Adventurers to face Atlantic swell on Hebridean expedition

The team of kayakers training for an expedition to the Outer Hebrides

The team of kayakers training for an expedition to the Outer Hebrides

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While some people choose to escape TT week by going on holiday, or maybe even by shutting the curtains and sitting the fortnight out, one group is choosing something altogether more challenging.

The group is to undertake an expedition to kayak around the southern reaches of the Outer Hebrides – and instead of hurtling masses of bikes and the constant stream of noise and traffic – this party of seven will have to contend with the sounds of the sea, dramatic coastal features and navigating the waters on the edge of the Atlantic.

The expedition is made up of members of the island’s Adventure Club, which is run by the adventure sports centre, Adventurous Experiences.

The club has a number of trips running this year, of which this is for the most experienced group. Lead coach on the expedition, which sets off on Saturday, is George Shaw, who has coached for Adventurous Experiences for the past five years.

‘We will be starting our expedition out of Castle Bay, on the Island of Barra,’ said George. ‘Hopefully, we’ll circumnavigate Barra, whilst visiting the island of Eriskay. So far it looks as if the weather will be good enough for us to reach the island of Mingulay, which has the highest sea cliffs in the British Isles.’

The band of seven adventurers will be living self sufficiently while on the trip, and will be carrying their survival kit with them as they go.

They have been training as kayakers for between two to five years between them, and George was keen to point out the variety in backgrounds they come from.

‘The group is made up of people from all walks of life,’ said George. ‘We have people who work in the finance sector, IT specialists, business, a teacher, a buildings inspector and a body parts fabricator all coming along.’

He added: ‘Sea kayaking is a fantastic way to explore amazing places such as this, the group have trained hard preparing themselves for the challenges of paddling in a remote location on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and we’re all looking forward to the adventure.

‘It will definitely challenge them and will put their skills to the test, facing the Atlantic swell.’

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