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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 August, 2004, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Woman succeeds in kayaking feat
Fiona Whitehead
Ms Whitehead travelled 2,700 miles in her kayak
The first person to kayak solo around Britain and Ireland completed the 2,700-mile (4,345km) trip on Thursday.

Fiona Whitehead, 34, paddled into Gunwharf Quays Marina in Portsmouth, Hampshire, after the five-month trip.

Ms Whitehead, who is now based in Aberdovey, north Wales, set off from her home town of Portsmouth on 9 April.

Arriving back, Ms Whitehead said: "I'm still trying to let everything sink in. I can't believe that I've finished. The whole experience has been phenomenal."

I had spectacular displays of dolphins, otters, all sorts of amazing things. I didn't know if I could take that much splendour of the environment
Fiona Whitehead

Ms Whitehead began the trip by crossing the Irish Sea, paddling into the Atlantic and around the west coast of Ireland.

She then crossed the Irish Sea again and headed down through the North Sea, before the final leg through the English Channel and back into Portsmouth.

She said: "There were so many different high points.

"I saw an orca whale which was absolutely stunning and just playing 300 metres in front of me.

"It was leaping out of the water and landing on its back.

2,400 raised

"I had spectacular displays of dolphins, otters, all sorts of amazing things.

"I didn't know if I could take that much splendour of the environment."

Ms Whitehead, who is a senior instructor for the Outward Bound Wales at Aberdovey, raised about 2,400 for charity by completing the trip.

The cash will be split between the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Patey Day Centre, in Portsmouth, a day centre for Alzheimer's sufferers.

Ms Whitehead's grandmother had Alzheimer's and was a regular visitor to the day centre until she died last September.


SEE ALSO:
Man completes epic kayak journey
09 Aug 04  |  Shropshire
Kayak policeman on his way home
27 Jul 04  |  Cornwall
Kayak cop near northernmost point
23 Jul 04  |  Cornwall
Kayaking cop has whale of a time
02 Jul 04  |  Cornwall


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