These lists give brief stories & descriptions on the kayaking background of some members of PaddleWise. Each submission is posted with the permission of the subscriber. A few modifications have been made for readability and to protect privacy. The list will be regularly updated. These posts may not be reproduced or redistributed without the author's permission.
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2nd December 2003 - Shawn W Baker

a) NAME:
Baker, Shawn W.

Live and work in Kalispell, Montana, USA

c) KAYAKS (Owned or paddled):
Guillemot (designed by Nick Schade) 18' x 21"
Squeedunk Cormorant - 16' x 21"
VCP Avocet RM
18" x 17.5' Greenland-style skin on frame
20.5" x 17.5' handmade folder based on the 'Illorsuit' kayak (same predecessor as the VCP Anas Acuta)
Necky Chatham 16
Dagger Redline

e) SPECIAL INTERESTS: building (anything!), telemark and XC skiing, 4-season camping, sewing, woodworking, making my own gear.

f) SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE: Construction, building wood kayaks, fiberglass work, sewing, ACA Coastal Kayak Instructor, Greenland style kayaking

g) STRONG OPINIONS: Not as many as I used to have! Some of the time, kayaks should be paddled right-side-up :) The roll is the difference between serious and recreational kayakers.

My favorites:
Deception Pass, WA -- August, 2000
Surf at Newport, OR -- March, 2002
Columbia River Bar, WA -- December, 2002

i) BIO:
Age 29, married, two daughters, two labrador retrievers, work in commercial building industry. Started paddling in 1996, always striving for the bombproof roll. I most commonly paddle Flathead Lake in NW Montana--the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Also paddle frequently in Glacier National Park. I take 2-3 trips per year to Washington state or Oregon to get a saltwater "fix". I hope to paddle in New Zealand in 2004 and Greenland in 2005.

Shawn W. Baker

12th January 2010 - Rob Banks

Rob Banks/corgimas/thief


KAYAKS (Owned or Paddled):

Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Pro,
BlueSky RH340,
Pyranha s8 235
Mega UFO Predator,
Dagger GT8.1,
KARMA Wilderness Systems Rave Squirt boat 20+ years old,
Wildy Tempest 165 & 170 plastic,
Perception Corsica Matrix,

Anything outdoors, kite flying/making/selling, camping, disc golf, kayaking,

FFS Get outside!!!!!

Not one specific...just anytime ont he water counts....

BIO (personal description):
Kayaker with a background of marine biology & 10+ years of being an EMT, & kite flyer/builder/seller. Currently working for NOAA NMFS in Gloucester Mass as a biological sampler of the commercial fishing catch. not much else...... :) and

From: Banner, Chris

Hi All,

If I was talking in the metaphors of my birth home, I'd say I'd been batting for over half a century and I'm still not out!
I built my first kayak - a ribbed and canvas affair - when I was fourteen. I loved it but it was difficult, because of its large open cockpit, to launch in even the slightest surf. It was great on estuaries, rivers and lakes, which is where I tended to use it.
My love affair with salt water continued, but in a sailing mode with experience in GP 14's, Wayfarers amd Enterprise dinghies. I graduated, while in England to a wooden Folkboat.
In Canada, I lived too long in cold Ontario, but enjoyed the summers, the lakes and the rivers, and learned a new skill, the canoe.
Since moving to British Columbia, I renewed my affair with sailboats and for many years had my own small cruiser, but a few years ago I started kayaking. I now own a kayak, a British Huntsman, and don't own a sailboat.
I'm a yet unacclaimed fiction writer, so I work as rental room supervisor and kayak repair man for Ocean River Sports in Victoria each summer. My kayaking skills are limited, but I'm intent upon improving them and I've learned much from lurking.

Chris Banner
Victoria. B.C.

From: Bennett, Alice J {ajbjdBOASemailDOTmsnDOTcom }

Hi -

I'm 57, live in N Hollywood, California and am about 45 minutes from the water. I occasionally paddled when in college in Oswego, NY in the 60's, paddled as a camp counselor in NH and kayaked around Greenport NY in the early 80's. Last spring I took some lessons (Scott who signs on here is a terrific instructor) and have been on group paddles in Newport.

I built a Seabright kayak from a kit and bought a Feathercraft K-Light. Long ago I taught school, and have been an attorney for the past 20 years, presently working as a hearing officer for the LA County Mental Health Court. I'm looking for a few people who would like to paddle in Marina del Rey, Long Beach, Castaic or just about anywhere 3 or 4 times a week. I like to paddle and look around - enjoy the quiet and relax - no surfing, white water or racing.

I would really like to get good enough to paddle to the Channel Islands and then through the San Juans.


a) NAME:
Betting, John W.


c) KAYAKS (Owned or Paddled):
Ocean Kayak SOT

d) BOAT NAME Anna Marie:
- Docked at Seven Points Marina, Raystown Lake. Central Pa.

Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography, Mountain Biking, Classic Cars and recently Combined Diving and Kayaking.

Advanced Dive Certification, Photography, Woodwork and Cad software.

Selfish Greedy People..

Have Kayaked With The Manatees Several times In Florida but Hope To Take A Kayak Camping Trip Next Year.

49 Years Young. Have two raised children and On Their Own!!! Do computer work for Facilities Engineering and teach AutoCad on a part time basis. Love to travel and do anything water related.....

a) NAME:
Biddle, Susan McLaury

McLauryBOASaolDOTcom Chapel Hill, NC USA

c) KAYAKS (Owned or Paddled):
Will buy in spring 2000 - Perception Shadow (For now - renting)

Kayaking, reading, writing, travel, golf, collecting antique fountain pens, playing with my dog and 2 cats, computers, walking on the beach, gardening, learning foreign languages .......

Work interferes with the important things in life !
Outdoors is the only place to be !

Calibogue Sound - Hilton Head Island, SC (This is my first year kayaking, so the choices are few. Lots of trips in my future, but .. (see strong opinions #1 above))

i) Personal Info:
Divorced, two adult children. Raised on eastern Long Island, New York, graduate of Mount Holyoke College, spent 22 years in Holden, MA, currently a realtor in Chapel Hill and Durham NC.

2nd January 2010 - Niels Blaauw

Niels Blaauw

niels BOAS nibla DOT nl

- Rainbow Oasis - which is the boat you'd chose for your grandmother: - Stable, well-tracking with a large cockpit.
- Computer programming (Have done so professionally for 15 years, but still enjoy doing it)
- Science (I'm passionate about factual knowledge and solid reasoning)
- Technical Design (My home, boat and car are full of small inventions)
- shellscript, python, javascript
- evolution
- classical mechanics
- photoshop (as you might have guessed from my picture)
- Sewing kayak clothing in windblock - and stretchfleece

Every first-timer, like the first time I set out on a Swedish lake, a Norwegian fjord or the Mediterranean. While I love those remote places, I can perfectly enjoy myself on the local pond. Every once in a while it'll have a great sunset, a torrential downpour or a smell of spring that will turn an evening paddle into a magical trip.

- You don't have to paddle a tippy, non-tracking boat, just because you can.
- Paddling equipment needs to be either completely watertight, or as open as a sieve. (I HATE footrests and seats that are rotomolded with a single hole, allowing them to fill but not to drain.)
- For me, solo-paddling is worth the risk.


Bio - Professionally:
I've been a computer programmer for 15 years, before burning out in 2000. (The millenium bug didn't crash many computers, but it did crash me.) Unemployed since then, and enjoying it hugely. I consider myself a self-made-man. I have some friends, but I happily spend most of my time in solitude, dreaming, thinking or tinkering. I've had a solid technical education, which greatly helped me in learning to sew my own clothes, maintain and extend my home, and being able to build or fix most anything.
Right now, October of 2009, I'm trying to set up a one-man-company, based on a kayak-related invention. If I'm lucky, my invention will get as popular as the paddle itself. If so, I will buy up Corsica and turn it into kayaking paradise. If my invention fails, I'll be 3000 dollars poorer, but half a year of experiences richer. Building up a company from scratch was worth my while, even if it fails.

Bio - Kayaking:
I've started paddling at the age of 10, in the inflatable of my dad. Since then, I've owned my own inflatable, a double foldable POUCH and several plastic boats. My boats grew with my skills, while I slowly expanded my horizon onto large water and sea. I don't even like large bodies of water that much: I just like rough shorelines. I've come to conclude that the largest bodies of water have the roughest shores, so there I went.
I've been the beginners-instructor for my local kayak club for the last 10 years. It's as fun for them as it is for me: I love watching people learn.
I maintain an instruction-related website, with some selfmade instruction videos and lots of technical information. It's in Dutch though, so it won't be very interesting for Paddlewise members.

Nice to meet you all.

3rd September 2003 - Brian Blankinship

a) NAME:
Blankinship, Brian


c) KAYAKS (Owned or paddled):
Currently own a Valley Canoe Products Pintail, KajakSport Millennium Artisan, Cobra Wave Witch surf boat, and Perception Umiak. Previous boats include a Wilderness Systems Alto, Seda Glider, Perception Spectrum.

Rolling, rescues, navigation, backpacking

Law Enforcement, former special weapons and tactics (SWAT).

Can't stand a leadership void

Kayak Surfing in Hawaii

i) BIO:
Born in Texas (had to tell you that, it's the law). BCU 4 Star and ACA Open Water coastal Kayaking Instructor certified. I teach Sea Kayaking for Potamac Paddlesports (

I am the Coordinator (President) of the Chesapeake Paddler's Association, a 450 member sea kayaking club in the Baltimore/Washington area. Among other events, I organize the annual Skills Clinic at Lake Anna (VA) with about 20 instructors and 80 students.
My home is near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland (15 miles south of Annapolis) and work is at the shore of the Potomac River in Washington DC

Bliven, Larry {foxhillBOASshoreDOTintercomDOTnet }


hey you all, good thread.

larry bliven here with kathy in salisbury, maryland, usa. Viewing nature has had us paddling the tidal waters of the chesapeake bay for several years. Canoes and kayaks, from swamps to easy access islands in the bays. During the summer, many avid local paddlers socialize at several races of 8 to 13 miles (which spill over into reasons to go to restaurants). The friendly competitions is what fuels most of us older ones to exercise, and on the other hand gets younger hot-shot paddlers worked up because they know they got to be faster than someone twice their age. Both older and younger paddlers have contributed to my happiness on the water. My teenage nephews gave me a great laugh as they rowed us around an island - coordination and team work - from two city slickers? I first paddled at summer camps in New England; then to fish in North Carolina, i bought a canoe in the early '70s.

While in north carolina i got a degree in physics that led to an advanced degree in Marine Sciences. i did field research on waves, currents, sediment transport and the inlet geology on the nc coast. My primary studies were of ocean waves, which led to a thesis on sediment transport by waves and currents. As a post doc, i analyzed water quality data from the Chowan river water shed - for the department of bio and ag engineering at nc state university. Papers from that investigation were related to understanding and monitoring rural nonpoint source pollution from agriculture. Then my interest turned to remote sensing of the ocean from space using radars; i have spent 20 years studying the physics of air-sea interaction processes(wave generation, heat exchange, gas exchange, and turbulence from breaking waves). My recent efforts focus on how to measure winds in storms at sea where it is raining. I have the pleasure of knowing many of the international experts who conduct research on ocean waves. The power of storms at sea entices me to sit at home by the fire... Where i can play with a keyboard and learn lots from folks at Paddlewise.}

a) NAME: Blumenthal, Matthew

b) Email address: mattblumBOASpacbellDOTnet

c) KAYAKS (Owned or Paddled) QCC Q500X known as "my kayak". First and currently only boat. I've very fond of it.

Kayaking, pottery, outdoors, hiking, biking, camping, computers, music.
Lots of things I can't think of at the moment.

PC maintance. Otherwise, wild-eyed generalist.


Which ever one I'm doing at the time.

i) Short BIO (personal description):
Born in LA, raised in DC, rode my motorcycle to Berkeley in 1983. Currently live in Fremont CA. 46, never married. Started paddling this year after recovering from knee surgery. Realized that I couldn't do much safely by myself, and the local club paddles required me to have my own boat, so I bought one. Work in the murky depths of the silicon valley computer industry, doing support or QA depending on the job and employer. Don't get near enough time on the water as I would like. But it is never too old to paddle in the bay area!

* Matthew Blumenthal                          *
* Fremont CA                                  *
* Potter, Guitar Player, General Computer Nut *
* mattbBOASixDOTnetcomDOTcom                  *
*                 *
* ICQ 12691259                                *

Clark Bowlen, cbowlenBOASsnetDOTnet

I live on the Connecticut River in East Windsor CT. My background is OC-1 white water paddling including some slalom racing in the the early 80's (Atlantic Div. Masters champ in 1982). I taught open boat white water for the Outdoor Centre of New England when the owner, Tom Foster, was the American Canoe Association Training Chair and lead some deep woods river trips for the Appalachain Mountain Club, including the Spanish River in Ontario.

I began sea kayaking in the early 90's when an aging back forced me out of WW. I own a Valley Skerray RMX and a plastic Necky Tornak. I paddle with ConnYak (CT sea kayaking club) and the AMC. I've been leading sea kayak trips with these clubs for several years, mostly along the Maine coast. My favorite destinations are the Beal Island area including the lower Kennebec River, and the Cobscook Bay area. You can tell the white water boater's soul is alive and well by my choice of boats (plastic with lots of rocker) and paddling spots (lots of tide current).

I think the Passamaquoddy Bay area, especially the waters around the Fundy Islands of Campobello and Deer and around Cobscook Bay are the most interesting tidal waters in the Northeast and perhaps along the entire US Atlantic Coast. The area is unspoiled. There is lots of marine life--whales, eagles, seals. And the twenty foot tides keep things interesting. This summer (2000), my fifth year of leading week-long trips to the area, I still found new places to paddle that upped the ante on spectacular.

The last couple of summers, I've been exploring Atlantic Canada--PEI this year, the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia last. The tide bore in the Schuebenacadie River is now on my must do list. Next year I hope to go to Newfoundland.

I've written several articles for Atlantic Coastal Kayaker: three on paddling technique, "Using the Water," "Straight Talk," and "Getting the Shaft" in which my WW bias shows, plus where-to-paddle articles on Campobello, the Allagash River (which I did in my Tornak), and a couple of sections of the Connecticut River.

When I'm not paddling (or skiing in the winter) I teach theatre at a community college in Connecticut and do free-lance set design-- if you're interested in that sort of thing.

From: Bonaventure, John - SurfYakBOASaolDOTcom

My name is John Bonaventure and I live in coastal Central Calif. I am 46 years old and paddling has kept me in great shape. Started paddling whitewater in rafts about 10 years ago then seakayaks about 6 years

6 years seakaying, Necky Kayook Plus and a Perception Prism, the Prism is a SOT, so I could bring less experienced people paddling. I paddle mainly in the ocean as it's only 10 minutes from the house.

I have to confess, I am an adrenalin junkie. I have lately forsaken my seakayaking for large winter surf in my Mako surf kayak and when the spring snow melt comes I will be in my Necky Rip paddling class IV whitewater.

John Bonaventure Arroyo Grande, CA

a) NAME:
Boyd, Wes


c) KAYAKS (Owned or paddled):
Old Town Heron; daughter has a Dagger Vesper. Previously owned an Old Town Loon. Still have a 1948 Aerocraft aluminum canoe with a million dents, useful for small, rocky streams.

In addition to kayaking: North Country National Scenic Trail (I edit the magazine), astronomy. Just bought a sailboat.

North Country Trail; local politics and gossip.

Television is a pox on humanity. Time flies -- all too soon I'll be too old and sick and stupid to do anything but vegetate in front of the idiot eye, so why waste time on it now?

Isle Royale last September -- or any time I can make it out to my favorite spot.

i) BIO:
I run a little country weekly newspaper in Michigan; have worked for small papers off and on for 30 years in one capacity or another, except for time out to be a flight instructor and charter pilot. I do not like the direction the media has taken in the last few years, and try to operate by ethical principals, unlike much that I see. I have one high school aged daughter. My wife works in accounting at a nearby prison.

Check out my web page at

I've been paddling canoes off and on since scouts in the sixties, and had a whitewater kayak back in the 80s -- my, how things have changed; it was nearly as long as a short sea kayak. I've done a fair amount of backpacking, too, but when a friend got a sea kayak a couple of years ago, it seemed like a good idea, since the old knees were starting to go at 51. I paddle an Old Town Heron -- a plastic boat, not too elegant, but a good tripper and does what I want it to do, which is mostly lake paddling around southern Michigan, with the occastional careful Great Lakes excursion. I've started doing longer trips, but only recently have begun developing partners, and am reluctant to do too much backcountry stuff solo. While I'm envying some of those people that are retired, I don't think I would retire well. I run a little country weekly newspaper -- manage it for a nearly absentee owner, edit it, do layout, sell ads, set type, the whole thing. It's interesting, and since I'd never do too well in a city situation, it suits me just fine. I'm no great shakes on a skill level as a kayaker, but I do get out and paddle - I keep a log, and know it was 143 times for 580 miles last year -- and do try to work on skill development as I can. I'm not a major gearhead, but like to have things pretty well organized.

a) NAME:
Bradley, Michael

ckayakerBOAShotmailDOTcom , live in Quebec, just across the US-Vermont border.

c) KAYAKS (Owned or paddled):
1) Boreal Design 'Narval' (another kabloona in a yellow kayak!)

kayaking, hiking, camping, anything even vaguely to do with the Canadian arctic, Inuktitut (language of the Inuit, especially north Baffin dialect), involved in promoting kayaking among Inuit youth, writing a novel about Sir John Franklin (soon to be a major movie... as if!).

Masters degree in Inuit seal-hunting ecology (I got carried away when I was young...)


Still remember my first trip in the tub with Rubber Duckie. Can remember parts of my paddle in '97 from Hall Beach to Igloolik, Nunavut as well. Both were mind-warping experiences... Seakayaker published my Igloolik story on their website So far no takers for the Rubber Duckie write-up...

i) Optional personal stuff:
55 years old, two teenaged children, have a master of science in BIO-geography (Ecology), but to pay bills more in line with my banker's ideas, I work as a reading specialist in an elementary school. I also lend my services to the Quebec Inuit Cooperative helping to promote arctic tourism. Other interests include playing classical and flamenco guitar, listening to music, especially Celtic and folk styles. I've travelled much of northern Canada, some of Europe, the USA and Mexico. I speak English, French, some Spanish and Inuktitut.


Such a fun thread! Keep them coming...

Being bearly 55, I have only just got into kayaking in the past few years and certainly don't paddle the hundreds of miles some of the old ones do, but I try to make my miles count the best I can. I spent my wasted youth living as much as I could with the Inuit (Eskimo) of northern Canada and eventually gained a Master's degree related to their seal hunting practices. So an interest in kayaks and cold waters came early to me. Finally forced to make a living, I chose to teach and it's something I still do. A few years ago I bought a Boreal Designs kayak, made here in Quebec and took it north with me in 1997. Seakayaker magazine published my account of that trip last June. Since then I have been trying to assist young Inuit to get into kayaking as the skills have been lost to some extent in northern Canada. I stayed in southern Canada last summer and tried paddling the Ontario canal system, but gave it up after a week. I guess I needed more ice cubes in the water to make it interesting, or at least a lower level of diesal exhaust. I'll be heading back north again this summer with my boat!

Like many northern paddlers in winter, I ski along the lakes and rivers looking forward to seeing the ice soften up and the waters sparkle once again. In the meantime it has been fun reading about all of you and the great love we all have for our chosen sport.

'Qajalauritsi!', which is to say, let's all go kayaking!

Michael Bradley Quebec, Canada

a) NAME: Brubaker, Becky

e-mail: bbrubakerBOASmdckDOTcom
Houston, Texas

c) KAYAKS (Owned or Paddled)
Eddyline Falcon 16 - Affectionately my Seahorse

In addition to sea kayaking, music, animals, the outdoors, and the language of Soul.

Still learning but fascinated by universal life principles.

Constantly changing as I know more . . . cause when you know, it's no longer an opinion. Or is it?

Being new to sea kayaking this year, I have to say that each paddling experience has contained at least one special gift. But, the two most memorable paddles so far are (1) the very first time I paddled in the Gulf of Mexico, on a day the water was calm like glass, to suddenly be greeted by the sound of a dolphin's blow and to my astonishment having three dolphins playfully swimming about my boat - time stood still; and (2) my first nighttime paddle (magical) on Lake Raven with two special friends at the 11th Annual Canoe Rendezvous in Huntsville, Texas. Both experiences dreams come true. Now to paddle with the whales and the seals and the otters (no they haven't migrated to Texas . . . yet!).

Personal Info:
47 year young Native Houstonian having lived in this great City all my life, except for a month living in a van at the tip of Texas on the oceanside (that's what we call the Gulf in these parts -- if only I'd known of the joys of sea kayaking 25 years ago!). I look forward to traveling and paddling beautiful new places, making new friends, and experiencing wildlife. Have one son, Shell, who's 28, a 2 year old grandson, precious Endyr, and a granddaughter, Ezri Leia, born November 12, 1999. The last 19 years I've worked as a defense litigation legal secretary with special people and still haven't decided what to do when I grow up. I share my home with 3 loving companions -- Keta, Tuesday, and Merlin. Was born in the South because it's warm here!

From: Brundrige, Rick - {rick_brundrigeBOASbcDOTsympaticoDOTca }

I am a west-coaster, being born raised on Vancouver Island, and getting my feet wet at an early age with a plywood homemade 'yak. Not too sea-worthy, and no rocker, but set the stage for more advanced craft later in life. I went from this craft to sails, and used to race sailing dinghies in the winter, 'frostbiting' they called it.

I moved to Central Canada some years later, and had abandoned boating. I moved back to British Columbia in 1996, and purchased my current Necky Narpa in 1997. I reside in the southern interior, and the sea is closer, but still 250 miles away. However, our area abounds with lakes, 3000, I am told, with some amongst the largest in the province. The rivers are frequented by whitewater folk, but in my mid-forties, thought that the sea-kayak for touring would be ideal. A group of us had done three multi-day trips this past season, but I do a lot of day trips, and long to paddle all 3000 of the lakes before my time is up!

I do not roll, but, thanks to Paddlewise, learned how to customize my cockpit so that it fits me almost like a glove; a precursor to the 'hip-snap'. I do the paddle-float re-entry reasonably well, and the warm, fresh water beckons on a hot summers' day.

I look forward to the continued tips and vast sources of information I have received.

Thanks for all the contributions.

Rick Brundrige
Williams Lake, British Columbia}

a) NAME:
Brzoza, Joe


c) KAYAKS (Owned or paddled):
Perception Eclipse (Sealion); contemplating building a wooden double and drooling over many others but they're not in my near future (trying to be responsible - wedding/house).


Sea Kayaking, snowboarding, hiking, camping, mtn & road cycling, backpacking, bicycle touring (rail-trails).

Accounting, VW's, bicycle repair.

There are no friends on a powder day. Have to use real maple syrup on my pancakes. Endless others....

First time out on saltwater - around Southport Island, ME. Got caught going against the tide both ways (duh), ended up towing my fiance' for an hour while she rested. It was what I'd call an "educational" trip.

i) BIO:
30, cost accountant, engaged to be married 9/00(Fiance' paddles a Shadow). Born/raised/living in VT. Paddle mostly on Lake Champlain.

a) NAME:
Burton, Anne

b) Email address:
live near Portland, Maine

c) KAYAKS (Owned or paddled):
NDK Greenlander Pro;
Alden Star (rowing shell)

kayaking, Greenland-style paddling, rowing, birdwatching, fishwatching, marine anything, camping, microbrews (porters and stouts), the human voice, mysteries, American popular music, musicals, gospel, blues, folk, a cappella, opera, foreign languages, words.

ancient Greek

Never use the other-brand Saran Wrap - it won't hold.

5 days Down East in Maine;
hoping to tour Saguenay Fjord, Mingan Archipelago, Forillon in Quebec; anyone been?

i) Short BIO (personal description):
45 years old, systems analyst, recently moved to Maine with my two cold-hating whippets. Formerly I was an overworking IS manager for a non-profit organization, then for a food distribution company, also had a consulting business. Now write fund accounting software for utilities. I swore the move to Maine would be the last move I would ever make. Since I started kayaking last year, however, I've realized that I "need" (1) oceanfront property(dream on!), (2) more boats, and (3) a bigger garage OR a boathouse located on oceanfront. Would love to meet other Mainers who kayak

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