Kayaking Scotland: Nick Ray speaks on early experiences of year-long journey

4 days ago

A year at sea with alone a kayak and a covering all over the bank of Scotland may not address to many, about for one charlatan it is an befalling to locate a appropriate kind of solace.

On the day of his 59th birthday, Nick Ray larboard his home in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull with alone a plan to acknowledgment on the day he turns 60 - August 28, 2023.

The butt of his 12-month beat will be bent by “where the wind and the tides” will booty him.

The 59-year-old columnist is alone “governed by the daylight hours and the weather” and a ambition to be able to analyze each “nook and breach of the coastline”.

Since a four-month adventure to each RNLI acquit base from Kippford to Eyemouth in 2015, Mr Ray has had a “desire to travel boring all over the bank of Scotland”.  

“The concept of spending a year canoeing on my 59th-year array of took basis and took hold,” he said.

“Melding which with my brainy health accretion and application it as a way of adulatory life, which is how it all came together.”

READ MORE: Scottish artisan was once 'deeply honoured' to address canticle for Queen's funeral

 Nick Ray alfresco TobermoryNick Ray alfresco Tobermory

The adventure is also a anniversary of his own activity and the actuality which he is breath afterwards a suicide attack three years ago.

Speaking on the healing aftereffect attributes has on his brainy health, he said: “For me, the outdoors is actual abundant a accustomed branch for me. I lived and formed in the outdoors all my activity really.

“But I do income a lot of alleviation from the outdoors, I really-feel actual at home, in which environment and at peace.

“My clip of activity slows bottomward and I become far further acquainted of the present moment rather than annoying about the approaching or annoying about the past.”

A apathetic clip and basal worries of accepting from one point to addition is at the affection of his journey, accepting paddled by many alluring genitalia of Scotland in the past.

When he took on a RNLI alms cruise seven years ago, which is also the accountable of his first book, he had a planned avenue to follow.

This cruise is different, he said: “It's actual amoebic and actual easy, I accept it's afoot in a way.

“Not canoeing adamantine and alone travelling at the clip of attributes and alone adequate exploring each little alcove and breach of the coastline. That’s pretty abundant the flavour of the cruise really.”

Currently canoeing all over Islay, he may arch appear the Clyde abutting month afore authoritative his way "slowly up the west coast". 

"Who knows whether I arch up appear Orkney and Shetland or go annular and bottomward the East bank or appear the Hebrides," he said. "The alone definite affair is to end up alternate in Tobermory on August 28."

I’ve assuredly managed to download the tonnes of footage I’ve filmed so far. Here’s a wee blow from while I was once exploring the absurd bank of the Ardmeanach Peninsula on the Isle of Mull, all those weeks ago. Sound on for the immersive experience. 😊 pic.twitter.com/pABl6Op2YA

— Nick Ray (@LifeAfloat) September 22, 2022

He has put his baby jewellery-making business on authority for the abutting year about has connected journaling with affairs to address a book about the experience.

The first weeks of his cruise have been a “completely immersive experience” for him.

READ MORE: 'It's accept to not be okay': Two Scots allotment brainy bloom struggle

Mr Ray answered he has been adequate the abreast of the adventure and said: “When I paddled alternating Jura, I anticipate for three days I didn’t see addition human. That faculty of carelessness is memorable.

“For a country geographically as baby as Scotland, it is lovely to be able to have which adeptness to alone to really-feel so isolated, so affiliated to the landscape.”

The 59-year-old has been sea kayaking back the mid-1990s and the outdoors is area he feels many at home. 

The author, who is originally from Zimbabwe, has been taken with each allotment of Scotland back affective actuality 15 years ago and again clearing on the Isle of Mull with his wife Karen.

“Scotland’s my home now,” he said. “A lot of humans ask me whether I choose to go kayaking, or travelling abroad.

“I alone really-feel like there's so abundant of Scotland to explore, not alone the coastline, about the mountains and the glens and alone the history of Scotland. I am alone so at home actuality really.

“There’s so abundant to Scotland it is not alone the mural and the wildlife, it’s the communities and the people.”

So far he has also been acquiescently accustomed by the island communities he visited.

Mr Ray added: “When I accustomed at Port Ellen I camped about on a allotment of grass in advanced of the town, and cipher complained or fabricated a fuss.

The appearance from my covering this evening. 😊 pic.twitter.com/lrmv00SmE1

— Nick Ray (@LifeAfloat) September 16, 2022

“People were absorbed and came to chat. It’s which faculty of artlessness and accepting which I adulation about Scotland.”

The year-long adventure will also be the longest amplitude of time he has spent kayaking, with the winter yet to hit he accepted the coldest months were activity to be a “challenge”.

“I’ve done pretty a bit of kayaking by the winter about the aberration there is which I have been able to choose the days while I go out. Whereas on this cruise I'm activity to be out there in all weather.

“But we’ll alone see how it goes,” he concluded.

Tens of bags of humans have followed his amusing media looking for circadian updates on the year-long journey. 

He said: “I’ve been absolute abroad by the hobby that’s been apparent in it, I never accepted in a million years which so many humans would be absorbed in what I was once doing.”

Mr Ray's adventure is actuality tracked alive here and he is also adopting cash for both Odyssey and Seaful.


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