Cal will paddle against plastic in never-done-before 1,000 mile board expedition

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: James Apple

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: James Appleton - Credit: Archant

A Northam woman is pushing herself to the limits to raise awareness of plastic pollution by stand-up paddleboarding from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMoFwm1JqtI&feature=youtu.be

Locum vet and environmental campaigner Cal Major, 29, is due to embark on her 1,000-mile expedition this week – a journey which had never been done on a paddleboard before.

Once the weather conditions are right, Cal will set off and will average 10-20 miles a day on her board, in a journey which could take around four months.

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: Will Copest

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: Will Copestake - Credit: Archant

She will carry all her camping equipment and rations on her board and is trying to use as little single-use plastics as possible.

This is not Cal’s first paddle against plastic - in 2016 she paddled the coastline from Plymouth to Croyde and last year she circumnavigated the Isle of Skye in Scotland by board.

Cal Major is hoping to highlight plastic pollution during her 1,000 mile expedition. Picture: Cal Ma

Cal Major is hoping to highlight plastic pollution during her 1,000 mile expedition. Picture: Cal Major - Credit: Archant


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From her latest trip she has produced a film, Skye’s the Limit, which has been showing at local venues to raise awareness.

One of the key campaigners for the Plastic Free North Devon movement, Cal is hoping to use her own adventure as a way to empower people to fight against plastic pollution.

Cal Major paddleboarded solo around the Isle of Skye last year. Picture: James Appleton

Cal Major paddleboarded solo around the Isle of Skye last year. Picture: James Appleton - Credit: Archant

“I want to use this as a really positive opportunity to open up the discussion around plastic,” said Cal.

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“I think we have all been bombarded with information about the problem and a lot of people are feeling very overwhelmed by it all.

Cal Major is hoping to highlight plastic pollution during her 1,000 mile expedition. Picture: Cal Ma

Cal Major is hoping to highlight plastic pollution during her 1,000 mile expedition. Picture: Cal Major - Credit: Archant

“People are crying out for solutions. They want to know how they can help and they need to understand that small changes, such as giving up plastic water bottles, makes a big difference.”

As well as blogging about her trip, Cal will also be organising beach cleans at various stops along the way and encouraging people to support their local plastic free coastlines group.

Cal Major is ready to set off on her stand-up paddleboarding expedition from Land's End to John O'Gr

Cal Major is ready to set off on her stand-up paddleboarding expedition from Land's End to John O'Groats. - Credit: Archant

“Around a third of my trip will take me inland on canals to highlight the fact the problem is not just on the coastline – it all joins up,” said Cal.

During her previous trips, Cal faced some scary moments, including being forced into a sheer cliff by headwinds, or clinging for life to a sea buoy.

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: Keith Major

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: Keith Major - Credit: Archant

“There are so many things that can go wrong with the wind and the tides,” she said.

“But when you’re on the board with no distractions and you can really connect with nature it’s just incredible.”

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: James Apple

Cal Major is planning to stand-up paddleboard from Land's End to John O'Groats. Picture: James Appleton - Credit: Archant

Follow Cal’s journey at paddleagainstplastic.com or on the Cal Major - Paddle Against Plastic Facebook page.

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