What are we doing?
In short: two girls take on a journey of 4000km by tandem kayak through 11 countries and 5 capital cities, from London to the Black Sea.
After starting in London, Anna and Kate paddled out of the capital and around the Kent coast. Next was 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 made their way north along the French coast to Calais. From there, they joined the Calais canal and headed way inland, following a number of canals and rivers through France and Belgium, before crossing the border into Germany.
From there, they followed the Rhine, the Main and the Main-Donau Canal before entering the Danube, the river which they paddled on for over 2400km through a further eight countries and four capital cities (Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Bratislava).
This is a route that had never been attempted by kayak before. 150 days after paddling out of London, Anna and Kate finally reached the Black Sea in Romania.
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 collaborated with FreshWater Watch, a citizen science research project of EarthWatch. Along the route, the girls took water samples and measured 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.