Colin Wood – my story

The plan. An attempt to sea kayak solo and unsupported from Lands End to John O Groats (or around Britain if I am enjoying myself – the circumnavigation). I’ll be promoting the mental well being of blue light emergency services workers.

The challenge will be for the Fire Fighters Charity (they provide mental and physical rehabilitation for injured service personnel), and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (a leading global charity dedicated to the conservation and protection of all whales and dolphins).

*Yellow addition. I now also plan to raise funds for the provision of equipment for the Ukraine emergency services.

I will film the journey with a GoPro, and aim to upload my experiences. At certain points I will share my wellbeing experiences and thoughts and upload any sightings of whales and dolphins, basking sharks and other marine life I think you’ll like.

This website provides all the details for the challenge. The reason why I am doing it, how I have approached going about it, the equipment, live tracking information, etc. What I hope is that by following the posts and updates you can share in this adventure, the highs and the lows. But the most important thing is that if you are experiencing problems with your mental health, you will empathise with the journey. It may give you the courage to find the help that you may need. 

I hope you enjoy the site. It was kindly put together by Chris at tallhatDesign. Without this site I would be just paddling out in the wet and cold counting down the miles and talking to myself. This challenge is not just about going from A to B. It is to get valuable messages across. So please look at the charity pages and give something if you can. Do follow the posts. I will do my best to make them interesting. At the very least there should be lots of shots of calming scenery, sunsets and hypnotic waves. Plus wet and windy days filmed from a small uncomfortable tent. The high and the lows.

There will be a lot more difficult challenges happening. There will be really motivating people doing incredible things. Climbing massive mountains, doing what most of us can’t do, pushing the envelope of endeavour and inspiring the human spirit. That’s not what I am trying to do. I am trying to reach someone who finds getting through the day hard. To keep going, find some help and start their healing. When I was at a low point, I didn’t need a famous movie star going on about what positivity could do. What helped me was talking to someone who had been in my position. I am returning the favour.

As you read it please remember, I am not a qualified therapist. I am just sharing my experiences of a difficult mental health journey and an attempt at an equally hard sea kayak trip. If you read all the pages you will realise that a lot has gone against me in trying to make this trip happen. All I can promise is this, that I’ll get to the start line, and push off the beach. I hope you will do the same just by talking to someone. It’s the beginning that counts. It would be brilliant if I could reach my destination, but I have to be realistic – I will be up against it. But If I can help one emergency worker through a difficult patch, it will be worth it.

The end of my Journey

Special Update: Tain… Decision day. I knew for a week that I had to make…

The Last Leg

Goirtean to Loch lochy Started off the day packing up my usual wet gear.I was…

Almost there…

Mull of Kinytre to Kilberry As a classic introduction to Scotland, I spent the night…

Journeying On

Portaferry 3 days After the rescue of last night, it was time for a rest….

Video content!

I’m attempting – when data connections allow – to upload videos on my trip. Here…