Around the Isle in 80 Days!

Around the Isle in 80 Days (A.I.E.D)!

2014 is behind me! What an amazing year it really was! Project Mountain Goat is completed but still there are so many things to finish off in regards to PMG, mostly blogs left to write! With that said, 2015 is now here and I feel it is time to announce this years project! I feel this will motivate and help me get through the hours and hours of planning and training ahead of me! The idea for this years project is to circumnavigate around Ireland by sea kayak, exploring the coastline itself, it’s loughs, fjords, and Islands off the Irish coast on an 80 day continuous trip (thus the name of the project – Around the Isle in 80 Days). I am pretty certain people will know where the name of the project was inspired from. If not, a little hint: there was a book and movie made about a trip around the world, that took 80 days…probably ringing some bells now?!?! Instead of the world, I will be keeping it a little more local!

The Killary Fjord. I am looking forward to kayaking all the up the Fjord!

The Killary Fjord. I am looking forward to kayaking all the up the Fjord! It will be interesting to see how strong the tide may actually be here!

Around the Isle in 80 Days will be extremely different than last years project. Not only I am taking myself out of my comfort zone, which is dry land, I will be taking to the high seas! There will be a whole new skill-set to train and use, along with new dangers and challenges to navigate! The structure of this project will also be entirely different than PMG. Project Mountain Goat was a “plan and hike as I go” sort of project. This allowed me to keep at the project in drips and drabs. This enabled me to work and thus fund the project too. It also allowed me vital rest and time off from the project. The downside to the way I did/planned PMG was that I was never completely sure about how much more time or money I needed to complete it. One of the biggest mistakes I made in calculating the cost was forgetting to factor in, not only the cost for 3 months of hill walking all around Ireland, but, the loss of income from not working those 3 months! A big mistake that nearly ended the project several times! Due to the fact that PMG was done bit by bit it certainly was a “Project” with uncertainties!

“A.I.E.D” (Around the Isle in Eighty(80) Days) is a “plan it all first, and then go do it” sort of project! This changes a lot of things for me this time around. For example last year I was able to do the following. Go away when: A: the weather was looking good! B: when I had the energy and time to do so. C: when I could afford to do it! This time around I will not only have to go away for 80 days straight, but I will need the endurance, both mental and physical, to go away for such a long trip! Things like the weather will be a serious issues that could throw a spanner in the works at any time! In terms of taking time away from work, not only does it make it a serious commitment, but it also brings to attention the costs of such a huge project! On the flip side, I have time to hone my skills for this project. I will have time to do some personal rock climbing, time to work, and time with friends and family. Knowing I will be away for a set amount of days at a set time of the year will be easier in it’s own ways too!

The coastline of Dingle! The view is of Inishtooskert Island and I wonder will I simply land and explore it's highest point or will I overnight camp on it's shore too!

The coastline of Dingle! The view is of Inishtooskert Island and I wonder will I simply land and explore it’s highest point or will I overnight camp on it’s shore too!

With all this said I love these new obstacles to get over. This is all apart of the adventure, the mistakes I made last year will help me this year! Lessons learned and all that sort of thing! I have no doubt I will make new mistakes to learn from this year! Luckily I am a long way away from “D-Day”! Dates are not yet set, but, I do have a rough idea of when I start!

To give a little more definition to “A.I.E.D” I will say this: A straight circumnavigation around Ireland is considered to be 1600kms. The coastline of Ireland is over 5600kms long, says the OSI website! I want to combine a circumnavigation of Ireland with exploration of Ireland’s Islands and coastline. I will not follow the entire coastline but mix it up a little. It will be hard to say how many kilometres I will actually kayak due to currents, tides and drifting, but for now I will say that I estimate 2500kms. Then there will be the time spent on the many small Island around coast! There are still too many things to plan right now and with time I will have a greater scope of the Project!

The Donegal coastline like much of Ireland's west coast looks amazing in good weather. However what challenges wait in store for me in not such good weather?!?

The Donegal coastline like much of Ireland’s west coast looks amazing in good weather. However what challenges wait in store for me in not such good weather?!?

I have read a few different blogs about kayaking around Ireland. Not only does it sound like an amazing adventure but I will admit, it sounds hard too! From what records are saying approximately 50 people have circumnavigated around Ireland in a kayak (I think it must be more than 50)! More people have been in space! It appears not to be everyone’s “cup of tea”. However, I am drawn to these endurance ideas! With that in mind, physical training will start now too, along with a lot of research! Something to keep me occupied on rainy days 😉 For now that’s all I can say! Wish me luck with “Around the Isle in 80 Days” or “A.I.E.D” for short! I have a lot to do, and a lot to learn, but, it is possible! Check back for updates in the coming weeks! It’s going to be one hell of an adventure! Cheers for reading guys!

Simon

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