Couple from the Isle of Dogs will sail 2,200 miles around Britain in kayaks
PUBLISHED: 16:19 29 February 2012
A husband and wife from the Isle of Dogs will be "homeless" for four-months as they circumnavigate the UK in sea kayaks to raise money for two Tower Hamlets charities.
Natalie and Michal Madera are renting their flat on Manchester Road out to an Olympics organiser from April as they begin paddling 2,200 miles clockwise around Britain, sleeping along its coast line.
Natalie, 34, who is teacher at Beatrice Tate Special School, Bethnal Green, and Michael, 35, a fine art graduate, who works as a builder, have both taken leave from their jobs to undertake their biggest kayaking adventure so far.
The pair had been canoeing in their native Czech Republic but didn’t start sea and river kayaking until they moved to the UK.
But it was Michal’s idea to take on the coast of Britain in a trip that will see them setting off from Shadwell Basin and sailing down the Thames Estuary before heading south to Cornwall and then up to Wales and Scotland before coming down the east coast back to London.
Natalie, said: “Michal nagged me for two years. So I said yes just to stop him nagging but I also like this challenge. Britain has a wonderful and varied coast line.
”I know there will be times I will crying because I’m cold, tired and hungry. But we will also see some beautiful scenery, interesting wildlife and maybe meet interesting people.”
For the voyage, which will see them paddling an average of 20 miles a day, they will only pack bare essentials such as a tent, sleeping bags, spare clothes, canned soups and cooking utensils.
The couple have been training for a year paddling against the tide on the Thames to build up their stamina, sometimes sailing from Shadwell down to Putney and back to Greenwich.
They are aiming to raise £7,000 to be split equally between the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, which provides outdoor activities for children and young people, and Joshua’s Journey, a charity set up to raise money for treatment for a one year-old boy in Bow who was born with brain damage and cerebral palsy.