VIDEO: Musician to paddle around lake

MUSICIANS and exercise are not necessarily a common marriage.

Cameron Park guitarist Kenny Jewell is set to debunk that stereotype when he sets out on a mission to paddle around Lake Macquarie over five days.

The 200-kilometre paddle will be somewhat of an odyssey, with the aim to raise awareness of mental illness.

Mr Jewell, who has played at festivals alongside Bob Dylan, Ben Harper and BBKing, has bipolar disorder.

He will raise money for Beyond Blue, which defines bipolar disorder as involving ‘‘symptoms of depression and mania at different times’’.

Mr Jewell will depart from Speers Point on February 27.

‘‘It’ll be Bear Grylls-style camping every night,’’ he said.

He will sleep rough without a tent.

‘‘If I erect a structure, the council said it’s classified as camping,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ll sleep in a waterproof sleeping bag [on the shore].’’

He will take limited food supplies.

‘‘My dietitian planned my intake to be just enough to get me through,’’ he said.

He aims to catch a fish a day for protein.

‘‘That’s part of the adventure and the sacrifice I want to make for the cause,’’ he said.

Mr Jewell self-medicated for years, but when he went clean ‘‘all the problems reared their head’’.

He was a lifesaver as a kid, so he took up paddling again.

‘‘I thought it would be good for my brain and health,’’ he said.

When a doctor told him there was  a high chance that bipolar disorder would be passed genetically to his daughters, he decided to act.

‘‘I aim to dedicate a huge portion of my life to raising awareness of it, so the treatment gets better and they don’t have to go through what I’ve had to go through.’’ 

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