Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The List: International Version

The following is something that's been languishing in my drafts folder for years. I's not doing any good there, so I might as well publish it as is, even if I haven't quite finished it or polished it.

Some time ago I published a list of places I want to paddle. I am definitely Canadian-centric and all but one of the destinations picked for that list are located here in Canada. However, my dreaming of paddling goes beyond our borders and I was reminded of this when a Norwegian paddler (and moose hair researcher) visited our lab a while ago. So, in honour of Knut, here is my international wish list of paddling, again in no particular order.

  1. The Fjords of Norway. The west coast of Norway looks simply stunning and I would love the opportunity to paddle there. Perhaps we can travel to Norway under the guise of visiting my wife's Norwegian relatives. 
  2. St. Kilda. These remote Scottish islands are the featured location of the stunning video Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown, An Instructional Journey Around the Spectacular Islands of St Kilda. What can I say? The subtitle doesn't lie. 
  3. New Zealand. Rugged fjords, mountains, wildlife. 
  4. Australia. Home of kayaking greats like Fat Paddler & Gnarlydog, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania and so much more. I should really break this out into 5 or more individual items on this list.  
  5. Cape Horn, Chile. Way beyond my skillset, but man the southern tip of South America looks awesome with a coastal environment that's just about as rough as it gets. Those fjords and islands looks so inviting, in a harsh way. 
  6. San Francisco, California. Golden Gate Bridge, my buddy Cam (nearby in Sacramento), and a hotbed for California sea kayak activity. 
  7. Homer, Kenai Fjords, Kodiak, etc., Alaska. Lots of potential destinations, all of them pretty awesome. To be inspired, have a look at the video I shared a some time ago here
  8. Iceland. Hmmm, maybe remote fjords are a theme here?
  9. Isle of Man. Another branch of my wife's family is Manx and it looks like this "self-governing British Crown Dependency" would be pretty cool to circumnavigate.
  10. Belize. Since this made the first version of the list, I better keep it on the international version. Jimmy's pictures still look pretty cool. 
  11. Baja. A winter feeding ground for grey whales and abundant sea life. Sounds good to me.

Freya Hoffmeister - North American Circumnavigation

Freya is doing it again - she has set out on yet another circumnavigation and this time she has her eyes set on North America. She set out from Seattle on March 23rd, 2017 heading northward. She plans to do the circumnavigation in a a couple of legs, the first of which has her heading toward the arctic in a clockwise direction around North America.

I've been reading along as she posts to her blog and it's created some very enjoyable reading - I love living vicariously through adventurers like Freya. You can read her blog here: http://freyahoffmeister.com/posts/

As I write this, she is approaching the northern tip of Vancouver Island (Day 23). I decided to create a map showing her progress because, well, I like maps. :)

~ UPDATE: Freya has uploaded her track so far, and it seems to be updating with the camping locations as she goes, rendering my map above both inferior and redundant. :) Check out her version here: https://fusiontables.googleusercontent.com/embedviz?q=select+col2+from+1h2vMAo6H1yO7eRDeXfdFP1uUnTDOL06MUeAtDUws&viz=MAP&h=false&lat=63.6722663543392&lng=-114.11640625000001&t=3&z=4&l=col2&y=3&tmplt=4&hml=KM

Early in her trip she crossed over from Port Townsend, WA, to Victoria, BC. I was surprised with how easily she tosses off a crossing like that.

Open this map full screen.