California to Hawaii Crossing Ends 4 Miles Offshore
Retired military veterans Clay Biles and R.W. Hand have aborted their attempt to paddle from Monterey, California, to Maui, Hawaii, in two tandem sea kayaks just five days after their official launch. According to patchy reports on the team’s Facebook page, Biles’ boat was damaged and he had to be rescued by Coast Guard Monterey just 4 miles offshore, suffering from mild hypothermia. Hand managed to paddle in and discovered a cracked hull on his boat at the dock. “There was boat to boat contact when Clay was trying to retrieve RW’s sea anchor and began taking on water,” states a June 9th update on Facebook. The expedition was being taken to raise awareness for the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. Both men were reputedly seasoned paddlers, inspired by Edward Gillett’s 1987 Pacific crossing to become the third team in history to attempt the 2,200-mile journey by kayak. Biles and Hand announced earlier today that they will be postponing the expedition until next year, while repairs are made to their boats. www.montereytohawaiikayak.com
National Paddling Week June 15-23, 2013
A new event kicks off this weekend, promoting fun and safe skilled recreational paddling. National Paddling Week is a joint effort between Paddle Canada, Rapid Media, Canadian Canoe Museum and Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety along with paddlers and groups across the country to raise public awareness and just excite people to get out in small boats. “This week has been created to boost awareness of our national recreational paddling sports, safety measures, skill development, and heritage!” says Paddle Canada executive director Graham Ketcheson. “National Paddling Week seeks to encourage Canadians to get into a canoe, kayak or onto a board and be counted during this week to show our national commitment to the fun, the benefits, and the challenge of paddling!” To learn more or find a National Paddling Week event near you, visit www.paddleweek.ca, or follow on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/NationalPaddlingWeekCanada.
Port Austin Sea Kayak Symposium
Another paddling event, this one in charming Port Austin, Michigan, kicks off next week, June 21–23. Veteran PASKS attendees describe the event as a “smaller, more personalized symposium” at the tip of Michigan’s Thumb. The venue provides both calm waters within a breakwater, and the possibility of rougher waters among the carved rocks of Lake Huron. Favorite symposium day trip destinations include the historic, 19th-century Port Austin Reef Light. In addition to skills workshops and classes, a unique offering will include an overnight Expedition Class to Port Crescent State Park covering gear, packing, on-water group management, coastal paddling skills, compass/map skills and backcountry camping skills. Visit or call Riverside Kayak Connection to learn more and sign up: http://riversidekayak.com/events-lessons/port-austin-symposium2-2, 734-285-2925.