Canoe/Kayak Expedition Season is Here [The Latest Round-up]

Wednesday, 06 July 2011

This has been a big month for large expeditions going on around in North America. Here is a quick update of three that have come across my radar.


Canoeacrosscanada Group Photo. Photo Credit: Dave Turgeon

Dave Turgeon and his son Matheson are half-way through canoeing across Canada to raise money for the Sick Kids Foundation here in Toronto. According to the update on the Paddle Canada blog they started in Vancouver, BC back in April and have just crossed the border from Manitoba into northern Ontario.


Lake Superior Circumnavigation
Two women from Marquette, Michigan are aiming to be the first women to circumnavigate Lake Superior. What makes this expedition interesting is that Lindsay Bean and Jess Laxo, who are also ACA instructors, are paddling a 17-foot canoe. In this day and age most people would have chosen a sea kayak as their mode of travel around the largest of the great lakes so it’s refreshing to see the trip tackled in a canoe again.

According to the Daily Press newspaper, the ladies are planning on doing 16 miles a day with the rough plan to be home again by September 1st but I think somebody might need to check their math again. The total trip is 1,400 miles so my trusty calculator says they will need almost 90 days to complete it (not counting wind days) so that would put them home at least at the end of September. Update: Kenneth corrected me today and said they actually started their trip on June 12 so a 2 1/2 month trip around the lake actually makes sense.


The Ultimate Crossing
Bart de Zwart is pretty proud of his recently completed journey. Last Sunday night he completed a 5-day, 300 mile stand-up paddle journey from Hawaii's Big Island to Kauai.

The Chicago Tribune reported:

[blockquote]Strapped to his 14-foot (4.3-meter) longboard were enough freeze-dried meals and water in watertight containers for seven days. He slept on inflatable water mattresses glued together to form what resembled a kiddie pool, he explained: "At night, I blew it up and strapped it on the board." The choppy waters and windy conditions would occasionally flip the board over, startling him awake in the water.[/blockquote]

Here is a capture of his route as reported by his Spot:

Bart de Zwart's SUP Expedition Route.

Throughout the trip he lost 12-pounds and estimated he paddled 215,000 strokes.


Five Great Lakes, 5 Days

Henry Dorfman finishes his Lake Erie crossing. Photo Credit: John Deike

Finally, let’s go back to the Great Lakes again as my friend Mike let me know about this crazy adventure that took place right at the end of June.

Henry Dorfman from Cincinnati just became the first person to cross all five Great Lakes in five days. Yes, all five in five.

He started in Munising, Michigan crossing Lake Superior followed by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Once that was done he crossed into Canada knocking Lake Ontario off the list. After a quick drive to Cleveland he paddled north to finish off his last major crossing on Lake Erie.

Lakewood Patch has the info:

[blockquote]When Patch caught up with Dorfman on Friday, the aquatic adventurer said it’d been a pretty smooth and exciting ride, but that the long kayaking stretches and 2,000-mile road trip to get from lake to lake was catching up to him.

“It’s pretty rigorous,” he said. “You burn off a lot of gasoline, a lot of energy and a lot of soda. You’re either driving, paddling or drinking diet coke pretty much nonstop for five days.[/blockquote]

It’s too bad that the news article didn’t provide more details into the logistics of the trip. For example, it doesn’t mention if he had one vehicle or different groups meeting him. Depending on his crossing route the paddle across the lake could have been quicker then the van ride around.

Congrats to Henry on the completion of a fantastic feat of endurance and will. I can appreciate the hard work. I want to give up after just crossing a small bay!

CanoeacrossCanada photo credit: Dave Turgeon
Henry Dorfman photo credit: John Deike

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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