My Paddle to the Sea: Eleven Days on the River of the Carolinas (Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book Ser.)
Three months after a family vacation in Costa Rica ends in tragedy when two fellow rafters die on the flooded Rio Reventazón, John Lane sets out with friends from his own backyard in upcountry South Carolina to calm his nerves and to paddle to the sea.
Like Huck Finn, Lane sees a river journey as a portal to change, but unlike Twain’s character, Lane isn’t escaping. He’s getting intimate with the river that flows right past his home in the Spartanburg suburbs. Lane’s three-hundred-mile float trip takes him down the Broad River and into Lake Marion before continuing down the Santee River. Along the way Lane recounts local history and spars with streamside literary presences such as Mind of the South author W. J. Cash; Henry Savage, author of the Rivers of America Series volume on the Santee; novelist and Pulitzer Prize–winner Julia Peterkin; early explorer John Lawson; and poet and outdoor writer Archibald Rutledge. Lane ponders the sites of old cotton mills; abandoned locks, canals, and bridges; ghost towns fallen into decay a century before; Indian mounds; American Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites; nuclear power plants; and boat landings. Along the way he encounters a cast of characters Twain himself would envy—perplexed fishermen, catfish cleaners, river rats, and a trio of drug-addled drifters on a lonely boat dock a day’s paddle from the sea.
By the time Lane and his companions finally approach the ocean about forty miles north of Charleston they have to fight the tide and set a furious pace. Through it all, paddle stroke by paddle stroke, Lane is reminded why life and rivers have always been wedded together.
Based on Holling C. Holling s beloved Caldecott-awarded children s book, William Mason s stunning film follows the adventures of a tiny, wood-carved canoe as it forges its own path from Lake Superior through the Great Lakes and down to the Atlantic Ocean. Buoyed by beautiful photography and a sense of true wonder about the sun, Earth, and water, the Academy Award nominated Paddle to the Sea is an unforgettable tribute to the forces of the natural world, as well as a thrilling journey across the waves and rapids of North America.
Sea Kayak Rescue: The Definitive Guide To Modern Reentry And Recovery Techniques (How to Paddle Series)
Don Starkell decided to paddle a kayak from Hudson Bay 3,000 miles through the Northwest Passage.
Paddle to the Arctic is Don's diary of his journey from Churchill, Manitoba, north and then west all the way to Tuktoyaktuk, close to Alaska. The voyage took him three Arctic summers. Each attempt almost cost him his life.
The first year, aged fifty-seven and "very scared," Don paddled north through the thawing ice-fields. How he survived a spill in frigid waters miles from shore before fighting his way home is in itself an incredible story. On his return to Churchill he was greeted by a local with the words "I was hoping you wouldn't make it back." Why? "If guys like you are successful, it will encourage others to try, and the whole west shore of Hudson Bay will be piled deep with bodies."
Undeterred, Don tried again the next year with two companions. Fred soon gave up, but Victoria gamely survived their jousts with polar bears, walrus, and other hazards all the way to Repulse Bay. (For most readers, one of the book's pleasures is learning the geography of the North as Don visits each community in turn.)
The third year was the big test. Dragging their sleds across the peninsulas proved to be too tough, and snowmobiles had to be used to get to Spence Bay. Then it was straight across the frozen sea, hauling their kayaks on sleds.
Although Victoria had to give up ("My God, he'll kill us both," she told a Winnipeg paper), Don kept on, not seeing another human being for weeks, and risking his life as he waded across the thawing ice ("Fell through the ice up to my neck at least ten times yesterday ..."). At Cambridge Bay he abandoned the sled and threaded his way through the breaking ice by kayak, out into open water. There he confronted storms, giant Arctic seas, and ("August 19 - snow!") the growing threat of freeze-up.
The variety of Don's adventures will astonish every reader. "So far on my voyage," he writes, "I have seen polar bear, grizzly, caribou, reindeer, muskox, belugas, whales, seal, walrus, Arctic hare, siksik, lemmings, fox, and lots of Arctic birds." Whenever his days seem about to settle into a rhythm, another crisis erupts. The landscape changes, from welcoming Inuit settlements or camps, to permanently smoking hills, and from an historic site where he finds an explorer's sword hilt, to surf-lashed cliffs.
And as he closes in on his destination, his supplies running out and his ocean highway freezing over, we find ourselves sharing his blazing, driving determination to reach his goal, at the risk of his life. This compelling book makes armchair travel the ideal way to go.