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Canoe dad spends 13 weeks in paradise on the Broads

PUBLISHED: 07:49 27 July 2014 | UPDATED: 07:49 27 July 2014

Ewan Mess has spent the past 13 weeks canoeing the Broads. Here he is with his canoe and belongings. Picture: Hilary Franzen

Ewan Mess has spent the past 13 weeks canoeing the Broads. Here he is with his canoe and belongings. Picture: Hilary Franzen


Adventurous Ewan Mess has been living and breathing the Broads’ blissful waterways for the past 13 weeks.

With just his canoe for company, the dad of three has been in paradise paddling around Norfolk and Suffolk’s iconic rivers and lakes.

It is the dad of three’s first visit to the area – but his inventive nature knows no bounds.

To cook Mr Mess, from Bacton in Suffolk, converted an old gas bottle into a wood burning stove, and to charge his phone he adapted a solar panel found in the bushes.

And the kindness and generosity of people on the journey has warmed Mr Mess’ heart.

“I am fairly resourceful but the trip has really restored my faith in humanity,” the have-a-go explorer said.

Since setting off from Bungay more than three months ago, Mr Mess has travelled from Geldeston, to Oulton Broad, Brundall, Norwich, Hickling, Horsey and more.

Now he is re-visiting his favourite spots as the adventure continues.

A carer for his two disabled children, Mr Mess said the peace and tranquillity on the water has forged magical moments too.

One with a seal swimming in tandem as he travelled to Breydon Water, another watching the storms and lightning over the scene area,

“I’ve not done anything like this for 20 years, but I have always had a sense of adventure,” Mr Mess said.

“Everyone should have one in their lives to test themselves.”

Eating just pasta and rice, Mr Mess has been enjoying the simple life: “You realise you don’t need all the things you think are essential. Everything we take for granted at home, you realise you don’t need any of it.

“It’s been a really good experience. Just being out in the fresh air makes me feel like I have a new pair of lungs.”

Have you got a story from the Broads? Email Broads reporter Rosa Mcmahon on or call 01603 772245


  • Listen, im no Bear Grylls, but im pretty sure that as unfit as i am, i could do his journey in less than 13 weeks.

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    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • while agreeing it must be a great experience,a carer to two disabled children and finds 13 weeks to paddle around the broads??? umm,not sure how that works!

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    The Eel

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

  • What you would call a soft adventure,the Broads are lovely but certainly no wilderness

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    Saturday, July 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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