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At the end of April Jon and Nick took part in the challenge set down by Round Table's National President, which was for Table members to visit all the RNLI's Lifeboat Stations whilst raising money for the RNLI.
Our part in this was to visit seven Stations on the west coast of North Wales in two days by kayaking the 110km between them. It was a daunting prospect for us, as we would need to far exceed the distances we'd ever previously paddled, and we didn't know what the wind and weather would be like at the time we planned to be off work.
After a cold, windy and at times wet start from Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station at 6am on 27th April we visited Borth and Aberdovey, where we were welcomed by the RNLI staff with tea, buscuits and bucket-fulls of encouragement. The skies cleared on the way the Barmouth Station and the crystal waters meant we spent our time looking down into the waters as it was so unusual.
Following a cup of tea with Llew in Barmouth we endured a long slog up the coast and past Shell Island. We were keen to do a long first day, but after 14 hours since our start we were relieved to find a perfect place to pitch the tents for the night.
A not so early start the next day saw us crossing from Harlech to Cricieth with the majestic mountainous backdrop. We were met in Criccieth by John and Eirwen Sargent, parents of Mark from Heswall Round Table. After treating ourselves to a Cadwalader's ice-cream we set off for Pwllheli and finally Abersoch Lifeboat Stations where we again met very welcoming crew members.
Our late start meant we arrived a little behind plan, but after over 8 hours since we started we were pleased to see Nick's parents and the delicious picnic they had brought along. It certainly made a change from the marmalade sandwiches and bananas that had sustained us during the trip (plus the odd portion of fish and chips!).
So we met our challenge, and the trip exceeded our expectations in every way. Our memories will be the welcoming, modest, friendly and selfless men and women that we met at the Lifeboat stations; the crystal clear waters, the wonderful mountains and endless beaches and the support and encouragement from our friends and families.
We'll leave this page open until the end of May so anyone is welcome to support us until then.
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Jonathan and Nick