Limehouse couple set off from Shadwell Basin to circumnavigate UK
PUBLISHED: 17:18 02 April 2012 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 April 2012
A husband and wife from the Isle of Dogs yesterday set off on a four-month adventure, circumnavigating the UK coastline.
Natalie Maderova and Michal Madera were an hour late setting off in their sea kayaks from Shadwell Basin, after discovering parts of the Thames was closed off Sunday morning as work was carried out to install a cable car at Greenwich.
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 trip will see the pair, who started lake kayaking in their native Czech Republic before taking up river and sea kaying after moving to Shadwell, paddle clockwise around Britain.
A group of about ten other paddlers from the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, which they belong to and are rasing money for, helped see them off on their 2,200 miles journey. After heading down the Thames Estuary they will paddle south to Cornwall and then up to Wales and Scotland before coming down the east coast back to London.
Among well wishers seeing them off were Tara and David Haroon, the parents of two year-old Joshua from Bow, born with brain damage and cerebral palsy, whose treatment sessions the trip is also rasing money for.
David said: “They were in good spirits as they set off. They had a really nice send-off by friends and colleagues. Some had made a big banner and a chocolate Easter egg which they didn’t have space for in the kayaks.”
Sunday night the couple put on their travel blog, homeseahome.com, that they had reached Gravesend.
They wrote: “We are in a family restaurant called GrabGrub. No cooking, no camping, we are staying at Gravesend Sailing Club, very nice people. So far great.”
The pair are renting their flat on Manchester Road out to an Olympics organiser while they camp out along Britain’s coast line for most of their the journey.