Bill Taylor, with Mick Wibrew and Richard Elliott, accomplished between April and September 1986 the first circumnavigation by kayak of both Britain and Ireland. In this account of the expedition, Bill Taylor shares the inspiration for this daring first.
Commitment and Open Crossings: First Circumnavigation of Britain and Ireland by Kayak by Bill Taylor
Bill Taylor, with Mick Wibrew and Richard Elliott, accomplished between April and September 1986 the first circumnavigation by kayak of both Britain and Ireland. Together they turned this paddlers' dream into reality in a five-month expedition demanding total commitment, endurance, patience and know-how. The team members' ability and experience combined with vital technial skills to sustain them once the challenge was accepted and the journey under way. In this account of the expedition, Bill Taylor shares the inspiration for this daring first. The story charts the three kayakers' progress on their clockwise journey around the coast. Maps plot each section of the paddlers' route and show at a glance those days when success depended on heading across the open sea in the lightest of craft, never more so than in the fourteen-hour crossing of the St George's Channel to Ireland, in a much-repeated pattern which was to become one of the hallmarks of the expedition. As the team navigator, Bill Taylor is well placed to describe the constant challenge of weather and sea state, and its effects ranging from the exhilaration of a favourable set of tide and wind to the anguish of the critical situation when turning back proves a greater ordeal than the one already facing the paddlers. Having taken in the most exposed west coast of Ireland, the team head on towards Scotland on their journey past the most spectacular coastal scenery on these islands. The author does not conceal the human cost of the expedition but also shows that the success of the enterprise was a triumph of loyalty and comradeship as well as skill and courage.