Paddleboarding the Severn Source to Sea – PART I

Can’t believe I’m actually paddleboarding the Severn source to sea. Only one and a half years ago, my buddy Markmeister got me into stand-up paddleboarding. I was incredibly bad at it. I fell into the water during the two-hour introductory course, I had booked. Something, which, the instructor assured me, only happens very rarely. Then, when Mark and I met at the sea in Brighton, to practice, I wasn’t able to stand up at all. Not a single time. Every time I tried, I fell into the water. Non-stop. For three hours.   EVERYONE NEEDS SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES IN YOU Mark kept his faith in me, and a week later we set off to do the first part of our Thames source to London adventure. I was probably even more surprised than Mark, when I didn’t fall into the water a single time. Not on the first four-day part, and […]

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Swildon’s Hole – Through Sump 1 and Beyond

  A few months ago, my buddy Richard, a fellow travel blogger from Chalk and Cheese Travels, suggested, we could do a little caving trip together, maybe Swildon’s Hole, through Sump 1 and beyond.   He had never done any caving. I had done a few days underground, but was without any doubt still very much a beginner.   WHAT IS A SUMP   In caving, a sump refers to a section of an underground passageway that is completely (or almost completely) submerged in water. This makes it impossible to breathe, while your face is under water. Sumps can be of any length, from just half a metre to several dozen metres. I believe, you usually stop calling it a sump, if it’s more than 50 or 100m. It just becomes a ‘submerged part of the cave.’     Feature pic (c) Somerset Adventures; all others (c) BSqB unless where […]

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Ocean Rowing Taster Course – Blisters and Bliss

  I recently did an ocean rowing taster course. But first things first. About a year ago, I heard of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge for the first time. I was immediately drawn in.   THE OCEAN ROWING TASTER COURSE AND THE TALISKER CHALLENGE   Every year in December, some crazies take off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, then row their tiny little rowing boats all the way across the Atlantic to Antigua in the Caribbean, a distance of almost 5,000km. The event is called The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge. It was founded in 1997 by Sir Chay Blyth.       THE “EASY” WAY AND THE HARD WAY   If you would just sit on your bottom in your rowing boat, sleep, eat, and occasionally tweet, you’d make the trip in about four and a half months. Even if you haven’t completed an ocean rowing taster […]

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Bobsleigh Taster Session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in a 1h30m bobsleigh taster session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University. The regular price is £90. I booked the combined skeleton & bobsleigh experience for £160. The skeleton session was from 12:30pm to 2pm, followed by the bobsleigh taster session from 3pm to 4:30pm. A CONVERTIBLE ICE BULLET-TRAIN As you might or might not know, bobsleigh is a winter sport involving one, two, or four athletes riding a sleigh down an ice track. The sleigh is covered on all sides at the nose like a tube, but has an opening all the way throughout the rest of the top and at the end, allowing riders to stick their heads out to see where they are going.    THE FASTEST BOBSLEIGH TRACK SPORT (UP TO 150KPH) It is the fastest one of the three bobsleigh track sports (the other […]

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Skeleton Taster Session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University

I treated myself to a 1h30m skeleton taster session at the Team GB Training Site at Bath University today. The regular price is £90. I booked the combined skeleton & bobsleigh experience for £160. The skeleton session was from 12:30pm to 2pm, followed by the bobsleigh taster session from 3pm to 4:30pm. BAKING-TRAYS As you might or might not know, skeleton is a winter sport involving an athlete riding a small, baking-tray shaped, sled, known as skeleton, down a bobsleigh track head-first, face down. THE SLOWEST BOBSLEIGH TRACK SPORT (130KM/H) It is the slowest one of the three bobsleigh track sports (the other two being bobsleigh and luge). Nonetheless, competitive riders still reach speeds of up to 130km/h and experience forces of up to 5G (five times their body weight). Astronauts are exposed to 3G, a fighter pilot to 8G, to put this in perspective.    WHY ‘SKELETON’? The sport […]

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