The Danube Part 3: The Home Straight

If you cast you mind back, you may remember the closing sentence of our last expedition update from Belgrade, Serbia. It read “If all goes to plan, the next update we post will hopefully be from the Black Sea!” By that stage of our expedition I really should have known better than to tempt fate; it took my passing comment as an invitation to make life as hard as possible for us for almost the entire remainder of our expedition.

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Elsevier’s “RE Cares Month”

We’ve been delighted to discover that our Gold sponsors, Elsevier, have been following our progress. As part of our journey, we’ve been taking part in the FreshWaterWatch citizen science project, gathering data to investigate the health of global freshwater ecosystems. It’s an exciting time for scientific data, as companies like Elsevier create platforms that make information easy to share, easy to examine and easy to discover. What once may have been static in a pdf somewhere, is now much more easily discoverable. It’s an interesting and inspiring concept when you’re gathering water samples, to know that there are more ways for that information to be used than ever before. 

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The Danube Part 2: Five countries and four capitals

Our last few weeks have been somewhat of a whirlwind as we’ve passed through five countries and four capital cities in twelve days of non-stop paddling on the Danube. The day after leaving Vienna we reached Slovakia, the ruins of Devin Castle indicating our arrival at the border. Soon after, as we rounded a corner in the river, we saw a city emerging from the river with an impressive white castle perched on the hilltop. It took us a moment to register that this was Bratislava, our third capital city. 

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The start of the Danube

During our first ten days on the River Danube, we have very quickly come to realise that this river is a fickle mistress. One minute the water is flowing quickly through beautiful scenery, a gentle tailwind helping us on our way... The next minute, the flow has vanished and we’re battling headwinds and waves comparable to our days on the sea around England, our progress all but halted. After the routine we had established on the Main and Main-Donau Canal, this sudden change and unpredictability has come as somewhat of a shock to us. 

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The Main and Main-Donau Canal

Since our last expedition update over two weeks ago, Kate and I have thrown ourselves into a big push in order to complete the Main and Main-Donau Canal, an accumulative distance of over 465km across Germany. Life on the Main was, simply put, a good life. Though paddling upstream, the flow was gentle enough to not hinder our progress too much meaning we were able to cover a good distance most days.

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