What are we doing?
In short: two girls take on a journey of 4000km by tandem kayak through 13 countries and 4 capital cities, from England to the Black Sea.
Starting in London, Anna and Kate will head out of the capital and around the Kent coast. Next is the biggest single challenge of their expedition: kayaking across the English channel (supported by a safety vessel). Having made it across the world's busiest shipping area, the two girls will paddle their way north along the French coast to Calais. From there, they will join the Calais canal and make their way inland, following a number of canals and rivers through France and Belgium, before crossing the border into Germany.
From there, they will follow the Rhine and the Main before entering the Danube, the river which they will follow for over 2400km through a further ten countries and four capital cities (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava). This is a route that has never been attempted by kayak before and it is anticipated that the expedition will take three-and-a-half to four months.
Since her father passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2015, Kate has wanted to do a fundraising challenge for Pancreatic Cancer Action. This trip will therefore be in aid of this charity, which relies on the generosity of people like you who donate to fund research into early diagnosis, educate medical professionals, increase awareness and support patients throughout the UK and Europe. To donate, please click here.
Kate and Anna will be collaborating with FreshWater Watch, a citizen science research project of EarthWatch. Along the route, the girls will be taking water samples and measuring a number of factors, including turbidity (the cloudiness the water), and phosphate and nitrate levels. From this, it is possible determine the level of agricultural and domestic run-off in the water, and the overall health of the ecosystems.
More about FreshWater Watch can be found here.