I decided to stop off in Sydney on my way to New Zealand to catch some sun. I arrived at the airport, to plenty of confused glances at my paddle bags, and ridiculous quantity of luggage, and headed for a taxi. I spent a week on Bondi beach (very typical touristy gap year!) where I got a fantastic suntan and a bit bored.
I had a fantastic week surfing, but this was also the week I heard the news that Matt had died. Unfortunately I could not attend his funeral as I was away, but my thoughts were with him for much of this time.
This made me think hard about my kayaking, and the dangers we face day to day, the risks that we take, and whether I wanted to continue. Luckily I am still paddling, and I suspect Matt wouldn’t want anyone to stop doing what they love because of what happened to him. R.I.P. Matt Parker.