Anna Blackwell - “Kayaking the Continent” - 4000 km from England to the Black Sea through 11 countries & 5 capital cities.

March 14, 2019

In April 2018, Anna Blackwell and Kate Culverwell set out on a world first tandem kayak expedition from England to the Black Sea. This journey saw them paddle over 4000km along canals and rivers through 11 countries, including navigating almost the entire length of the Danube River, Europe’s second longest river.

 

The expedition was raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Action in memory of Kate's father, David Culverwell. While paddling, Kate and Anna also collected data to contribute to the research of FreshWater Watch, an Earthwatch research project investigating the health of global freshwater ecosystems.

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We first spoke with Anna in November 2017 when she shared more about walking across Spain & France! You can listen to this episode here!

 

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Show notes

 

  • Being a full time adventurer

  • Dedicating her life to adventure

  • Learning more about Anna

  • Deciding on the next challenge

  • Explorers Connect - Belinda Kirk

  • How she ended up partnering up with Kate Culverwell

  • Hitting it off straight away

  • Funding the expedition

  • 6 months to finish the route, sort out the kit, training and financing the challenge

  • Budgeting and costs for the trip

  • £15,000 of financial sponsorship

  • Focusing on local companies

  • How people became personally invested in what they were doing

  • Training for the event and getting comfortable paddling for hours

  • The relief of getting to the start line

  • Starting from Westminster Bridge from London

  • Crossing the English Channel

  • Wearing adult nappies!

  • Getting use to the new reality of life 

  • Dealing with over 250 locks…

  • Wild camping by the canals

  • Having to make drastic changes in order to make it to the finish line

  • Reaching Serbia and getting ill

  • Being frustrated and demoralised on the water by lack of progress

  • Making changes to the plan and having to commit to an end date

  • Feeling like failures  

  • What Anna learnt from the experience

  • Friendship and teamwork

  • Post expedition blues

  • Raising funds for charity

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