A bad start

Unfortunately, this trip has gone rather wrong before it has really started.   On arriving at the coast after paddling down the Cam and Ouse, my phone kept reporting, “No signal”, so I assumed that there was no network coverage.

My rather inconspicuous position in the dunes.

The forecast sounded terrible, but I didn’t phone the coastguard as all I could have told them at that point was that I wasn’t on the water and I had no plans to paddle for several days.  However, I did phone home from a landline, explaining the situation, and so I was more than a bit surprised when the coastguard turned up at my tent saying they had been looking for me.

It turns out that I was in coverage, but the phone had broken, and of course, with hindsight, I should have let the coastguard know where I was.  On or off the water.

I’m now carefully proceeding, ensuring the CG always know where I am, carrying three new phones on three different networks, and feeling very red-faced and disappointed that I have unwittingly become a drain on the resources of one of the charities that I had hoped to support during this trip.

7 Replies to “A bad start”

  1. Good luck with the trip, we will follow your progress with interest. Living near Norwich we visit & know Cambridge very well. Nice touch starting from there….very different. We paddle a Romany Surf and a Rockpool Alaw Bach.
    Hope the weather Improves.

    Frank & Sally

  2. Do you want to borrow a VHF radio? I have a spare I can loan to you, if that would be helpful and you let me know a delivery address.

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the generous offer – I have two DSC VHFs (and a PLB) with me, but they were off while I was off the water.

  3. I think you’ve done well considering the weather. Your tale is not unlike that of Geoffrey Hunter. Early contact with CG might not be a bad thing. I’m a regular sea paddler on the coast of N.Essex. If you email I’ll send you my mobile number should you wish to use it. Otherwise I’ll try to give you a wave as you pass by. Good luck.

  4. Hope the weather doesn’t get you. It will get better at some point, or you will just harden up. It’s a great trip, so enjoy every minute of it. Wish you luck and good fun.

    As for the incident, take it as great PR:-) But of course, no more searches wanted or unwanted.

    • Thanks Natalie,

      Its amazing what you can get used to with the weather 🙂
      I really enjoyed your and Michal’s blog last year – a big influence on me.

      All the best,


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