It is with great sadness that we’ve learned of the passing of spirited paddling pioneer and author, Audrey Sutherland, at her home in Hawaii on February 23, 2015. She was 94. Simply listing Sutherland’s achievements—from unsupported, multi-day swimming expeditions on Hawaii’s most rugged coasts in the 1960s, to 23 consecutive summers exploring the fiords, islands and glaciers of Southeast Alaska and B.C., alone, in an inflatable kayak—only tells a small part of her remarkable story. She shared her experiences in three books, by turns quintessential guides, humorous recollections and sage perspective gained from raising four childern by herself, and racking up some 12,000 nautical miles, alone on remote seas.
We shared writer David Thompson’s recent conversation with Sutherland in the February/March 2015 issue of Adventure Kayak. As Thompson notes when the nonagenarian admits she doesn’t get out on the water as much as she used to, “Nobody out-paddles age forever.” The paddling community has lost one of its most treasured voices; Audrey, you will be missed.
Read about Audrey’s remarkable life and adventures in the Spring 2015 issue of Adventure Kayak magazine.