A MAN who kayaked almost 2000 miles to every lifeboat station in Scotland has written a book about his travels.

Nick Ray, 58, who lives in Tobermory, began travelling around Scotland’s coasts in his kayak in 2015 and spent about four months venturing to each lifeboat station that could be found across the country at that time.

In doing so, he raised almost £5000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Speaking to The National, Ray said: “Being a sea kayaker I’ve always been aware of their [the RNLI’s] presence.

“For a while my wife and I lived on a yacht when we were in Oban. We were out one day and I had a suspected heart-attack and the lifeboat came and helped me out.”

On Wednesday, he announced on his social media that he had finished a book he has been writing about his journey since 2016.

Ray continued: “I’ve always wanted to write a book. I started writing in about 2016 shortly after I’d finished my trip.

“Some of it was easy to write about because it was something that’s happened. For me, it was important to tell the story of the deeper experiences that I had.

“It wasn’t just about paddling from A to B but what I gained from those experiences, from meeting lifeboat crews to the contact I had with wildlife.

“I guess when I reached some of those points in the book I found it more difficult to express myself, I doubted whether I really had a story to tell at all. I doubted my validity.”

When he undertook his journey in 2015, there were 47 lifeboat stations to visit with his route starting in Kippford in Dumfries and Galloway and ending in Eyemouth in the Borders.

Ray continued: “Going round Cape Wrath was a huge highlight and paddling around mainland Shetland and the east coast was incredible.

READ MORE: Aberfoyle aims to become UK 'mecca for gravel cycling' with new trails

“Just the whole experience of meeting people was great and I found myself being embraced by Scottish culture. People's friendliness was incredible.”

Ray has spoken in the past about his mental health struggles and said that his depression “got in the way a lot” throughout the writing process.  

“This journey is about symbolising there is a life to be lived and how it’s possible to live a positive life even if you’re struggling with depression,” he added.

Ray is originally from Zimbabwe but has lived in England, Wales and now Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.

He used to be a mountain rescue volunteer himself and spoke about his love for Scotland.

“Scotland has become my adopted home, I feel a close affinity to the landscape, the history and everything the country has to offer”, he said.

Ray isn’t finished adventuring around the Scottish coasts just yet though, with a year-long trip planned as a “rite of passage” as he reaches 60-years-old.

He said: “I’m going back around Scotland again but this time I won’t be on a mission. I had a strict schedule last time because I wanted to visit all the stations.

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

“On August 28 I turn 59 so I’m going to explore all the coastline for a year and when I turn 60 I’m going to paddle back into Tobermory.”

Ray’s book is titled "Strong Winds Forecast" and will be self-published.

“It would be nice if a Scottish publisher was interested in me," he said.

"Hopefully if the one I’ve written does well and it gets good reviews then somebody might be keen to pick up my story over the next year.

“I have a strong desire to explore and I’m very lucky to have this opportunity.”