Paddling in India

Monday, 19 February 2007
School Lecture

For those who have been following V.Balaji’s trip along the coast of India might have noticed that he is paddling an Easky 15 by Venture Kayaks (P&H). I recently asked him how he acquired his boat as I don’t know any other paddlers in India.

Easky 15

This is his response:

Yes, it has been in my dream to make an adventurous journey in the sea, after I saw the program of Justine's kayak expedition in the east coast of Russia in National Geographic Channel (if you know her, say my hello).

In 2005, when I went for a mangrove conservation training program, I met Mr. Dominic from International Tree Foundation, UK. After my seminar on coastal conservation he was impressed and we had a few minutes chat - I told him I wish to make a kayak expedition, but i did not know how to ride it, roll it, its cost and I never seen before except in the TV. I was confident that the kayak will surely attract the people here as a tool to talk about the value of protective fragile, coastal ecosystems of tamil nadu (coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses).

When I was in Germany in July 2006, I spend some time to rent a kayak in an enclosed bay at Baltic Sea and paddled it for a km myself - which was like a child walking first time.

Then, Dominic took a great effort in UK - he made a car rally with his friends from UK to France to collect money, I selected the sea kayak through websites and started to read the kayak lessons through internet.

Dominic (690 UK pounds +300 UK pounds) and I paid nearly 24,000 Indian rupees for Indian customs clearance. October - November 2006 is the training session and December 2006 the expedition start.

I am very grateful to Mr. Dominic and his friends, I have to be responsible to teach the children in the village on marine conservation, and paddle the kayak to next village - as a way to prove it.

Going to a village school today afternoon...

Yours truly,

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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