Remember you can follow our progress whilst we are on our trip by liking our Facebook page or following us on Twitter!

Thanks for your support so far! Tristan Bawn

Monday, 4 March 2013

Meet Tony Bain, Source 2 Sea team member

A lot of people say I’m different, some say I’m nuts. Some just stare in disbelief.

I don’t think that I’m extraordinary. I’m 46 A Kiwi, today my greatest passions in Life is the outdoors. My spare time is taken up with Mountain Biking, Hill walking, kayaking, Akwakats and now Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP’s). I also enjoy Mountain Bike Chariot racing and Bog snorkelling.

I grew up in New Zealand on high Country farms. As a kid I made my own fun as I lived miles from friends. I suppose this explains my ability to create things out of nothing. I can turn my hand to most things in life. I had an big black old 29inch wheeled bike that resembled a shopping bike that I cycled around the farm, Mountain Cycling or is that Biking, as they call it today.

Saturday was Rugby as it was for half the country. I played for my province from the age of 5. When I was 18 I changed code to Rugby League, Not a good move with my Dad. But Things improved when I made the Canterbury under 19s at 18 and the under 21st at 19. Knee injuries forced me to give up at 21.

In my teen age years my dad managed a Farm Park on the Banks Peninsular just outside Christchurch. We lived by a beach and Just across the road the mountains stretched for miles. I loved to run then and spent my days running on the trails in the park & mountains. It was here that my passion for the Kayak and paddle sports took hold. I had an Old Canvas timber framed kayak and I’d be out in all weathers and sea conditions, to the fear of my parents.

I then progressed to an 8’6” Wave Ski and spent all my weekends and spare time down the beach surfing the waves at Sumner near Christchurch or further up the coast.

In 1987 I went on Operation Raleigh in Fiordland, New Zealand. Where learn to Scuba dive. Had an amazing experience doing all sorts of adventure, community and scientific tasks. Turning an island into a rare bird Sanctuary by killing all the rats on it, swimming with seals, making walking tracks in the bush. It was after that I packed my bars and headed for the northerly shores of Britain.

I married while in the UK, and we had 2 Sons who share a passion for some of the outdoor activities that I enjoy. My attraction to the water and paddle sports continued while in the UK, Kayaking courses and Sub aqua courses

Today, and now single I live in the smallest town in the UK, the home of Bog Snorkelling. I hold the title of the Fastest Local Bog Snorkeler and have done so for the last 4 years, (only 20secs off the World record). Either I’m the only local nutty enough to do this more than once or I’m quite good at it. I have also held the title of the fastest Local Bog Snorkelling Triathlon as well. I also race in the Mountain Bike Chariot event with my Green Dragon Activities team.

Green Dragon Activities offers to the world a range of unique adventure journeys and activities. Our most famous being Bathtubbing, Kayaking in a bath. We hold a World Championship event each year. This year we are raising funds for our charity partner Macmillan Cancer Support.

I also guide Mountain Bike groups on mountain bike adventures around the Cambrian Mountains, as a Stand Up Paddle Board instructor we offer SUP Journeys on Canals around the Welsh and UK Canal network.

We also offer Wacky Welsh Weekends of fun, magic and mayhem, Wild and Gorge swimming, Mountain Biking, paddle boarding, bathtubbing, Coracles and Kawheelies. You can call us to arrange an event or book on one of our listed dates that suit.

I love a challenge in life, and to those that say I’m nuts. I just like to say I like to be “Just a little bit different” and I love to have fun at work. Why not join us sometime to see what I mean.