• Kayak The English Channel

    Kayak The English Channel

    BBC . South East Today – Evening News 25.6.2021 – I’m on the Telly!!! This is me in the red kayak, sporting my “Chemo Curls’ ‘, paddling from Dungeness to Boulogne! Celebrating six months, to the day, (3rd Feb -3rd August) my last chemotherapy treatment. Having rung the end of treatment bell, I remain cancer free. Approaching Boulonge Harbour. Caught by Gendarmerie. After paddling 22.6 miles from Dungeness, a high-speed motorboat with its blue light flashing; crewed by armed  Maritime Gendarmrie intercepted us; we were a mere 200 metres from Boulonge’s Harbour entrance. Gendarmrie – You don’t look like migrants going the wrong way; so what are you doing? Our response – It seemed a shame to waste such good sea conditions so we decided to going for a paddle; also its fun way to raise money for Velindre Cancer Charity. Stern faced Gendarmrie his approach – Did you paddle across French shipping lane? In 2012 the French had made it illegal to cross their shipping lane in anything ‘human powered’.  – No, we loaded 3 kayaks onto the Rib/safety boat for a 10 minute blast over that short section.  Amid questioning; speaking for all of us, Rob asked ‘innocuously’, could we take a group photo with you?  – Anglo- French relations became confused… Gendarmes waffled among themselves, and after much debate over the radio with their HQ decided we best head back home to England! Its a total misunderstanding – They are not chasing me I am being escorted out to International Waters – I am not on the run! For more info on this 1970’s reference, check out my book “Live a Life to Die For” – Chapter 6. page 35. Next Leg of My Sea Kayaking the Channel Challenge 13th Oct 2021 Paddling from Boulogne to Dungeness celebrating eight months, since my last chemotherapy treatment.Myself and James crossed over the channel on a Rib (Rye based safety boat) skippered by Will Chetwood; we started kayaking from Boulonge Harbour at 9.30am 13th Oct 21. The sea was somewhat lumpy….. After 5 hours of paddling the Dungeness Power Station was a ‘beautiful sight’.  (2.30pm) In the company of friends I have paddled across the busiest shipping lane in the world, both ways. There are no short cuts ……….. and nowhere to hide

  • Rugby on Everest 2019

    Rugby on Everest 2019

    In April 2019 we trekked in the footsteps of Mallory and Irvine, up the Magic Highway’ to Mt Everest’s Advance Base Camp (ABC3) 6,500m/ 21,000 feet; which is just below the North Col to play two games of Rugby on a glacier. Myself and Lesley, trekked and played alongside, Rugby stars Lee Mears, Ollie Phillips, Shane Williams, Tamara Taylor plus 20 inspirational men and women to help raise more than £250,000 for children with disabilities and facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland. The Rugby Challenge took place across 24 days; our group battled acclimatisation and altitude to play the World Record for highest ever game  of mixed seven-a-side ‘Touch Rugby’ at Everest Base Camp @ 12.15 pm on Thursday 25th April; our birthday Girl, Lesley, kicks off at 5,119 meters  (16795 ft) above sea level. On 30th April 2019, after a long and tough hike, wearing crampons from Mount Everest Advance Base Camp 3, Tibet, China  to a ‘field’ of ice and snow. Under the supervision of Rob “head grounds man” Callaway, and in accordance, with Guinness World Record specifications, we construct a full size Rugby pitch (100m x 70m min), with posts, lines, flags etc. on the East Ronbuk Glacier  (EABC) (28°06’4.32″ N 86°51’32.91″ E). The Highest full contact Seven-a-Side Rugby Union match, was played at altitude of 6,331m (20,770 ft), We made History:           Double World Record Holders.  #RugbyonEverest  #LiveaLifetoDieFor The Team posing on the pitch at Everest Base Camp, Tibet , China  (28°8′29″N 86°51′5″E).

  • The Toby Wallace Atlantic Row – January/February 2016

    The Toby Wallace Atlantic Row – January/February 2016

      It was approaching midnight on the 28th Jan 2016 – I was sitting in my rowing position, on the “Toby Wallace”, a light-weight ocean rowing boat; ‘primed and ready for an attempt’ on a world record. Our challenge was to Row across the North Atlantic, setting off from Marina Puerto De Mogan Gran Canaria, 4815Km. / 2992 miles to Port St Charles Barbados faster than anyone before. I was musing !!!!    Rowing the Atlantic seemed a good idea at the time. On reflection !!!!    However the reality, as with much of life, it’s not all it seems. Ocean Rowers will row for 12 hour in every 24 hours; 2 hours on and sleep for two hour. However, Simon had worked a new system, every day for the next 34+ days on the Atlantic, we were too row 12 hrs per day split into ‘five watches’. 1 hour at midday and a 4 hour session during the small wee hours, 2 x2 hrs and 1 x 3hr. On the upside, we did each have a 3 minute break every hour, to take a drink, eat sweets, poo and pee. Tragedy struck in the night of February 14th. Location close to 18 29′ N  039 06′ W. over a thousand miles from land. Simon gave a loud warning shout, “big wave”. I looked up to see a monster swell coming at us fast out of the dark; it was the size of a two storey building. This rogue wave was arriving from unexpected direction intent on broadsiding our row boat. Not to break over but pummelled through us like a water tornado. The immense power of unstoppable maelstrom of angry sea water lifted me and ripped my rowing seat from its fixings, luckily dumping me in a tangle, hard into the small corner of the low 300 mm gunnel and cabin bulkhead; luckily not over the side. Moments later I heard Simon shout those most dreaded words. “Man Over Board”. My hardwired primal instinct for survival kicked in.  I fought to get up to see the ‘Strokes’ seat was empty. Mike was gone. After 12 hr search by air and sea the rescue operation was called off. Mike was lost to the sea. As I have grown older, more traveled and somewhat more informed I truly appreciate ‘Time’ is my most precious resource. ‘A day at a time’, I accept I am passing through Life just this once!   I choose not to waste the Adventure! Link to Sutton Guardian News Story Roger raised funds for Action on AddictionAction on Addiction is a UK-based charity that works with people affected by drug and alcohol addiction. It works in the areas of research, prevention, treatment, aftercare, as well as professional education and family support Crew Profiles for the “TOBY WALLACE” January 2016 Toby Wallace Atlantic Row 2016 Atlantic Row 2016 Photos

  • “The World’s Toughest Race”

    “The World’s Toughest Race”

    There I was, at the ripe old age of 61 yrs, with 28 yrs of sobriety behind me, standing shoulder to shoulder with my teammate, James Trotman 34 yrs; ready and willing to race, against four determined teams of three extreme adventurers; in probably the World’s Toughest Race – The Polar Race. We set off from Resolute Bay, Nunavut (74°43’N and 94°53’W), to walk / ski, dragging all our food and equipment on pulks 648 km / 403 miles to the North Magnetic Pole. Insanity? No, I’ve learned that insanity involves doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result. Having never attempted to race across the most desolate terrain in the world before, I had no idea what to expect. After 2 years of preparation, training and one heart attack; I was tremendously excited to be a part of such a great adventure . As I grow older, I have no intention of slowing down and being a typical retiree. My ambition was achieved at 8.47 pm. on 29th April 2009 on reaching the Magnetic North Pole      78°  35′  724 ″ N,     104° 11′ 915 ″ W. Roger used the expedition to raise money for his local charity, the Tadworth Children’s Trust, which supports children with multiple disabilities and complex healthcare needs. Roger Davies Polar Race Interview with ITV News The Arctic is never boring; quietly it emits a raw power. It’s still hard for me to grasp that I trekked across the Arctic Ocean to the North Pole, on constantly shifting pieces of sea ice, covered with ice rubble of fanciful shapes in a range of impossible sizes. I recall comparing the frozen seascape to a field of giant, rough-cut diamonds scattered by an unseen hand. The desolate landscape has a stark savage beauty that exceeds the expectations of all who witness it. Out there I am just a speck on the most desolate terrain on the planet. I want to tell you more about this extraordinary journey and the challenges that lie ahead. Polar Race 2009 Photos

  • Fixed Blade Knife is an “Adventurers Tool”

    Fixed Blade Knife is an “Adventurers Tool”

    An essential tool for carrying out tasks such as shelter building, skinning, fire building/lighting, whittling, rope work and wilderness skills The fixed blades (full-tang) are robust, reliable and easy to maintain; they need to be when used on tough camping / woodsman tasks. On your belt, ready to hand in a survival situation. Bushcraft knives tend to be around 3-5 inches in length and better suited for delicate tasks like making traps or skinning small game. My preferred is The Scout knife  it’s designed to be your all round hunting, camping, utility knife. It’s small enough to be carried comfortably on you or in your pack, but large enough to carry out all of your important bushcraft tasks. Survival knives are often 6-12 inches ideal for heavier tasks; chopping and digging; an ideal example is the   Sidewinder , a larger bladed Survival knife and ideal for heavier cutting tasks which would normally need an axe / hatchet; the blade is slightly recurved which gives you a longer cutting edge on the same length of blade. It has a forged brut de forge style finger choil to protect the fore finger and in my opinion it works even better than it looks!  Although it cost me a little more, I prefer a high carbon tool steel blade; for many good reasons. An example of one obscure reason – if I lost or forgot my Steel strike I can generate sparks off the spine of my knife when using a ‘ferro rod’ and to start my fire….. Refection > When I was  hungry, wet, tired and freezing my nuts off and need to light a fire, and my cheaper stainless steel blade wouldn’t throw any sparks. Oh ****

  • Survival Mirror is the most effective daylight-signaling device

    Survival Mirror is the most effective daylight-signaling device

    A signal mirror is an essential in any survival kit; the ultra-bright signaling tool  can be seen from up to 10 miles away, alerting potential rescuers of your location… you can be spotted from the air, the water or the ground.  My personal favourite is a SOL Signal Mirror, it’s lightweight, shatterproof and you can easily aim the reflector with one hand, which is ideal in an emergency.   An unexpected bonus is that it “Floats”; practical for hazards involving wilderness water crossings and for those who partake in recreational water activities; such as kayaking, canoeing, and boating. 

  • Throwbag / Throwline can be someone’s Lifeline!

    Throwbag / Throwline  can be someone’s Lifeline!

    It’s an essential piece of kit, highly valued by rescue teams and all those who partake in recreational water activities; such as kayaking, canoeing, rafting to open water swimming, by pros or novices alike.