Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Waterwomen: Websites, Books and Blogs

So I have been trying to put together a handout for one of the classes I'll be teaching at the Hudson Valley Symposium tonight - it's a Women on Water class & one thing I thought would be fun would be to pull together some info on some of the inspirational women sea kayakers I know about who are out there doing their various things in their various ways. I'm sure I've missed some really great women paddlers & instructors - this is by no means meant to be comprehensive, and in fact is pretty much limited to the subset of people who I've heard of before. I'm planning to edit it down - if I can get it on one page, that'll be great - I might work on it on my lunch hour, so since I have to stash it somewhere I can get to it...why not inflict it on the blogosphere? If anyone has additional suggestions, please feel free to comment (heck, feel free to comment any time, they're always open unless Haloscan's being balky).

So without further ado...here are some wondrous waterwomen!

Cheri Perry: Remarkable Greenland-style kayak instructor Cheri competed at the Greenland kayak championship in Greenland in 2004. She has two sites, one business, kayakways.net , the other with a great deal of information, in writing, video clips, and galleries at her White Mountain Web page

Cheri attempts to teach me some new tricks - photo by Jack Gilman

Audrey Sutherland: This octogenarian adventurer has been doing long solo kayak trips, generally in an inflatable kayak, since the 1960’s, first in Hawaii, later in Alaska. She really just seems to do it for her own satisfaction, so she doesn’t have any sort of website, but you can find a wealth of articles about & interviews with her by Googling “Audrey Sutherland kayak”. She is the author of two books – stories of her adventures along the coast of Moloka’i , Paddling my Own Canoe (1978, University of Hawai’i Press) and the guidebook Paddling Hawai'i (1998, University of Hawai’i Press).

Shawna Franklin: The first U.S. woman to attain the BCU’s 5-star award, and a member of a 3-person team which successfully circumnavigated Iceland in 2003. Shawna is co-owner of the well-known and highly regarded Body Boat Blade outfitter & kayaking school, located on Orcas Island, Washington.

Justine Curvengen: British paddler & adventurer Justine is the founder of production company CackleTV.com and the producer (and star!) of numerous adventure sports videos, notably This Is The Sea and This Is The Sea 2. The latter includes a half-hour documentary of the first ever circumnavigation of Tasmania by an all-women team, accomplished in November-December 2004. Justine was joined for that expedition by Trys Morris, the first woman ever to attain the ranking of BCU 5-star coach, and Gemma Rawlings, who Justine describes as “gutsy, talented paddler with a broad background in canoeing and river paddling.”

Renata Chlumska: Swede Renata Chlumska, a professional adventurer & motivational speaker, is currently attempting the first ever circumnavigation of the lower 48 United States. She is traveling solo by bike, rollerblade and sea kayak. She launched from Seattle on July 4th, 2005 and headed south; at the time I am writing, she’s in the vicinity of Cape Cod and headed for the Canadian border, where she’ll bid adieu to her kayak & head back out West. RenataChlumska.com

Renata packing her boat at pier 63 - she was so focused, she didn't notice the paparazzi - finally she looked up & saw us & laaaaughed!

Ginni Callahan: Owner and head instructor of Columbia River Kayaking – her surfing is featured in Justine’s This Is The Sea & she has posted some good stories on her website. One of her stories is included in Steady As She Goes: Women’s Adventures at Sea (2003, Seal Press).

Wendy Killoran: Canadian schoolteacher Wendy is the first woman to complete a solo circumnavigation of Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, and is now circumnavigating Newfoundland. Although she does not have a website that I have found, a Google search under “Wendy Killoran kayak” brings up several articles by or about her. She is being joined for a leg of her Newfoundland expedition by German Greenland enthusiast Freya Hoffmeister.

Freya Hoffmeister: German gymnast Freya is the most recent notable arrival on the Greenland-style kayaking instructor scene. She got hooked on Greenland rolling after watching Cheri Perry do a demo (Cheri has that effect on people!) and with her gymnast’s background she quickly reached the point where she was able to begin passing the rolls on to others. Read more about her at Freya Underground.

And just to close out – here are a few kayakwomen’s blogs!
In addition to www.frogma.blogspot.com (yours truly, live from NYC!)
headwinds.org (Jennifer Pivovar in the Finger Lakes area of New York)
SandyBottomKayaker (Dawn, mad North Carolinian adventure racer)
PaddleTales (Sandy in Florida – lovely wildlife photography!)

And a couple more books I’ve enjoyed, just to finish things off –

Shooting the Boh: A Woman’s Voyage Down the Wildest River in Borneo, Tracy Johnston (1992, Vintage Press)
A Boat in our Baggage: Around the World With A Kayak, Maria Coffey (1994, Abacus Press)

A few others of whom I have good recollections - Jan Shiner, formerly of Eskape Kayak in California, where I took my ACA Instructor Development Workshop; Janice Lozano at Atlantic Kayak Tours; Jessie Stone of Jackson Kayak; Jean Totz of Sweetwater Kayaks; Melissa Maynard of Sea Cliff Kayakers…and although slightly off topic, how can I not mention the awesome women with whom I’ve worked on the schooner Adirondack…and that’s leaving out all the non-professional level women…yes, there really is quite a list…

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