The BIG Announcement
Not surprisingly the questions I get asked fairly regularly are, 'So when do you start?' or 'Do you have a date?'. Well now, two years after coming up with this plan, I have a start date to announce. And I'm ridiculously excited to share this HUGE milestone with you...
On 18-Oct this year paddles will hit the water at the Nile's source in Rwanda. This timing works with the rainy seasons, avoids the height of summer and should get me to the end before Ramadan starts on 4-May-19.
I’ll head to Uganda about 3-4 weeks before the start for final preparations. Yeewwww!!!
The LONG to-do list between now and then includes:
- Send notifications to government officials in the countries I’ll be going through and finalise approvals
- Advise the Australian and British embassies in those countries
- Raise the remaining funds for the expedition
- Finalise the team – from fellow paddlers and safety kayakers to guides and security
- Build the media coverage and publicity
- Complete route and logistics planning
- Get the remaining equipment and make sure there's nothing I've forgotten
- Detailed operating procedures and risk management plans
- Raise money for CARE Australia
- Get the medical preparation done which includes me being turned into a human pin cushion
- Set everything up here for me to be away for 8 months or so
Safe to say there are more spreadsheets than you can shake a stick at.
I want to take a moment to again mention and thank my sponsors who are helping to make all this possible:
- Shaw and Partners Wealth Management
- Braca-Sport, Bennett Paddles and Canoe Innovations
- Mayo Hardware
- Nurmi and Co Accountants
On top of that there has been the incredible generosity of my friends and family. A huge thank you to Gavin Clark who generously donated to the expedition along with Sue Walker and Linda Rudd.
And there have been some very kind purchases from the gift registry - big thanks to Thierry Forest and a mystery supporter who bought the kayak deck storage bag. Mystery supporter PLEASE let me know who you are so I can thank you directly.
From the day I first announced my plans the support, faith and belief in me and what I’m doing by so many has been pretty overwhelming. To everyone who's been part of it, THANK YOU.
And a big shout out to Nile River Explorers in Uganda - it's thanks to Jon and the team there that I have guides and equipment to do the rafting sections. I stayed there when I did my initial reccie in 2016 and loved it. If you're after some whitewater rafting as well as kayaking in a stunning location, look no further!
Right, time for me to get back to those spreadsheets. The countdown is on. It's all getting very real now, so excited!
I'll be back soon with more updates!