Stage 2 complete - so how's it gone?

posted 14 Jun 2015, 06:24 by Dominic Thwaites   [ updated 14 Jun 2015, 06:41 ]
Let me find a word that sums it up, hmmm, yes, I've got it: WINTER

In summing up stage 1, I felt things had matched expectations surprisingly accurately (apart from it being COLD). Can't say the same for Stage 2, I'm afraid - it's been tougher than expected. And that's despite the fact that I knew this was going to be the hardest part.

I had anticipated some weather-waiting which is why I had allowed 3 weeks for this stage. But it took almost 4 weeks. The March-like conditions were also pretty harsh. I'd expected better for May. The wind continued it's theme from stage 1 in being both cold, strong and mostly from the wrong direction!

I had more rain in stage 2 which is a bit tedious but despite the weather it's surprising how many times the sun does put in a good appearance,

I also felt there was a fair chance I'd get round without recourse to the RNLI. Oh well.

I covered about the same number of miles as Stage 1 and motored 40% of the time which is still good considering the conditions.

Clearly I've been disappointed by my engine and the rudder breaking was fairly catastrophic. But both these issues have been fully rectified and I seriously do not expect to see the same levels of failures in subsequent stages. I do feel the worst is over, he says confidently!

The time ashore has, as usual, been a delight (apart from the cycle rides contra-wind). My stay at Stonehaven, Whitehills and the Orkney Islands being the highlights. I'd not appreciated the importance this region played in wartime operations and I learned a lot about that period. The scenery has been spectacular if a bit foreboding. And seeing Dolphins and Killer Whales a few feet away was magical.

Personally, I relaxed my diet somewhat and thus did not lose any further weight which was my intention. But with my back degenerating the last couple of days, this stage ended on a low. It was touch and go whether I could make the journey home as I was seriously disabled. Now, a week on, I am improving but I need to get a lot better to feel confident about continuing and, of course, I now have the fear of a recurrence. I don't thing it was anything in particular that brought it on, just a slow accumulation of being in continuously cramped and physically stressful situations. Losing my wallet didn't help either.

I've done well with donations from Harbours and Marinas, though donations from other sources have dried up a tad. I'll keep at it and I'm sure as I near completion I'll get more. I intend to do some talks once I'm back (I already have one booked at the local library) which should be fun and raise some more for Honeypot post the venture.

If you'd like me to give a presentation on my venture when I'm all done, then feel free to make suggestions or organise something.

"Let us see what stage 2 has to offer....you never know." is how I signed off on Stage 1. Well now I know! It's been an adventure with no regrets. To be honest, it's the unexpected things that make the whole venture interesting and exciting. If I knew how things were going to turn out out then it wouldn't be so fun or challenging. So here's to more excitement in Stage 3 ... coming up in 2 weeks time!
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