Phil Waterton was born in 1949 in a small village amongst the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire. He worked as a teacher until taking early retirement at age 60. He then fell into his second career as a tutor on TV and Film sets, working on over 60 productions, including many major films with international stars.
The covid lockdown gave him the opportunity to complete Paddling Our Own Canoe. Just in the nick of time it seems, as a new challenge had arisen. He had begun to lose his eyesight rather rapidly due to problems with the optic nerves, for which there is no treatment and he is now registered as severely sight impaired. He also had an operation for prostate cancer, diagnosed during his experience of sight loss.
He says; “It occurs to me that life is somewhat like travelling down a river, not knowing what lies around the next bend, but having to meet the challenge, overcome it and travel on”.
Join Phil and Kev on their adventure down the Thames. Two mates with no canoe experience, who decide to celebrate their 50th birthdays by setting themselves the challenge to travel down the length of the Thames in a two-man Canadian canoe. To further the challenge, they pledged to stop at every pub with a riverside fronting to partake in a beverage or two.
Battling a distance of 136 miles over 12 days from the upper reaches with choking reed beds and overhanging branches to Teddington Lock, where the river becomes tidal. They witness how the river grows from a mere, knee-deep stream, through its many stages before becoming the majestic river as it approaches London.
The author has managed to capture the daily incidents with characteristic humour while describing the history of the places visited in great detail following exhaustive research.