On Saturday night four Seasalters ditched an evening of barbecues and chilled wine in favour of a 13 mile hike over Dartmoor in the dark. Madness you might think and you’d be right – Midnight Madness in fact, in aid of our nominated charity Fishermen’s Mission.
Midnight Madness has been running for a few years now. Organised by Fishermen’s Mission it’s an annual date in the diary to raise money and help support the charity in providing emergency and welfare support to fishermen and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
About 100 people of all ages and abilities, as well as lots of dogs, turned up at the start line – Princetown primary school – and at 9pm the walk kicked off. Armed with sugary snacks, neckerchiefs, head torches, lots of layers and waterproofs we headed into the wilderness with a bit of trepidation and lots of determination to complete the circuit in one piece.
We needn’t have worried, despite envisaging ourselves reading our location via map co-ordinates and compasses, we just had to follow a very long line of people on a well-trodden path. And there were lots of checkpoints and flag markers on the way, usually very well positioned at any junctions that occurred on route.
Don’t think that because we weren’t blindfolded, driven to a secret location and expected to find our way home with just a dowsing rod and the light of the moon that this was an easy task! 13 miles is a long way and when you’re doing it in the dark with at least 7 of those miles in a head-on gale force wind, the going does get a little bit tough.
There were a few people that caught our eye on the walk, not just the well-equipped seasoned walkers, one lady in particular who strode past us about half way round, as we were starting to flag, in just her trainers, jeans, t-shirt and carrying a handbag, apparently completely unphased by the wind, dark or distance! Big shout out to her, she deserves a lot of sponsorship. We’d also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Dartmoor Rescue who provided all the safety support and checkpoint crews.
We might not have broken any records, but we did however make it to the finish line in four hours, where we were welcomed with hot pasties, cups of tea and the chance to get our boots off and give the feet a bit of a rest.
It was a great experience and we’re more than tempted to go back and do the circuit again in the daylight so we can see the views!
The Fishermen’s Mission is an amazing charity supporting fishermen, their families and fishing communities and as well as Christmas cards, cake baking for Fish Friday and our Charity Sailor Shirt we wanted to take part in this unique challenge to help raise more funds to help with their work.
If you can spare a few pounds you can help too, all sponsorship is gratefully appreciated.
DONATE HERE >> Virgin Fundraising Page
Sian, Emma, Helen and Rachel ready to go at the start line
A few fellow walkers
The first leg of the walk
The sun setting
Past the first check point
Guided by a very big, very yellow moon
Up and over the hill
At the end of the walk and feeling a little bit tired
The route covered
A picture of Dartmoor the next morning