Mike Hunter answered the Marine Biological Association's call to "Be a Conservationist" and do some beach cleans round Falmouth. Fine, but by kayak ? Yes !
So Mike set about raising money, but a little fracas with a park bench while out on his bike put paid to that idea....until this year, when the venue was the Scillies.
The fund raising tempo was raised, with quizzes, curry nights and donations, and £1360 was raised for the cause.
The trip was based on St Martins for 5 days, and involved camping, learning to handle a kayak and generally tooling round the islands with 2 kayak instructors collecting beach rubbish and appreciating the surroundings.
The rubbish then had to be transported in 50 bin bags on the canoes back to St Mary's, where there are recycling and disposal facilities.
Mike showed us the "Fairy Ring" on White island - actually a prehistoric maze - and the uninhabited St Helens, with its "Pest House", a building to house quarantined sailors with suspected contagious diseases.
The kayaking between islands sounded idyllic, with packs of inquisitive seals following the vessels, and sightings of porpoises. Less idyllic were the capsizings experienced by even the more experienced kayakers, but with the help of the instructors everyone survivied.
Mike even had enough energy left to write a poems about the adventure in rhyming couplets, and although Coastwise members might not have felt that Mike has a big future as a poet, but they really appreciated the efforts to clean up the beaches !
Pictured R (Courtesy Mike Hunter) are (top) learning to handle a kayak, (centre) the Fairy Ring on White Island, and (below) a colleague-supported "get back in the kayak after you've capsized" exercise.