Kayaking around Ireland

David Simpson, Ritchie Diaper and Rob Burgess are paddling sea kayaks around the superb Irish coast. After many years and paddling ventures, this is a trip that we’ve each wanted to do and now – mid life crisis behind us ( we’re all over 50…) – we’re off!

We have put our lives, and patient, wonderful partners, on hold and are hoping hard for good weather and fitness to see if the Atlantic weather systems will let us get round this wonderful country. We look forward to encountering the superb coastline, and the equally impressive people who live and visit it. You can follow our progress through our blog posts and on this map, so if you’re near do come and say hello – ‘3 men in boats ( 2 yellow and one red white – Rob got a new one) , girning a lot and living off oats’… We’re reasonably housetrained – one music teacher and 2 technology persons…

Living out of our kayaks we three Scots from Edinburgh and the Borders will hope to cover the ground in about 8 weeks – setting off on April 21 and as my youngest daughter graduates in Glasgow on 24th June… I’ll be home then… honest.

While we are doing this we want to support others who put themselves at risk to support people in extreme need. If you would like to help us to raise money to support the life saving work of ‘medecin sans frontiers’ ( doctors without borders) and the RNLI – both of whom have strong roots in Eire – we have set up a JustGiving team page.

There’s a little more information about us lower down if you really want to know more!!, but thank you for your interest and for reading this far!

David Simpson

David with full beard and hat

Currently President of the Scottish Canoeing Association, I have recently retired from 15 years of music teaching and 20 years as Depute Head teacher/ Head teacher in Edinburgh Secondary schools. I’ve paddled since I was 21 and have run rivers in and beyond Europe. My mum’s from Dublin and I’ve sailed and paddled across to Antrim from Scotland a few times.

Ritchie at Tail O' The Bank 2018

I came to sea kayaking in my early forties and have spent a great deal of time since then getting to know the Scottish coast and islands from the sea. This will be my first time with a kayak in Irish waters. Having spent some time last year driving the Wild Atlantic Way I have great respect for what the elements are likely to throw at us.


Like Ritchie, started paddling in my forties after a lifetime in the mountains. Have paddled all over Scotland, around Wales in the Summer of 2012, plus France and Greece for good measure. Also paddled around Lofoten in an inflatable … Unlike my companions, I’m still working, and by day I’m an I.T. geek.