SUP Expeditions

1. Yukon SUP 2011

2. SUP in Asia 2012

3. Algonquin Park 2012

4. Hawaii 2013

5. Vancouver to Victoria 2014

1. Yukon 2011


In the paper in Whitehorse-The Whitehorse Star
and HERE!

Watch Video Below!

Yukon River SUP Expedition 2011 from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.



Expedition REPORT! Grab a snack and some tea and get comfortable...

On June 27th 2011 I, Lina Augaitis and Andrew Dye departed from downtown Whitehorse on the Yukon River at the Peace Rotary Park.  Five-and-a half days later we arrived in Dawson City and I was the first to stand up paddleboard (SUP) this distance on the Yukon River.

Gear List:
Board and kayak:
I was on a Starboard K-15 stand up paddleboard carrying two sleeping bags and therma-rest sleeping mats in dry bags and a dry bag of snack and lunch food.  The bags were held onto the board by a bike basket bungee net hooked into the bungee rings on either side of the board.  I had a surfing leash to attach the board to my ankle.  I was paddling with the Methane paddle by Kialoa paddles.  My spare paddle was a three piece Werner Nitro.

Andrew carried the rest of our equipment and supplies in a Necky Eskia plastic sea kayak (kindly loaned from Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak)

Lina's clothing:
Stohlquist Drifter PFD
Innov 8 hip pouch which held 2 litres of water (usually filled with nuun electrolytes) and some snacks waterproof Fuji Z33 camera in the hip pouch
I was wearing Ryders sunglasses (Tweaker SL with interchangeable lens) and a hat by Kialoa.
I wore Chaco Z1 Unaweep sandals usually barefoot. Through bad weather and the rapids wore Kokatat Tempest pant with socks and Kokatat Helix dry top.
MEC neoprene paddling shoes
Icebreaker 150 longsleeve top, 150 t-shirt, socks and underwear
MEC merino lightweight 2 longsleeve crew
Patagonia synthetic insulated jacket
Arc'teryx Sidewinder waterproof jacket

Camping equipment:
Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 Tent
MEC Merlin -3ºC down sleeping bag and MEC Habanero -7ºC synthetic bag
MEC silk sleeping bag liners
MSR Whisperlite stove and stainless-steel pots
MEC, Sealine and Watershed dry bags (various sizes)
MSR dromedary water bag
Katadyn Base Camp water filter

Garmin GPSMap 62s with Ibycus Topo maps
Mike Rourke - Yukon River Marsh Lake to Dawson City Map Book
SPOT tracker

Rescue and Safety Gear:
2 throw bags
1 pump
Spare split paddles (kayak and SUP)
Northwater PFD quick release sea link tow-line
Crazy glue
"Session saver" surfboard repair putty
Bear bangers and spray

Tips for Preparation and Packing
In preparation for the expedition, I did a lot of research online about the Yukon River. I read blog posts and asked for first hand experiences from other paddlers. I bought a map book by Mike Rourke that was recommended by many: "Yukon River-Marsh Lake to Dawson City".
In terms of packing I read the recommended gear requirements used in the famous Yukon River Quest Race (which uses the same route we used). We also needed to pack according to the limited space we had with a single plastic sea kayak and a SUP. The limited space helped us choose smaller and lighter weight items. We ensured we had enough warm clothes and emergency gear but tried to limit our clothes and gear to the absolute necessary.

Planning Process
First I needed to ensure we could get the right gear. I looked at what we had, what we still needed and how we could get it. I called and emailed folks involved in the industry and associated with water sports. Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak lent us a Necky Eskia kayak and safety gear which we chose as it has plenty of storage space and is very stable.  Trident sports lent us a the Starboard K-15 board, chosen for its speed and fittings to carry cargo on the deck. MEC provided us with support for the expedition fund which we used to help purchace a Garmin GPSMap 62s, chosen for its on-screen mapping and expandable memory.  Kialoa provided me with a SUP paddle and Werner a three-piece paddle we would carry as a spare. Ryders eyewear provided us with sunglasses. We already owned suitable lightweight camping gear, so we were on our way!
A leisurely canoe trip from Whitehorse to Dawson typically takes two weeks, and the winning teams in the Yukon River Quest take approximately 48 hours.  We estimated our trip would take up to 6 days, paddling 10-12 hour days, but stopping to cook and camp each night.  The biggest unknown was the time we would take to paddle Lake Laberge due to the lack of flow and potential for winds and bad weather.  Once on the river we knew we would have 10-12km/h of current in our favor and less exposure to wind and waves.
We needed to find a way to get ourselves and our gear back to Whitehorse as this was a point-to-point expedition. The timing worked out well as the Yukon River Quest race started two days after we set out, following the same route as us. It was a race I’ve had my eye on for quite some while so knew the website and kept my eye out on the forum. I first emailed outfitters that run trips on the river and found there were possibilities of either getting picked up by an outfitter or to have an outfitter drive our car up to Dawson for us. Both would have worked well for us, but I saw a team racing in the Yukon River Quest who were looking for a car for their support crew to drive from Whitehorse to Dawson City during the time we would be on the river. We met up in Whitehorse, loaned our car, and met it again in Dawson. We were even able to give another pair of paddlers a ride back to Whitehorse, so it worked out perfectly.

Our goal was simple - I wanted to be the first to SUP the entire 700km from Whitehorse to Dawson City. We reached the goal! Having Andrew as a safety and support in the kayak helped me reach this goal. It was nice to have someone there beside me, to help with navigation, with loading and unloading gear, and emotional support. It is a long way, even on a fast-flowing river and mentally it is tough. There are long days and sometimes it feels monotonous. Having someone there to talk to and help keep you focused on your goal was ideal.
There are times when doing a longer expedition that mentally you wonder "Why?". When you reach the end and it all comes together, you fully understand why. It is an amazing feeling to have a dream and a goal and know that you were able to complete it. It takes inner strength, preparation, and organization but it is all worth the effort. The lessons you learn along the way about yourself are irreplaceable. For example I know I am competitive and can push through pain, but I also know that when I am hungry I get moody!

Struggles and Joys
One of our biggest struggles as a couple was our different take on adventure. I have a very competitive spirit and like to do things as fast as I can. Andrew is less competitive and enjoys the present and takes in everything around him. There were moments on the river where these different styles of adventuring caused some friction but we were able to compromise. I pushed to continue further Andrew on days more than he would have liked but also knew there would be some historic things he would enjoy seeing and stopped to take a look at these and let him enjoy them for as long as he liked. There were also times where he just wanted to enjoy time stopped on an island and although it was difficult for me I saw that he was putting himself out there for me and I wanted to do the same for him.
Some specific river struggles were the 30 mile Lake Laberge. It was a long time on non-moving water. On the third day we experienced one full day of rain and I don’t think it stopped raining for 24 hours. It was one of our longer days on the river and we were cold, hungry, and tired. We almost quit right there, but people were so kind and helped us dry out our gear.  The sun shined the next day! All of these things perked up our spirits and we were ready to tackle the rest of the river to Dawson City.
Although we encountered struggles, we experienced many moments of JOY. Getting through the rapids, camping on some beautiful remote islands, working together as a team with navigation, gear loading and unloading, and just being in the wild. All of these were exciting and made for a beautiful experience on the Yukon River.

What I learned
Before the expedition I didn’t realize how little knew about the history and the importance of the Yukon River. The river played a pivotal role for transport both for First Nations and the Goldrush era in northern Canada.
I learned how working together you can accomplish so much in half the time and double the fun. It took us 1.5 hours from wake up time to being on the water in the morning. This included take down, coffee, hot breakfast, packing the kayak, and dressing ourselves. We had roles and we each delivered well in our roles and created a good team.
If you follow through with your ideas and dreams they bring happiness and joy to you and those around you.
The people of northern Canada are wonderfully friendly, respectful, and interesting. We met some amazing people that helped us along the way and we are grateful for each and every one of them!


June 27th 2011
Whitehorse to Lake Laberge Narrows
Time paddling: 2pm-10pm
Total distance: 60.3 km
Average Speed: 7.7km/h
We left Whitehorse in shorts and a t-shirt, under blue skies with about 25ºC temperature. Our friends Colleen, David, and Sam watched us leave the shores of the Peace Park in Downtown Whitehorse. As we waved them goodbye on the swift moving waters of the Yukon River we went over everything in our heads to ensure we hadn’t forgotten anything too essential. The water moves quickly from Whitehorse but as we paddled toward Lake Laberge the current slowed significantly. It was fun to watch our speed on the Garmin GPS. We moved past some of the boats doing some last minute training for the Yukon River Quest (we were following the race course from Whitehorse to Dawson City). Once we paddled past the Takhini River, our first confluence of many. The water color changed from clear blue to a faint brown tint. The change in water color is something we will notice passing by confluences throughout our journey on the Yukon River. As we entered Lake Laberge we veered to the right shoulder and remained there for the entirety of the lake. I read about the lake and the possibilities of instant storms and winds. It is a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. It is miles wide and miles upon miles long. We were blessed with a small tail wind and rain clouds that decided to just skip to the side of us. We decided that it would be best to keep paddling until we couldn’t any longer or the lake acted up on us and forced us to stop. The latter was the case. At about mid point on the lake we received a strong cross wind. It picked up so that with already tired legs I didn’t feel comfortable standing anymore. We headed into the closest bay, set up tent, cooked out first meal (curry in a bag) and lay our heads down feeling like we accomplished a good amount for our first half day out on the water. The Kialoa Methane paddle and the Starboard K-15 board both felt really comfortable for me.

June 28th 2011
Lake Laberge  Narrows to little island before the Keno Bend
Time paddling: 7am to 8pm ; total time travelling 11 hours
Total distance: 103km (25km on lake Laberge)
Average Speed: 9.5km/h
We departed Laberge narrows with again a small tail wind, sunny skies and the motivation to reach the river and the current. We stopped for lunch right before the river and made sure our gear was secured. Lunch on the river consisted mostly of some sort of bread product, cheese, peanut butter, and a desert piece with Nutella. YUM! Bungee cords were our friends as they helped keep items secure both on the board and the kayak.
We stopped to explore Shipyard Island past the deserted town of Hootalinqua. The steamboat “Evelyn” was left here and she was ours to explore for an hour. These ships were big and it is difficult to imagine how they made it upstream on the river under steam power!
This section of river is quite narrow and very windy and the landscape consists of many high sand cliffs, especially on the corners. Our goal was to paddle to the Big Eddy Woodcamp but bad weather forced us to stop just short of the Keno Bend, about 5km before our planned camp. The rain came as we set up our tent so we snuck away under our sleeping bags for 2 hours to see if the rain would cease enough for us to cook some dinner. We managed to wake up during a break from the rain but it was short and it once again poured down on us during dinner and through the night. We covered ourselves with our tarp and had a rather unromantic dinner of curry in a bag (again) sitting on top the kayak.

June 29th 2011
Little island before the Keno Bend to Coal Mine Campground
Time paddling: 10am to 8:30pm ; total time travelling 10 hours
Total distance: 133km
Average Speed: 13.2km/h
We didn’t depart until 10am this day despite wanting to make it to the Coal Mine campground which was 133km away. We hoped for a break in the weather but when we realized it may not happen we sucked it up and tore down camp in the rain. Our gear got wet but there was nothing we could do. Luckily with the right clothes (Gore-Tex jackets and Kokatat dry-pants) the rain is not so much a problem while on the river paddling. We paddled through old burned forests, which made for an interesting atmosphere with the dark clouds and somber weather day. The river kept winding around and due to the rain we didn’t take out the video or camera too much this day. We arrived into Coal Mine campground at 8:30pm just in time for veggie burgers, fries, and ice cream. It was wet and it made for a tough day but hot food, good company, and a warm cup of tea helped us regain our spirits.
The campground was busy with support crew for the Yukon River Quest race but we managed to find a spot for our tent and tarp. After setting up camp, Sam (the man driving our car to Dawson City and support crew for team YukOntario) invited us into his cabin for tea and cinnamon buns and the drying of our very wet tent. The visit and the stories he shared with us lifted our spirits and we managed to regain motivation and excitement to continue the long journey to Dawson City.

June 30th 2011
Coal Mine Campground to sandbar island 20km south of Fort Selkirk
Time paddling: 11am to 8:15pm ; total time travelling 9 hours
Total distance: 109km
Average Speed: 12.2 km/h
We slept in, ate a good breakfast, and went into Carmacks to pick up some more snack food for the rest of the trip. By the time we got ourselves organized and suited for the rapids with all our waterproofs on and energized it was 11am but it was still before any of the teams were allowed to leave so we were excited. We had a little crowd of people sending us off from the coal mine campground and back into the wilds of the river. The famous five finger rapids were about 2 hours/40km away from the campground, enough time to think about them a lot and get myself worked up. By the time I was on the rapids I was loving every second of it and wished I was on my feet instead of stable and on my knees. But in reality it would have been a hassle if anything went wrong in the rapids so I was vey pleased that we execute the rapids with ease and no concerns. The board felt very stable, especially down on my knees. All the gear was secured on with a bungee net and another bungee strapped across on top of everything. I made sure all the gear was clipped into something.
The next set of rapids, the rink rapids, were easily avoidable on the far right side of the river. I stayed on my feet and enjoyed the rapids from the right side of the river. We stopped at the Minto boat launch to take a quick break and use the facilities. Here we met some support crews waiting on racers to go by. We chatted with them a little and then pushed off again.  The weather was nice but we were getting a little tired.
Having the GPS definitely helped us navigate through the maze of islands that we encountered from here on in. We managed to find camp on a little sandbar island just before Fort Selkirk. We cooked up a dinner of dried veggies and Andrew created a filter stand with the kayak paddles so we could filter our water using the Katadyn Base Camp filter and MSR Dromedary combination. The sandbar islands were great for ease of entry into shore and the lack of significant bugs.

July 1st 2011
Sandbar island 20km south of Fort Selkirk to island just north of Kirkman Creek
Time paddling: 7:30am to 8:15pm
Total distance: 146km
Average Speed: 12.6km/h
After breakfast and an hour of paddling we stopped to explore the deserted town of Fort Selkirk. Here we learned even more about the amazing history of the Gold Rush, the importance of the stern-wheelers to ferry people and goods up and down the river.
On this day we paddled through more mazes of islands. The combination of me with the paper map (Mike Rourke) and Andrew with the GPS was perfect for not getting too lost within the islands. We did meet some folks along the way that were a little flustered and a little lost within the islands. I was glad for our GPS at these times. This was our longest day of paddling so to keep things moving, we took our breaks on the river, rafting up and having snacks or discussing our strategy, or to steal a kiss or two! We tended to only get off the river for a lunch break and if Andrew was in dire needs of a leg stretch
A combination of a long day of paddling, the thought of bad weather fast approaching and an over ambitious ferry glide across the river we hastily picked our worst campsite of the trip, a very buggy one. We had to eat in our tent and hope no bears were sniffing around.

July 2nd 2011
Island just north of Kirkman Creek to island 20km south of Dawson City
Time paddling: 8:30am to 7:15pm ; total time travelling 9 hours
Total distance: 125km
Average Speed: 12.6km/h
Not too long after leaving this day we paddled past our last large confluence with the silty waters of the White River. This confluence also brought many more snags and sandbars. It was important to keep a sharp eye not to run into something on the river. The weather was warm again so I was in shorts and a thing long sleeve shirt, wearing my Chaco sandals with bare feet. Andrew and I enjoyed wearing our Ryders sunglasses on the entire trip. We paddled through many more islands and stopped just short of Dawson City. I wanted to paddle on to Dawson and reach the "finish line" and Andrew (who tends to actually think things through) thought we should stop just short and camp on the river as it was the last evening of the Yukon River Quest and we had heard from many people that accommodations might be full. As we didn’t know when we would finish we had no accommodations booked and would have arrived into Dawson at 9pm and with no accommodations it would not have been the most pleasant ending. We had a little couple confrontation but Andrew’s arguments over took mine and we camped on the river and were to arrive into Dawson for breakfast!

July 3rd 2011
Arrived Dawson City
20km paddling, total time 1.5 hours
Arrived at 9am
We quickly arrived into Dawson as folks in town were heading to the coffee shops to satisfy their daily caffeine needs. We managed to land right in the centre of town at a main park. As I waited for Andrew to find the car many folks from the Yukon River Quest race came up to congratulate me on the expedition. It felt so good to have accomplished this mission of mine and it was nice to be able to share it with others while it was fresh, new, and exciting. Andrew and I got washed and sorted, had breakfast, explored Dawson’s culture, hidden paddlewheeler "graveyard", and nightlife excitements.

Thank you again to our sponsors for their support throughout this exciting journey
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Starboard SUP/Trident Sports
Kialoa Paddles
Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks
Ryders Eyewear
Werner Paddles

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Expedition Participants:

Lina Augaitis (The Stand Up Paddler) 
Lina is a team rider for Starboard Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). She is SUP instructor as well as a kayak guide with Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks. Lina is hoping to become one of the first qualified SUP Instructors through the newly developed Paddle Canada Program. Lina is also a certified Assistant Overnight Guide with SKGABC has her wilderness first aid certificate, current CPR training, and VHF radio certificate. This will be Lina’s second year racing on SUPs. Lina has raced in many multi day adventure races around the globe (including the Queen Charlotte Islands, Blanc Sablon QC, Mexico,
Chile, and Sweden). Lina has also completed two personal kayak expeditions with husband Andrew on the coast of Baja and in the south of Chile.

Andrew Dye (The support kayaker) 
Andrew is a whitewater kayak instructor and has been paddling on rivers for over 10 years. Andrew is certified in CPR and basic first aid. Andrew paddles surf skis and sea kayaks in Deep Cove at least once a week throughout the year and has paddled whitewater rivers throughout BC, the UK, and the French Alps. Andrew participates regularly in multi day kayak, ski touring and hiking trips. Andrew is also a member of
SKGABC as he has participated in the guide exchanges.

The Expedition

Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada June 27th to July 3rd  (approximate) 2011
Yukon River:  Whitehorse to Dawson
Approx 6 days 740km

Nature of trip:
I will Stand Up Paddle Board from Whitehorse to Dawson via the Yukon River. To my knowledge, I will be the first individual to Stand Up Paddle Board this distance on the Yukon River. Andrew will provide kayak safety support.

My dream of paddling down the Yukon River will finally become a reality, in SUP form. In 2010, I pursued the sport of SUP through instructing and racing. My increasing passion for SUP, has driven me to explore different areas and different bodies of water via SUP, leading to the idea to paddle the Yukon river (Whitehorse to Dawson). As far as I can tell, I will be the first to complete this route on a SUP. Through this expedition I hope to enhance my sense of pursuing and reaching my dreams and help others take the first steps to develop, accomplish and relish in their dreams and or passions through my blog, pictures, and stories shared.
The Yukon is full of exciting and undamaged wilderness. Protecting our environment is an important issue in our world today. Throughout and after the expedition, I hope to promote, educate, and cherish the surrounding environment of the Yukon River. Clean water is becoming a prominent issue worldwide. Paddling on such pristine water is another way to appreciate its importance, beauty, and power.
I would also like to promote the sport of SUP. Andrew and I plan to record our journey with photograps and point-of-view video, allowing us to write a blog, and produce a short video capturing the essence of the expedition. Andrew will provide safety support and to help carry gear by kayak.
I aim to motivate others to follow their dreams and passions, and get more people enjoying the outdoors in a variety of capacities. Too many people suffer from symptoms such as overstress, depression, and anxiety, which may lead to other health problems and further complications. I hope that through outdoor recreation people are able to free themselves from fear, let go of their comfort zones, and live the life they want to live without any regrets and full of passion.
I am  a teacher and through my work I see that we have youth with unique talents, passions, and dreams. My desire is to reach out to as many youth as possible through role modeling, instruction, discussions, and pursuing goals. Adolescents are blessed with gifts, dreams, and desires, and they should acquire the skills to allow them to develop confidence and have the support of others to help them reach their full potential. The outdoors is just one of many avenues to accomplish this and I will focus on this through the expedition.

Expedition sponsors:

Our blogs:

2. SUP in Asia 2012
Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi 32km crossing, Thailand February 3rd, 2012

Ko Lanta to Phi Phi SUP crossing from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

  In Pattaya, Thailand we helped Starboard Distributor and shop owners Craig and Amara from Amara Watersports put on a  team relay SUP race for the competitors of a windsurf competition that had just completed on Jomtien Beach. It was a great local event to get people familiar and excited about SUP. I was glad to be a part of this wonderful community event.

  A big thank you to Trident Sports for hooking us up with Amara Watersports and Craig in Pattaya so we could get a hold of inflatable starboard SUPs for adventures throughout Asia. While we were in Pattaya helping Craig and picking up two inflatable Starboard SUPs;  Craig got us in touch with Pete. Pete Compere, owner of Lanta Paddle Sports was preparing to be the first to paddle from Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi, a 32km crossing in the southern Thai islands. As Andrew and I didn't have much planned we couldn't say no to the opportunity in joining Pete on this awesome adventure. Within a couple of days we bought some plane tickets, stored our inflatables and most of our luggage in Bangkok and found ourselves at the Noble House Resort paddling with new friends at Lanta Paddle Sports.

We (Pete, Richard, Stefan, myself and Andrew) met at the Noble House Resort on  Klong Dao Beach. We enjoyed a buffet breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, fruit, yogurt and coffee! After breakfast we loaded the Longtail boat that would follow us throughout the crossing with two boatmen and Andrew on board. We left the beach on Koh Lanta at 7:45am. We were all paddling on a Starboard Blend board (11'2" x 30"). These boards are not quick but they are stable and it meant we could all be on the same board for this inaugural event.
 As we left Koh Lanta there was a slight tail wind, the sun was shining and everyone was feeling great. On a clear day you can see Phi Phi island from Klong Dao Beach leaving you with your goal always in sight and on your mind. Leaving the beach you round the corner and follow the coast for a little ways before you have to turn towards the open ocean.
 As we reached the middle of the crossing the waves increased in size but all was still very manageable. Unfortunately, the waves were too many and too short to really get any kind of long downwind ride but some short little rides were plentiful throughout the paddle. As we neared Phi Phi island the increased boat traffic and slight changes in wind patterns due to the islands caused some funky cross waves to occur which caused some problems as people were getting tired and their legs were getting wobbly. Everyone did great and for most it was their longest paddle to date! I was very proud of the team as it is no small feat to paddle 32km in the open ocean! I felt strong and stable on the blend. I am so used to the race board I have been using the last year,  the Starboard New (12'6" x 23.5") that now any wider board feels ultra stable for me!

As we neared Phi Phi Island the shallow reefs and white sandy beaches proved to be a delightful sight and a great way to finish off the crossing! We completed the crossing in 4 hours 32minutes. We enjoyed a swim, a walk along the beach, some celebratory drinks and the 1.5 hour (perfect for a nap and reflection of the accomplishments and the paddle) long tail ride back to Koh Lanta. We received an applause, some medals and an unexpected welcoming party as we beached back on Koh Lanta in front of Lanta Paddle Sports Shop! This will be an exciting and beautiful open ocean race in the future.

Look out for this event in the near future. It promises to have it all! Check out the video below!

Above is a great video compiled by Pete Compere with photo and video credits from various friends and special thanks to Andrew Dye for video and photo during the crossing.

Koh Lanta (Old town) to Koh Bubu and back February 6, 2012
Lanta Paddle Sports lent us 2 Starboard Blend (11'2 x 30") Boards and their jeep so we could head across the island to Lanta Old Town. We parked the jeep on the pier and headed off to Bubu island at about 11am. After an hour and fifteen minutes of paddling we landed on Bubu Island. Our paddle was flat with no wind. We paddled at a casual touring pace, stopping along the way for some pictures . The paddle from Lanta Old Town to Bubu island is about 6km. You pass by an island about 30 minutes into the paddle and paddle around the north point of this island, once you round the point you have a clear view of Bubu island. If you needed a break this island would be a great spot for a short stop over. It was about 45 minutes from this island to Bubu island.
Bubu island is a small quaint island with a sandy beach, some hammocks, a restaurant and some bungalows. We stopped in and had a great lunch of fried rice and thai curry for a reasonable price. It would totally be worth spending a night on the island as it has a great atmosphere of relaxation and peacefulness. However, we did not have time to spend the night so after some lunch we paddled around the island exploring the rocks, reef and fish below before making our way back to Koh Lanta. On the way home we had a very slight headwind but it did not cause us any delays.

A SUP paddle from Koh Lanta to Bubu island is a great way to spend a day or two in the area!

Li River SUP February 10, 2012

Li River Secret SUP from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

I really wanted to paddle the Li River on our SUPs. This river is known for the extensive amount of bamboo raft and boat cruise tours. It is famous for the karsts surrounding the river.

To make a longish story short. We got on the Li river at 6:30am February 10th, 2012. We paddled for about an hour and then had to cut our paddle short and got off the river at about 7:30am. Water police, very cold weather, not very much time, and lack of good information were all factors in making this paddle very short without pictures. We have a small amount of video that we will post among other SUP adventures.

We used the Starboard Astro and Astro Whopper inflatable paddleboards. We thought these boards were good for this paddle as we could carry them to the river in the packs, pump them up at the edge and pack everything under the bungees at the front of the board. We brought one pump between the two of us. We used the attachable middle fin wich worked well and helped in mainataining alignment during our strokes. I look forward to paddling other rivers on these boards!

Hong Kong SUP Surf February 16, 2012

A small SUP adventure from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

We took our Starboard inflatable Astro and Astro Whoppers on the metro, minibus and eventually to Big Wave Bay for a little SUP surfing session on Hong Kong island. The whopper proved to be easier to surf for my novice surfing abilities but the Astro with its longer bottom was much easier to paddle out through the break than the whopper but a little less stable on the waves(for me!). Overall though for portable, inflatable boards they have proved to be fun in the surf! I look forward to many more adventures in/on the waves with our starboard inflatable boards!

About to take the Starboard Inflatables on an adventure

Lanta Paddle Sports
Tridents Sports

                                                                   Amara Water Sports

3. Algonquin Park SUP 2012
Our route through Algonquin Park Opeongo-Lake Lavielle-Dickson-Opeongo Loop

Here is a trip report form the view point of a stand up paddleboarder. The shop guys at Algonquin Park Outfitters believe I might have been the first to SUP this loop through Algonquin Park. I encourage others to try it out. It was beautiful, and a wonderful experience on a SUP. 

We were not heading out to break records (although maybe got a first timer on this one without even trying...but who's counting:)), we were aiming for a relaxing, immersed in nature, paddling through new surroundings kind of trip. 

I flew from Vancouver with the inflatable SUP board, the pump, the safety kit and the paddle. The SUP essentials, along with some clothes all managed to weigh under the allowance of 23kg for the plane ride over. I had a small packback for my carry on with my labtop and other small electronic things. No extra fees and I got to bring a board:)

My dad being an amazing dad drove us down to Algonquin. We left Port Credit Sunday morning. It took about 4 hours to get to Opeongo Lake Outfitters. The South tip of the south arm of Opeongo Lake is entrance point 11 in Algonquin Park terms. I had the inflatable Starboard Astro (11'2x32") board, the 3 piece Nitro Werner Paddle, and the Mustang Survivor Inflatable PFD belt. I wore my Ryders Duchess Polarized sunglasses, Starboard boardies, and mostly just some two piece bathing suits. Andrew rented a solo Swift canoe (which he really enjoyed!)

Andrew carried most of the gear in the canoe. I started off with the sleeping bags, my repair kit, pump and some water on the board but by the end of the 5 days Andrew was carrying it all:)

The vessels!
Pumping up the inflatable
Opeongo Point to the squaw Bay (West shore of Opeongo Lake).
5.14km, 1h26m moving time

We left Opeongo Outfitters about 3:15pm and arrived at our campsite at about 5pm. There was a strong headwind when we left so we stuck to the eastshore of the lake as far as Bates island and then crossed to the West Shore. The waves were totally manageable and I felt good on the board. I had the sleeping bags, my water, the SUP bag with the pump and repair kit on my board which I attached on the front bungees. The gear was light and I had no issues with it on the board. I kept the board inflated while we camped but did pull it up the cliff. 

Heading out on the South Arm of Opeongo Lake

Squaw Bay to Proulx Lake
15.0km, 3h24m moving time.
175m and 965m portages. We took two trips for each, carrying the board on top of the canoe.
Camped on a rocky headland on the west shore of the lake.

We woke up early in hopes of calm waters. We had read and heard that Opeongo Lake can get pretty rough and windy. We did infact awake to calm waters and so ate and packed up quickly and got on the water by 8am. We paddled through to the North Arm Portage with no problems, stopping to take pictures and for a swim. For the portage we tried two methods. First we kept the board inflated and put it on top of the canoe and carried the bags on our backs. This was okay but slow and a little heavy to carry.  For the last part of the portage we decided to leave the canoe and carried the board and bags and doubled back for the canoe. There was only about 400m left on the portage so no problems AND we were in no rush as we were very close to our destination and it was only noon! We paddled to a rocky point on the west shore of the lake, we landed at about 1:30pm. The campsite had a drying line set up, with bbq racks and a nice campfire pit. We lounged around and read. In the early evening Andrew headed out on the SUP and I went for a swim along side... A nice campsite with sunset and sunrise spots on the point. 

North Arm Opeongo Lake

Relaxing at the Proulx Lake Campsite
Campsite on Proulx
Yoga on the rocks
Frog on Proulx Lake
Proulx  Lake to Big Crow Lake
14.4km, 3h30m moving time.
We left Proulx Lake campsite at a reasonable hour. Had a little morning swim and took our time to the beginning of Crow river. We paddled Crow River into Little Crow Lake which was weedy, but passable. There was moderate headwind towards the end of the day. We had lunch on Little Crow Lake on the first campsite you reach. This campsite looked great and we ate on some rocks in the sun! Following lunch we headed towards Big Crow Lake. The winds were starting to really pick up but I really wanted to check out this island campsite on the opposite side of the lake. We were moving through some strong headwinds but managed to reach the campsite only to find it filled with lots of wind-damaged trees. After some discussions we decided to head downwind to check out the other campsites. I loved this one for its private beach but the damaged trees and site made it less comfortable. We headed downwind (managed to get some rides). I saw groups coming from Little Crow so pushed hard to get to the campsite before they arrived (campsites are first come first serve on the reserved lake). We managed to get a beach site at the south-east end near the mouth of the Crow River. It was a great campsite with all ammenities and a huge beach!

Note: On Small Crow River between Proulx and little Crow Lake it would be a good idea to take off your middle fin if you can. I did not do this but had to constantly stop and get Andrew to pull off the long mush of weeds... it was slow and weedy. We stopped for lunch at 1st campsiteon little croa lake (really nice!). We went to the island campsite on Big Crow Lake but a storm that hit 

Heading into Crow River
Heading into Crow River
Beach on Big Crow Lake
Big Crow Lake to Lake Lavielle
23.7km, 6h15m moving time.
Shallow and weedy river was slow going. Seven short portages plus some sections of wading and lifting the boat over rocks and beaver dams.
Frustrating and slow progress, but a beautiful campsite on a rocky outcrop at the entrance of Lake Lavielle.

We left Big Crow Lake at a reasonable hour. We found the little hike off of Crow River and decided to park the boats and check it out. There had been numerous storms through the area in the winter and spring so there were some deadfall still hanging about... The trail suddenly seemed to end and we weren't sure if it was in fact the end or not... the bugs were a little annoying and we felt we had seen enough so we decided to head back. On the return trip Andrew remembered to check the GPS and it turned out that we did have about 300m or so left to go...oh well. We returned to the boats and continued pass the portage and along the river. The portage wasn't too bad but longer than I would have liked:) But the most difficult aspects came next. The river was slow, shallow, rocky, had tree debris and leeches... Sometimes we had to carry the canoe/SUP over the rocks and there was certainly alot of jumping on and off the board. I had the fin off my board which was a great plan and would recommend this to anyone paddling this river. I was a little cautious with my board as I really didn't want to poke a whole through it... I am sure I could have paddled over more of the rocks etc without tearing up the board. There were 4 other short (about 1-2km) portages that we ended up doubling back for gear. The bugs were worse on the portages which did make me move faster:)  It was slow progress through the river but I definitely enjoyed most of it. When we finally did reach the Lake I was a happy camper! We found a great campsite at the entrance of Lake Laveille and enjoyed the quiet evening with the lake to ourselves!
Crow River
Crow River
Lake Lavielle
Swimming on Lake Lavielle
Lake Lavielle to Opeongo East Arm
23.7km, 5h50m moving time.
Long Portage (Dickson-Bonfield - 5.3km) was tough going, but worked well with Lina carrying all the gear in two packs while I carried the canoe on the yoke and paddleboard deflated in the pack.
We camped at the end of the last portage on the end of Opeongo East Arm.

We woke up and departed our beautiful camp spot on Lake Lavielle by 9am. We enjoyed a morning swim out in the middle of the Lake and finally had a small tail wind to help us get to the end of the Lake. We were in no rush as this Lake was very pretty with islands, rocks, trees, and quietness that we appreciated! The portage to Dickson Lake was nice, short, and easy. On Dickson we once again experienced some nice headwind:) we had lunch at a campsite across the bay form the long portage. When we finally arrived to the beginning of the portage, we took our time arranging our gear in hopes of a successful and not too uncomfortable 5.3 km portage. We deflated the SUP and packed it in the backpack along with the 3 piece paddle. We fit the rest of the gear in the two remaining back packs. I took all the gear and Andrew took the canoe and board:) It took us about 2 hours to walk the 5.3km portage. We then re-inflated the SUP and managed the next two short paddles and portages to the East Shore of Opeongo Lake with smiles on our faces. We camped by the end of the last portage. Long hard day but enjoyable nonetheless. 

Hard Core!
Loaded and ready for the portage

YES! The Portage is OVER!
Opeongo East Arm to Opeongo Point
15.7km, 2h 52m moving time.
6.30am start to beat the winds with mist rising off the water. A fast paddle back to our starting point on Opeongo Point.

We woke up at 5:40am, ate, packed up and we were on the water around 6:30am. It took us 3 hours to get back to Opeongo Outfitters. We stopped for two swim breaks (it was hot out). Mostly calm waters with slight headwind at times. We finished our trip off with ice cream and left over coffee while waiting for my dad to come pick us up! TOTAL SUCCESS!

6:30am start with the mist rising from the water

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!


4. Hawaii 2013
Here you will find information on my experiences from Hawaii. I was the first Canadian female to cross Molokai 2 Oahu on a SUP. Below you will find posts from my experiences of learning to Downwind and more.

I have started with the end: Molokai to Oahu RACE REPORT. 

M2O: The Open Ocean is a whole other beast....

I can't believe it is over.... It's funny how these BIG adventures you work towards through training, logistics, hype, and emotions come to a brisk ending. Well, this has been one hell of an adventure. I would suggest to everyone and anyone to go through your dreams/bucket list/desires, pick at least one and DO IT. The hours of preparation, the excitement, the unknown, the ups and downs, the money, the logistics, the training and learning is ALL WORTH IT. It may seem tough and possibly impossible at times but that is what makes them big dreams, special and possibly why you haven't done it yet. I truly believe pushing yourself, testing yourself, learning, adventuring, making mistakes and succeeding and stepping out of your comfort zone will enrich your life and open your eyes to possibilities you never thought were possible. As my students kept telling me: YOLO (You only live once!)

Andrew is the best hubby/friend/partner EVER.... HE went out of his way to help me realize a dream of mine while putting his own on hold. He also made a great video and took some awesome pics along the way.

VIDEO M2O: I crossed that finish line! YES!
Molokai to Oahu from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.

PICTURES: follow link

It was one tough crossing. The heat, the bumpy not consistent waves, the length, and the bigness of the ocean all played a part in making it a really tough race: physically and mentally. I had a good start, was happy with the people around me but the experience of prior races, the ocean, and their amazing paddling slowly kept the top females paddling further ahead of me. I need more practice, time on the water, and training (fyi tough to do when you are working full time....). The escort boats came along and then everything got a little jumbled for a bit... awkward boat waves made it tougher to paddle and focus. Eventually people spread out but people were never far away. My captain, Chuck kept me on the middle line going slightly north and then slightly south.... I was happy with that. I had moments out there where I was pushing hard digging with my Werner Small Grand Prix Paddle, and then I would have moments where I just didn't feel like going super hard (prob not the best in a race....) I would have day dream moments, moments where I didn't care about the "race" aspect. I would then randomly snap out of it and push hard again... ?!? funny. I did one swap with Andrew with a different camel back. I thought I drank a lot but in the end I only drank slightly more than 2L of water with Nuun...not enough.... arg. I never drink enough.... I ate 2 packages of Cliff block shots, one package honey stringer chews, and one mini snickers. I actually found it super awkward to eat out there. Next time I would try and consume all of my calories, proteins, and carbs through liquid.... I just need to find a good drink for this...

The water definitely got choppier as we got closer to Oahu. The China wall was pumping so my boat captain took me around the bay. I lost time but also likely saved my body and board. With about 10 miles to go my legs started to get sore.... When I fell it was the worst... it hurt so much to get back on the board. I also seem to have been standing on the rudder peddle awkwardly as my right knee started to really hurt... Infact when i finished I couldn't step off the board and bare weight on it. I needed to ice it and sit down for about 1.5 hours before I could walk. It feels better now but was slightly worrying at the time. So the last bit in the bay is the worst, people did not lie about that. It hurt a lot and the headwind and outgoing tide were awful.... but the finish line is so close and so you can't give up. I am happy that I crossed that line. 6 hours 27min.... 6th female SUP..... I'll take it. Thank you M2O for a great adventure!!!!!! I love pushing myself like that!

Congrats to all the athletes who crossed that finish line. Congrats to Norm and Dan the other Canucks out there. Thank you for all the support from all over.. I could not have made it without you!!!!!!!!!!! (you know who you are.)

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!
Time for well deserved mini surf sessions and relaxation with friends

FROM DAY 1 on HAWAII to right before the M2O race is below:

M2O: Day 1 in Hawaii: Maliko Run

Moore Shuttle ride 

I arrived into Maui Wednesday early evening. Randy kindly picked me up at the airport and drove me to get myself a prepaid phone card, and some groceries. We also had some tacos for dinner: YUM.
This morning, after a nice sleep in and a chat with Andrew on skype. Jeremy picked me up, we dropped off Natalie and headed to the Harbour to catch theMoore shuttle. I met Peggy and some other folks (actually surprising how many ppl I knew!). There are people from all over here now for all of these big downwind races... I love it. So, I was off on my first Maliko of many to come in the next two weeks. I was on Peggy's  SIC Bullet 14ft today and for the next 3 days including the two races coming up this weekend. At first it felt funny, I surprisingly fell in a couple of times and missed a bunch of waves but as the run was going along I was catching more but still missing loads. I have to remember that people here do this all the time and I just got here.... I can't get too frustrated right away... I didn't feel too nervous which is grand but I stuck close to ppl I knew even if it meant waiting a little... I am definitely glad I am here now as I have a lot of practice ahead of me... I didn't feel tired which is great, as I feel confident in my fitness at the moment... so its all about catching GLIDES.... Hopefully I will get out tomrrow and then pray I get it right on Saturday for Maui 2 Molokai!
I am excited that my Werner Grand Prix paddle which is 75" feels perfect! Thanks Werner and Nikki Rekman Sales!
Randy's Porch

Thanks Randy, Jeremy Riggs, and Peggy King for helping me out! AMAZING people!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

M2O: Day 2: getting ready for Maui 2 Molokai and Molokai 4 Molokai races...

I made a short video on my prep and thoughts on the upcoming races this weekend...

Hopefully I will get in a Maliko downwind run today... the more practice out in that water the better for me! Wish me luck this weekend! Training for Molokai 2 Oahu!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

M2O: Day 3, 4 and 5: Maui 2 Molokai and Molokai 4 Molokai Downwind races

Before race start at M2M photo: Jeremy Riggs

Maui 2 Molokai  
27 miles downwind across the Pai'lolo Channel
Start: Honolua Bay, Maui
Finish: Kaunakakai Pier, Molokai
My time: 4:49
Board: SIC 14 and it was pink! Thank you Peggy King for the lend!
Paddle: Werner Small Grand Prix
Drank two litres of Nuun... no food...
Fell in about 8 times
The hardest part was through the middle of the channel and the end.... The best part was the Kamalo Buoy for about 7 miles...
NO support boat..

So, Saturday morning I woke up early made an egg/cheese sandwhich and dran loads of Nuun. A bunch of us took the Moore shuttle to the start which was grand. It was about an hour drive from the Kahului harbour. At the start you have to walk your board down a tropical little path and boom a little piece of heaven.... What a beautiful bay. I put my overnight bag on Peggy 's support boat. We had  a pre race Hawaiin circle prayer and then it was 15 minutes to the start. I was pretty nervous: my first time crossing, no support boat, not much downwind experience.... my goal was to learn some things along the way and to make it to Molokai in under 5 hours...
Carrying boards to race start with Peggy and Sharon Photo: Jeremy Riggs

Getting boats off the Moore Shuttle photo: Jeremy Riggs

 The start went off and people paddled hard out of the bay... In these big ocean downwind races ppl spread out pretty quick... I stayed around some folks for a bit but was having trouble actually catching and riding waves. I think ti was a mix of nervousness and lack of skill.:) After a while noone was really around me but I could always see some folk and so just made sure that I was checked and saw someone at least... it calmed my nerves in the open ocean! Once we hit the kamalo bouy it was much easier downwinding and catching glides and I was definitely getting the hang of it. The last bit was tough again and the very last bit was really tough.. a strong side wind when you are tired.... My knees got a little sore and the bottom of my feet a little but I didn't feel too bad on the whole which is great! After the race we had some food and beverages and there were awards... I managed to score a 1st in the 14ft category and won a paddle and a medal.... About 20 paddlers stayed the night. After the race Clare from Molokai Outdoors and Dayna took care of us shuttling us to our hotels, to dinner and then again in the morning. They really created a special vibe! We ate at the Paddlers restaurant and most of us stayed at Hotel Molokai. Thank you Clare and Dayna at Molokai Outdoorsfor all the amazing organization.

Molokai 4 Molokai
A race to raise funds for youth in motion...
8.5miles from Kamalo to Hotel Molokai
approx 1hr 32min

Beach start M4M race photo: Dayna Harris

Sunday morning we all got shuttled to the race start at Kamalo. We got some great beta from Clare, had a Hawaiin circle prayer and then got ourselves ready for the beach start. I was a little tired all over from the previous day but once I jumped up and started paddling the adrenaline kicked in and I forgot that I paddled for 27miles the day before:) I definitely caught more bumps and only fell in twice. I was really enjoying it and getting the hang of things. Of course I was still missing loads of bumps etc but things were coming together. I managed to paddle in as the 2nd women across the line. We enjoyed food, beverages, and awards before we got shuttled back to Kamalo to get on the small boat home. Clare, Johnny Mac, Dayna, Rodney, and everyone involved in these races did a great job and MAHALO!
Me winning some $$$

Breakfast by the ocean

Hawaiin Prayer

With Zane and Tomo from Starboard

Today was my first Maliko on the "BIG" F16 board.... It was a fun shuttle ride catching up with Jenny Kalmbach (an amazing female SUP paddler!). Today was all about getting used to the board and the rudder and starting to figure it out... I definitely caught many good glides and still missed many more but I am getting there..... PRACTICE everyday!

I wanted to give a shout out to everyone who has been sending me such positive vibes,...your support is keeping me going:) THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Werner PaddlesNikki Rekman SalesTrident Performance SportsChacos,Ryders EyewearOnit ProLaiph,....

boat ride back to Maui from Molokai. Photo Jeff Chang

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

M2O: Day 6 and 7: Figuring out the SIC F16.....turning DREAMS into reality....

People on Maui are so lucky to have such a consisten downwind run. Not only is it consistent, it is also beautiful and convenient. I also feel lucky to have met some really wonderful people that have taken time out of their day to help me with a variety of things.

I have had 4 Maliko runs on the F16 now since last weekends races. I am starting to figure out where to stand, the rudder system, catching bumps etc. I am very glad I am here a little early to learn and figure out the kinks. I am still pretty slow on the downwind runs if I compare myself to the locals around here... They are brilliant at reading the water, surfing waves, and loving it! I sometimes think I see what I am suppose to see in the water but really I have no idea. I am understanding how to catch the bumps and most of the time can ride them but I still don't quite understand what I am suppose to see in order to connect the bumps. Occasionally, I connect by sheer luck or maybe sometimes I actually see something and its right but I don't actually know what it is... Randy and Jeremy have been great in trying to explain it all but until I really "get it and it clicks"out there on the water its going to be a learning adventure.. Apparently its an art that takes many years to master so I can't get tooo frustrated with it just yet:) I have been a little awful at picture taking the last few days and been out there on my own so for now words will have to do. I still haven;'t quite figured out what I am going to do for energy(food and hydration) while out racing M2O but am sort of getting some ideas... It will be an experiement this first time but that is kind of exciting in itself.

The wind, the water, the weather has been brilliant. I am loving the adventure of learning and pushing my limits. Doing the double Maliko was great practice. I also went for a run this morning.... which felt really good since I have been concentrating on paddling so much I haven't done anything else for over a week.

Looking ahead: Two more sessions on the Maliko, a day off and Andrew arriving and then its Maui Paddlebaord Championships... I am not expecting any big results here (the local girsl really know the water and can surf super well), but I will try my best and it will be good fun and kind of mental I think racing with tons of people down the Maliko....

I can't wait for my husband, Andrew to arrive (2 more days), I miss him sooooooo much!

Below are a couple of pics from the recent Maui 2 Molokai race. Thank you for the pics...  Pretty crazy being out there in the channel! What an experience....


live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

M2O: Day 8 and 9 Maliko runs..... Learning is not always easy....

Today is my first REST day since I arrived onto Maui.... I know I should have taken more but my mission has been to get out there on the water and practice in the bumps.... figure out the board, the water, some systems, and gain confidence in the Hawaiin waters, waters that are just soooooo different than back home. The support here and from friends back home have kept me motivated and positive as learning is not the easiest thing sometimes on our emotions.... I am used to be being one of the fastest and here in the bumps my lack of surfing and just water knowledge shows.... I am glad I am fit and I WANT this so am out there falling, getting up, falling, missing bumps, catching bumps and really trying to take in all the amazing advice I am given each day.
The mouth of the Maliko photo: Chikara Tsumura

photo: Chikara tsumura

Just leaving Maliko Gulch photo: Chikara

photo: Chikara

photo: Chikara

Thursday on the Maliko I will admit I cursed and yelled and sat on my board thinking WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!?!? I CAN't DO this.... I am idiot for thinking I can,...... why did I have to go an sign up for this stupid race.....
I fell a lot, I couldn't connect or even catch most of the glides and then to make it even worse I went way too far on the inside and it took forever for me to get to the Harbour mouth..... Oh Man, I was in a bad mood.... It was hard to pick myself up for a while there.... I just sat on the beach and just sat there staring out watching the ocean, hating it.... hahahaha... looking back I know I was being silly and really I was just learning out there...
 Steve wrote a great thing on my facebook "after observing me awhile, a local wise man on Maui said "hey bro, you gots to fall! don't fight it, that's how you will learn to ride".... remember you are paddling with the best of the best and they even fall... falling means you are pushing yourself to surf - which is what downwinding is, not paddling - no doubt you need rest too - like skiing the moguls too many days in a row  get rejuved and hit the water - when you fall, stop and look around and be amazed with 
where you are "THANKS Steve, so true....

I was pretty nervous to go out Friday, I didn't want to have another bad run.... I went out with Randy and Todd.... Randy stuck with me (he is way faster....) and helped me out with tips and encouragements and it helped! I had a much better run, and was starting to see the water and how it moves..... and infact connected some glides... it felt soooo much better. THANKS Randy!!!!!

Today is a rest day... Tomorrow we are all racing in the Maui Paddlebaord Championships which is the Maliko run.... I am excited to just be out there with the best of the best at downwinding...... its going to be quite the experience I think. Also, Andrew, my amazing hubby that I miss sooooooo much is arriving today!!!!!!! I can't wait for him to be here.

Here is a little clip about Molokai..... I still can't believe I will be out there.... doing this! Still feels like this unreachable dream... a dream I am currently living RIGHT NOW! Amazing.

THANK YOU: Werner paddlesNikki Rekman Sales, Trident Performance Sports, Chacos, Ryders EyewearLaiph ClothingOnit Pro

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

M2O: t-4 days...Maui Paddle Championships and Hiking the Haleakala Crater

Finish...Maui Paddleboard Champs

Saturday Andrew arrived and it was my day off from the water... Infact, my first day off the water since I arrived onto Maui.... I haven't taken a break because I wanted to take advantage of where I was and figuring out the skills of downwinding.... its been good.... Saturday I went for a walk and to the coffee shop until Randy and I went to pick up Andrew... SO amazing to see him again... felt like forever. We picked him up and then straight to Charlie's in Paia for the some pre race pizza and friend gathering.... nice to finally feel like I know the community around here....and luckily it is a great one! We then got Andrew settled in and had a nice house dinner with Tomo and Randy! What a loving place to be! I feel so lucky!
Waiting before the start of Maui Paddleboard Champs photo: jeremy Riggs

Sunday was race day.... Maui Paddleboard Championships.... Lots of people.... lots of great vibes and good wind! It's funny in these downwind races I don't get the "normal" race jitters of the pressure and nervousness of trying to win.. Although I am trying to "win" downwind racing for me at this point in time is about learning and enjoying and if I do well its a huge bonus and motivator.... Of course the competitiveness in me out on the water comes out but its different in downwinding as you can't just power through everything. More often than not that pure power will not lead to faster time but good technique and knowledge of the water will... its about patience, skill, timing, and fitness..... Anyways, its kind of nice to not have that huge nervous bug in me.... So I was happy go lucky at the race start talking to people and just taking in the vibe of it all.... My goal was to get under 1hr30min.... and to smile and connect some glides....
Just after prayer start of Maui Paddlebaord Champs photo:

The start was a little nutty as it was an outside start which meant that we had to paddle into the side chop and then into the wind for about 20 minutes.... and try to sit on our boards in a line behind a boat.... tough in ocean swell and strong winds but somehow it worked out better than I would have ever imagined... I got out there with the earlier crowd as I was nervous not to make it to the start line.... I found a spot I liked: nice and close to the support/start boat and on the edge of the crowds. And we were off... I caught a wave right off the bat but unfortunately so did a prone guy and another SUP but luckily we all stayed up right and only lightly touched each other's boards....phew...

I stayed kind of in the middle of the line... I tried to go outside but whenever I would focus back on where I was going I seemed to have shifted towards shore.... I wasn't too upset with my line... I was feeling good physically throughout... I fell in once and had a good little wipe out.... got my visor all crooked in good Lina fashion..:) I connected some glides and caught some bigger ones. I struggled a little before the harbour entrance and couldn't really catch anything... I was trying to stay calm and wait for them but maybe I should have just motored through? More experience in these waters would have helped in this situation.... The harbour was easy as the wind was in our favour which was nice but not an advantage for being on a rudder system... :) I finished in 1 hr 27min something.... which I was happy about. I was 8th female SUP and 5th in the UNL 30-45 category (a very highly competitive category). I have some more learning and practice to do in downwinding but for my first 1.5 weeks I feel happy with my results...

The next two days I took off from the water and hiked and camped up in the Haleakala Crater with Andrew. This is something he really wanted to do and I had no objection.... other than I wanted to do it early on in the week so my legs could rest afterwards and not be sore for the big crossing. The crater was pretty surreal... We hiked 10 miles into the Paliku campsite where we crossed different terrain about every half hour from black lava rock to lush fern land and everything in between.. It was a dreary day with heavy fog, rain, sunshine,..pretty much all sorts of weather... gave it all a spooky atmosphere. We set up camp and enjoyed some cold pizza and better evening weather. We woke up at 5:15 am the next morning and started our hike with the sunrise... it was beautiful and gradually got pretty HOT. we were above the clouds and could fully take in the magical scenery of the crater.... We hiked out at about 11am and headed for the Twin Falls along the Hana highway for a jump and dip over the waterfalls into pools.... it was lovely. We then enjoyed a lovely lunch in Paia before heading back to Wailuku. We had a lovely dinner at friend Peggy's place in Kula.... the high country is very peaceful!
A couple of pics from the crater hike.... Andrew will put together a better album I am sure but wated to post a few quickly now...

Today is my last downwind before the big race..... I am also taking Andrew out for his first downwind run..... (later in the day) He made it! 10 miles in the ocean.... He did well for his first go! Yay Andrew!  The board is off to Molokai and we have one more day on Maui before we head off to Molokai.....

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

On Molokai! 1.5 days until M2O!

SO we are a day and a half from the race and Andrew and I are on Molokai. We are staying with Clare from Molokai Outdoors. I sort of misunderstood the race start and the hotels/villas situation and so we are not staying at the race start. Now I know for future that is where I want to be... Mistakes happen the first time around for sure.... Although, I wish we were at the race start,  Clare is taking care of us nicely, so thank you Clare.

Andrew and I cruised around the east coast of Molokai island today and enjoyed the rocky cliffs, very windy roads and beautiful valleys at the other end... I am now trying my best to rest but its difficult... I hate the couple of days before an endurance race... what we call a taper.... I get very anxious and annoyed at not moving my body... haha... I know it will help rest my body for the big day so I am working on it.... I am also trying to hydrate lots starting today... I am pretty bad at drinking throughout racing and so the better hydrated I can be before race start the better off I am during race time...

Tomorrow we meet Chuck, my boat captain, and transfer most of our luggage onto his boat...there is a race briefing and dinner as well. Then its Sunday morning, race morning..

Off the top of my head: Some little things I have learned along the way:
1. To catch waves you have to paddle really fast. High cadence is key. A shorter paddle is better. Small blade works well... My Werner small grand prix is great. I think I would even go an inch shorter than my already shortened 75" length...
2. Moving your feet is useful when downwinding
1. book Kulaukoi Villas for race start....
2. Bring your significant other.....I am already loving having Andrew around
3. Come early and practice and race the races on Maui: they are awesome!

Not sure if I will have time to write tomorrow... this is it..

My goals:
To finish
To paddle as well as I can and give it all I've got... where that leaves me on the race standings doesn't matter as long as I feel like I have tried my best.
To enjoy and feel the energy of the ocean
To learn and grow out there
To finish with a smile....
live, love, laugh,..DREAM!


5. Vancouver to Victoria 2014 SUP4MH

the route

Bluegiraffe Photo: SUP4MH &emdash; DBAIN_20140614_8009537-ME
photo by Blue Giraffe Photo

Simon: glad you are part of the SUP community and thank you for being the creator of this beautiful expedition. We experienced it all from baby seals on boards, to side chop, strong currents, sun, rain, delicious healthy fresh foods, blisters, good conversations, some water time for some of us, boats, waves, calmness, beautiful sunsets, campfires.... and the list goes on. The pacific north west delivered it all and I loved everyone bit of it.

If you asked any one of us on the trip why and how we got to be on this trip... The typical answer was through Simon. Simon, a Canadian sport hero, a retired triathlete and now new to the sport of SUP. He brought together 10 other paddlers (his friends) to paddle across the Georgia Straight/Salish Seas from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria. Paddling this distance across these waters is not an easy feat for the most elite of paddlers and a pretty darn amazing feat for those who don't stand up paddle all that much. Our group members have some pretty amazing backgrounds not only in SUP but in life as well. Some of the backgrounds of people on the trip included: Olympic Gold medalists, pro triathletes, top level swimmers, people who rowed across the Atlantic, world champions, people who had accomplished other amazing adventures on SUPs and or other sports and just a pretty unbelievable group of people all around. It was too cool to come together to promote Canadian's Men Health and complete an amazing paddling journey.

Below I will share aspects of my experience throughout the journey... I am sure each paddler experienced different magical moments, hardships, and expectations.

Photo By Rory McGarry

I knew it would be difficult, but for some reason I wasn't too worried about the trip with all the great planning, safety, boats, and support surrounding us. Lyle, Aaron, Louise and Rory were all on the support boat that would follow us and ensure our safety throughout the trip.

photo by Rory McGarry & Adrien Sala

Day 1 was going to be the toughest day, with the big crossing, the longest distances, and strongest currents. It indeed was the most difficult day: 12 hours, 70km, max currents with and against us, side chop, etc etc... It was also the first time the 11 of us were all paddling together. So, a big day with many paddlers we had never paddled with before. Challenges would arise.
We had our send off form First Beach on English Bay at 5am. The water was calm and the temps perfect. We got across to Point Grey quickly and efficiently and it was here where we took our first break before the BIG crossing. Things were looking good, everyone was on track and together. We were all excited and in good spirits and ready to get the crossing done before winds and currents would make it more challenging. We were aiming for Dionisio Point on Galiano Island. I have to say I was happy to have the support boat with us, with all the boat traffic, it could be a very scary place to be all on your own. The safety boat was able to make calls to other boats to let them know we were there paddling across the shipping lanes. The current was on our side for half of the crossing but the westerly winds gave us a pretty steady side chop. We were all feeling the effects of paddling mostly on our left sides but with strong minds and the desire to keep moving we were making good ground. Everyone did such an amazing job of bunkering down and dealing with the conditions, enjoying the fact we were doing something very special that few few people ever do. For me, it was too cool to paddle this crossing as I have taken endless ferries across and always wondered what it would be like to paddle across. Here I was in the midst of paddling across on a SUP! I was happy to be wearing my 7mm booties as others who were barefoot were starting to feel the effects of the cool water. As we crossed the water temps decreased all the way to Victoria. Unfortunately for me, my hands started to blister throughout the crossing which is new for me (I rarely blister). My blistered hands proved to be slightly annoying for the remainder of the trip, it would cause me some discomfort and therefore affect different parts of my upper body as I was adjusting my grip to avoid the pain in my hands. It was the worst at the beginning and after breaks but once I was into the rhythm of it I my mind would forget about them for a little bit at a time. We made it to the tip of Galiano by noon. Here we took a well deserved lunch break before taking on Porlier Pass. We didn't see any wildlife throughout our crossing but it was pretty beautiful to look right, left, forward and backwards. We truly live in a very beautiful part of the world. After looking at the strong currents of Polier Pass and wondering if any of us could paddle through it with boils, rocks, and crazy currents, Mike Darbyshire was the only one that managed to paddle the pass at max current of 8.2 knots against us. It was crazy to see close up how the boils were forming and the quickness of the current. I just stood there and watched it for awhile, amazed. Jack also explored the currents on his prone board but could not punch through to the other side. The rest of us hiked around the point to skip past the worst of the currents. What the next 4 hours would entail was frankly pretty heart wrentching and mentally difficult... We paddled so hard against such a strong current that we were making very little ground at 2km/hour. The current was fierce and our muscles getting tired. We all paddled close to shore but still the effects of the current were very strong. The last 20km along the coast of Galiano were tough going and we really had to dig deep inside of us both physically and mentally to push through and make it to Montague Harbour in good time. Luckily we made it to Montague Harbour with smiles on our faces and with plenty of light left. We enjoyed our accomplishments in good company and with delicious foods that was prepared for us:) The sunset was grand and then it was off to bed, my brain and body were ready for some rest and a good sleep!

photo by Rory McGarry & Adrien Sala

photo by Rory McGarry & Adrien Sala

Day 2
After a killer of a sleep, I was ready to conquer day 2. I love those sleeps where your body and mind are so tired you just fall directly into a deep and delicious sleep. Once awake ont his beautiful morning, we enjoyed an amazing breakfast of fruit, coffee, and an unbelievable egg sandwhich. After breakfast it was all about getting ourselves onto the water for a 9am departure but first we had to haul the boards back down the trail and stairs to the water and bags back on the boat. The weather was warm and calm which made for a nice start to the day. Our first crossing from Montague Harbour on Galiano to Prevost Island was easy and calm and beautiful. I couldn't stop looking around and just taking in the beauty of the islands and ocean. It was a very calming and freeing feeling as I paddled and just took it all in. As we passed Prevost Island the winds started to pick up as weheaded alongside Salt Spring to the tip of Ruckle Provincial Park on Salt Spring. Boat traffic increased a little and we could see the ferries out in front. We continued on past Portland Island and a bunch of smaller islands where among them Jack had the amazing luck of having a baby seal jump onto his paddleboard. He didn't touch it but let it enjoy the board before he dipped his board back in the water so the baby seal could continue his journey and join the rest of its family in the water. We stopped for lunch and a little break in the sun with the view of Sidney town in the foreground. Post lunch the crossing over to Vancouver Island was a little intense with lots of boat traffic, waves, wind and current...but we made it. It was a couple more hours of following the coast line to our next camp site at Island View Beach. It was pretty easy paddling from there on. At Island View Beach we were greeted by the Men's Health and Fantan folks who showed us to our campsite. We enjoyed some time to relax in the sun, chat, and eat some amazing and delicious food before heading to bed nice and early. Another tough BUT too amazing day at the office:)

photo by Rory McGarry & Adrien Sala

photo by Rory McGarry & Adrien Sala

Day 3. We all agreed that our pririty was to make it to Victoria Harbour in a safe manner on this last day of our expedition. In order to achieve this we had to all agree to leave earlier than the original plan in order to beat the predicted high winds and potentially bad weather. So a 4am breakfast, 4:30am bags to the beach and 5am departure was the plan. It rained throughout the night but at the critical moments of getting up and getting breakfast the rain had ceased for a little bit. Our breakfast of egg, bacon wraps and coffee was perfect. We all dressed a little warmer on this rainy, cool morning with neoprene, toques, booties, and gloves. We were pretty eager to get on the water and start paddling as the predicted winds were going to make the paddle a tough one. The paddle to the first major point was pretty rough, it was a whole lot of side chop and one needed to just push through to get to the point. Once we rounded the corner LUCK was on our side as the conditions actually got better instead of tougher. We happily paddled passed the Discovery islands and then past Trial islands and onto Clover Point. At Clover Point we expected the toughest conditions but our timing was perfect as we cruised past way ahead of schedule. We eventually rounded the Harbour walls and that was it, we stuck together as we cruised into Victoria harbour to meet the few fans and workers that managed to get there 5 hours before our scheduled arrival. We were greeted with signs, coffee, and hugs. It was perfect.

Bluegiraffe Photo: SUP4MH &emdash; DBAIN_20140614_8009549_ME
Photo By Blue Giraffe Photo

Bluegiraffe Photo: SUP4MH &emdash; DBAIN_20140614_8009569_ME
photo by Blue Giraffe Photo

Photo by Brian Raymer

What an unbelievable experience with some pretty amazing paddlers and for a great cause too. Thank you to Simon for the invite, the other paddlers for the company, CMH, Fantan, and all of those that helped make this trip happen with such success.

Check out and Canadian's Men Health Foundation for ideas of making small changes to ensure a long healthy life.

Photo by Brian Raymer

The amazing paddlers:
Simon Whitfield
Duff Gibson
Yannick Michaud
Morgan Hoesterey
Lina Augaitis
Markus Pukonen
George Pisek
Jack Bark
Roch Frey
Chad Guenter
Mike Darbyshire

Lyle Berzins: Boat Captain
Erin Bradely: Boat Captain
Heather Lejeune: Project Manager, Fantan
Tina Rogers :Communications and Events Manager, CMHF
Kirsten Ovstaas: Course Coordinator
Matthew Traynor : Volunteer Site Assistant
Campbell Kearns: Chef
Rory McGarry: Videographer
Duracell, Edge Energy Foods, Fantan Group, Men's Health Foundation

Thank you SIC for the board: the 14ft Bullet V2 was great.
WernerPaddles and Nikki Rekman Sales for the paddles (Small Grand Prix paddle)
SeasonFive ( Kiowa hoody, barrier capris, crystal tank) and Kokatat (Hydrus 3L Tempest Pants with socks -  Tropos, otter jacket) for the perfect things to wear,
Clifbar,  Feed the Machine for the nutrition
OnItProRyders EyewearSurffur, Larry Allison Fins, the added extras that make the paddle that much sweeter
Crossfit Vancouver,Ultimate Potential, Olympus Movement and Mobility,
Kalavida Surf Shop, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak,

photo by Rory McGarry

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!


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