Last evening Alan and Michael gave a very well received talk about their incredible journey across the Irish Sea. Alan had walked all the way from his home in Manchester to the Dingle in County Cork. Michael and friends facilitated by along the way and provided the relatively novice paddler, Alan with the support to make the 22 hour crossing of the Irish Sea by double kayak.
Alan did this walk in memory of his sister who had severe cerebral palsy. It outlined what drove him to do the walk, including a bit about his childhood, the idea for the walk, fundraising, preparation (or lack of), the Irish sea problem. The walk, kayaking, walking in Ireland and then the insights and other things he learned from the whole experience.
and Michael kayaked for 22 hours over the Irish Sea despite only having been in a sea kayak just twice before. The incredible 410-mile challenge was in memory of his sister, Aoife, who had severe cerebral palsy. She could not walk or talk, and spent most of her life in care. She sadly passed away in 2011.
Alan felt the need to commemorate her life in a meaningful way and the trek was his ‘pilgrimage’ – from his adopted home of Manchester, to Dingle, where he grew up.
- Spending 22 hours kayaking across the Irish sea (at least the feet got a rest!)
- What it took for me to make the decision to undertake the walk, through to its conclusion
- How I managed to successfully complete the whole journey with little previous experience (I had hardly any as a walker and none as a kayaker)
- Understanding the willpower it took to keep going through the pain of blisters, torn ligaments and a stress fracture
- How I raised over £20,000 for charity, mostly using social media
- How I came to deal with the life and death of my sister and the important role my walk played in that
- How I relied on the kindness of strangers and how it all worked out in the end, despite no solid plan.
- A combination of the above