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Sea Kayaking Adventures: Pygmy Expeditions


Kayaking Picture

Paddling BC's Remote Coast

Paddling Bowron Lakes Loop

Paddling the Bowron Lakes Loop

Paddling Utah Green River

Paddling Utah's Green River

Kayaking Sunset Picture
Of Eskers, Caribou & Wolves

Paddling into the mangroves of Sao Paulo Brazil

Paddling into the Mangroves of Sao Paulo Brazil

 

Return to Bowron Lake

Return to the Bowron

Paddling the Missouri River

Down the Missouri River Twice
Paddling into the Wilderness
I Need the Wilderness!

 

It is 4:30am and I’m standing on the car deck of the Queen of Chilliwack stuffing bags of ramen noodle soup and peanut butter into my kayak. The Queen of Chilliwack follows one of British Columbia’s most picturesque routes, making an overnight voyage from Port Hardy to Bella Coola every two days. We have been onboard since 8pm; now it’s 4:45am and time to disembark. As I groggily stuff bags into hatches, the pain of an early morning is overridden by a sense of expectation and joy

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We Pygmies use our Wineglass Wherry (WGW) regularly, spring through fall. We load her with crab nets and clam rakes and row off in search of bouillabaisse ingredients. John Lockwood, Freida Fenn, and daughter Freya Fennwood crew the boat. Frequently, 3 or 4 friends come along to help spot and scoop up crab.
In August 1995, we went farther afield. We took 4 weeks to do a 206 mile camping trip in our Wineglass Wherry. We headed north into British Columbia, Canada. Our ancient 1977 VW camper van carried us 500 miles north of the U.S. border to the edge of the Caribou Mountains. More

Through the high desert of Utah, two mighty rivers carve canyons banded with copper, ochre, cinnamon, lilac, and sage green limestones. In May, 1996, three Pygmies (John Lockwood, Freida Fenn, and daughter Freya Fennwood) paddled the silted waters of the Green River, the northern artery of the Great Colorado Basin.
We launched from the small, barren truck stop town of Green River, Utah.

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At least once a year I need to get in my kayak and abandon my responsibilities for a while. I need to escape the list of all the things I would like to do, and all those that I really should have done. Once I’m on the water, I confess, I really don't think much about all the boats I haven’t yet designed. As I paddle away from the end of the road, I don’t worry about house repairs or the giant shopping mall our local politicians are trying to site in the beautiful small historic seaport where my family and I live.

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Looking out the truck window, bananas, cows, and red earth stretch in front of me. One week ago my Father picked me up from my host family's home in Joinville, Santa Catarina in Southern Brazil, where I had just spent a year living abroad. As we drove off, a year of living in another country with its people, customs, and friendships, culminated in tears, hugs, and waves. I’m on a new journey; a journey in my Dad’s old truck that smells like life back in the USA.

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Five hundred miles from the U.S. border, nestled in the Caribou Mountains of Canada, lie eleven lakes carving a square around snowcapped peaks. The lakes are connected by winding grass sloughs, milky glacial rivers, and portages trod by moose and human.
The first time I set eyes on the Bowron I was six years old, adventuring on a 206 mile camping trip through British Columbia with my mother and father, Freida Fenn and John Lockwood.

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Family kayak camping is one of my favorite things to do. There is something profoundly satisfying about moving across wild places by day and building a new nest site each night. It is one of those rare times when you get to be part of a pack again; pitching the tent, building a fire, catching a fish for dinner, cooking a meal, sitting around the camp fire, and piling into a tent at the end of the day.

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Let me be taken care of in the simple ways a wild place offers: a few fish, or crabs, snails, clams, limpets, rabbits, berries, and greens. Let me take lightly from a place that still has abundance. Give me the moods of the wind, the rain. Let me sleep in the sun. Let me use my body and I am ecstatic. It never fails. The wilderness offers me these gifts. Every man, woman, and child has a hunter-gatherer, a nomad, a Nature lover somewhere in their genes.

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