We started kayaking in a Summer of 2009. Originally we were looking for an alternative to our main hobby, climbing, as with jobs and studies at the time, the distance we had to travel to climb was taking a big chunk out of the time we had. It seemed to work for a little while, with Brighton being closer than Peak District. Little did we know at that time, how mistaken we were.
Our first proper introduction to sea kayaking was a six days paddling at the Isle of Scillies with Sea Kayaking Cornwall. Here, we met Simon, who told Michal about his circumnavigation of Britain. Michal was hooked, while I started my battle with the fear of being upside down in the water.
Again, little did I know that two and half years later I would be fighting with much more. As we decided to go and circumnavigate Britain ourselves.
2012 was the Circumnavigation Year, we left our jobs, and home and embarked on a journey which saw our transformation from weekend leisure kayakers to those, who spent long periods of time on the sea. And yes, we came back wanting more.
The idea of a new trip came as we were standing on top of Cape Wrath seeing some distant land on the horizon. It took another few years to get the courage to leave our jobs and the flat again and embark on another journey. The Northern Four project was to take us to distant places where no one lives permanently and not many come by their own power. This time the nature had much bigger say in when we would or wouldn’t launch and we spent considerable amount of time on the land to what we originally planned for. And yes, we had to reconsider our plans and change them, but kayaking from the Mainland Scotland all the way to the Stacks in the St Kilda Archipelago, will always remain one of our most profound experiences.
We took a little break following the two previous trips, however the need to go somewhere again stayed with us the whole time. Originally we thought of going kayaking to the Far East Russia, but logistics became too difficult, so we head over there for holidays instead, and find a new destination. Since we like long summer days up north, we decided Iceland to be it.
The aim was to circumnavigate Iceland, and we did 90% of that until the weather proved to be unbeatable, and Michal’s boss became desperate for him to return to work. Iceland gave us an amazing time, and tried us in every possible way, still we enjoyed every part of it, even the becoming very jet lagged after kayaking 12 nights straight, rather than days.
After Iceland the idea of going on a long trip again didn’t appeal to us at all, but few weeks at work, and all was forgotten. So when Natalie came across Freya Hoffmeister’s post looking for paddling partners, she decided this was it. Somehow it happened that both Michal and Natalie went to Alaska for four weeks paddling with the same paddling partner, just not together. Michal went in July, Natalie in August, not all went according to plan, but made for a memorable experience.
DROPSEAT ADVENTURE 2019
This one is a special one so far. After kayaking as a couple for many weeks, months, years, and nautical miles, Natalie’s really wanted to go on a expedition of her own. She convinced her friend Lindsey to take time off work and to go paddling. For long time it was called “I – land”, as it wasn’t clear if it would be a return to Iceland, or journey around Ireland. When Zoe came along, Ireland became the final destination. A girly trip, and with the faff that women often face, when out in the outdoors for hours and hours, and taking into account the design of their dry suits, the name Drop seat Adventure seemed appropriate.