AFTER 18 months of preparation, three adventure scouts have completed the first part of their Duke of Edinburgh gold award scheme expedition.
Jack Cronin, Daniel Kinsella and Denyan Rance travelled to Scotland and canoed the 64-mile Caledonian Canal in four days, being totally self-sufficient.
It rained throughout day one and day two, as the team set off from Neptune’s Staircase at the foot of Ben Nevis on the longest section of lochs in Britain, covering 45km over the two days in high spirits, conquering Loch Lochy and Loch Oich.
Day three saw the start of Loch Ness with a strong wind at their backs.
Tiredness began creeping in but everyone remained in high spirits as another 19km passed.
On the final day, sheer grit and determination were needed to complete the remaining 35km of the journey to Inverness amid a hailstorm and 1.5m waves.
Expedition organiser Ian Mepham said: “I am extremely proud of what these young men have achieved, you have to bare in mind that all three are still only 17 years old and to take on such a huge challenge like this with school exams requires commitment, perseverance, team building and organisational skills.”
Barracuda explorer leader Peter Betts said: “I have nothing but admiration for all involved.
“These young men should be applauded.”