Monday, October 13, 2008

On my way home...

Hi Folks,

I am just back in Cali, at a Motel 6 in Yreka, catching up on some work and sleep before leaving in the early hours to make the final drive home.

So just a quick update: I finished the circumnavigation of Vancouver Island at 7.42pm on Saturday October 11th, in the dark and rain. I started at 2.53pm on Wednesday September 24th which by my sketchy math makes a total of 17days 4hours 49minutes.

It was one of the toughest challenges I have ever undertaken on several levels. Whilst the sea conditions I faced were much less challenging than during my UK and Ireland circumnavigation, and that was of course a much longer (6 month) trip, the fact that I was trying to break a record and that I desperately wanted to get home to be with my family meant that what seemed at times to be constant headwinds became incrediby frustrating. I pushed my body and mind as far as I ever want to go and will not rush to put myself in that position again. I found the pressure of breaking a speed record quite different to that of being 'first' to do something. It was definitely a different mindset and one that turned an amazing journey into something of a chore for a large part of the time.

That said of course it is very satisfying to have set out with a goal and to achieve it. I saw some incredible scenery, had some really close encounters with some amazing wildlife, and grew to love and respect our ocean and its coastline even more than I did before. I learnt a lot about myself now that I am a father and how this has changed my attitudes to record breaking and risk taking without me being aware of it until now.

I will download my camera and get some photos posted asap. Thank you so much for your support. Believe me, knowing that there were quite a few folk willing me on made all the difference when the doubts crept into my head, which they did several times.

By the way, I used a Valley Nordkapp (standard size, NOT the low volume) and it was awesome! My Kokatat gear performed superbly, as did my Optimus cooker, Mountain Hardware tent and Gaia dry bags. I used a Lettmann Nordic wing paddle in a medium blade size and 215cm in length. The same type of paddle that I used for my UK and Ireland trip and once again it was as smooth as silk and bomb proof.

After 700miles I had no blisters on my hands, just an aching back and two very sore heels which I bruised whilst bracing in big seas whilst being blown down the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Time to get some sleep so that I will have the energy to play with Shea Bella tomorrow afternoon.

Good night!


Robin (Atlantis Kayaks) said...

Hi Sean,
Congratulations from everyone here on beautiful Vancouver Island!!! We've been following your progress and rooting for your safe success.

The gang at Atlantis Kayaks, Inc

grammygal said...

Good to know you are now home safe and enjoying your family!!! In reading your blog it is wonderful to know that you had such an amazing time with all the wild things---I'm sure that made it very interesting at times!

Welcome home and much love and congratulations---

Mum from Oregon