Cockleshell duo set to take on the Caledonian Canal... twice!

Mick and Steve.
Mick and Steve.

Mick Dawson is preparing to paddle the length of the Caledonian Canal this weekend... and back again.

The route is 60 miles from Fort William to Inverness and takes in lochs including Loch Ness and Loch Lochy.

However kayaking the Caledonian Canal just once isn’t enough for the Bostonian and his pal Steve Grenham, who will begin their journey tomorrow (Saturday).

They will kayak the return trip too, against prevailing conditions, something not tackled by many people.

It is expected to take them four to five days and it will also be the first time that Mick and Steve will kayak in separate boats.

The pair are undertaking the challenge as the latest stage in their preparations for the Cockleshell Endeavour, which will see the two former Royal Marines circumnavigate the Falkland Islands in the name of charity next year.

They have already taken on the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race and their next challenge after the Caledonian Canal will see them fly out to Canada to compete in their toughest challenge to date – The Yukon River Quest next month.

The race will see competitors paddle day and night for 444 miles, stopping briefly for short breaks to refuel.

This annual canoe and kayak marathon is touted as the world’s toughest canoe and kayak race.

The route takes in some stunning scenery but Mick and Steve will also have to be prepared for some of the local wildlife during their overnight stops - wolves, grizzly bears and moose are often seen at the river’s edge.

Mick and Steve are raising awareness and funds for charities Care After Combat and the Falklands Veterans Foundation.