I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks. Lest my readers think I have fallen off the earth, I haven’t, and here’s proof, a photo of me right now, working on my computer, early in the day, still in my PJ’s. 2500 miles away from my home, I am in British Columbia shooting photography and video for friend and fellow stand-up paddler, Leslie Kolovich, the host and producer of The Stand Up Paddle Radio Show, a collection of podcasts discussing everything and anything about the sport and recreation of stand-up paddling.
Leslie’s website, www.supradioshow.com, also includes a a number of posts On the Road, some of which are elaborated in much more detail in a series titled “On the Road with Leslie” for the Standup Journal, the premier quarterly magazine of standup paddling. We are in British Columbia to produce another article in that series.
We were invited to British Columbia by fellow SUP (Stand-Up Paddle) enthusiast and environmental activist Bob Purdy, who made a commitment more than a year-and-a-half ago to paddle every day to support his personal connection to the planet, in his mission to encourage us all to change the way we live. He is convinced, and I concur, that if we all commit to changing even just one thing in our lives, that together we will create a wave of change for the betterment of the planet. I am starting with a small change in my life, and that is to actually use all of the re-usable water containers I have collected over the years. Who knows why my willing spirit ever bought them but never actually used them. You may think this is an inconsequential change, but it is my commitment, to reduce my consumption of products packaged in plastic. When we each make a change, and really commit to it, the ripple effect will become a tide.
Today is Day 538 of Bob’s daily paddling. Five days ago, on June 16, 2012, World Paddle for the Planet Day, he completed the extraordinary feat of paddling the entire 80-mile length of Okanagan Lake without ever getting off his SUP board. It took him 19 hours, and was grueling towards the end. The weather changed from glassy calm to 2-foot swells, from tailwinds to flat calm to headwinds, throughout the day. Bob paddled through rain, wind, and sun. We took an extra paddle board on the support boat where I rode, armed with my cameras. I was honored to paddle with Bob for 12 miles in the middle of the day. Leslie started the day beside him, paddling an amazing 20 miles, 16 of it continuously, more than double the distance of our training paddles at home in Florida. Other paddlers joined in for sections of Bob’s paddle, and he also paddled alone for a good bit of it, with the support boat far enough behind that he could not hear us.
Bob’s purpose in this momentous effort was to call attention to his mission and thereby to attract participation in his effort to create a wave of change for the betterment of the earth. His mantra is “One person can make a difference. STAND UP and be that person.” He supports the David Suzuki Foundation, and all donations he collects go to the foundation to support their mission to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future, directed to Canadians but of universal message. As a side note, David Suzuki’s daughter was the opening speaker at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.
As guests of Bob Purdy and his life partner, Sharon, we have been wined and dined in a non-stop paddle-tour of the beautiful southern part of the province of British Columbia. For my part, the kind of nature photography I have been doing here is right up my alley as far as my personal preference. And the human interest angle is perfect for “On the Road with Leslie”. Below is my unedited video for part of a segment on one of our cultural tours, First Nations Cree Russell Podgurny, singing for us in a pit house at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Leslie posted this clip on www.supradioshow.com as a prequel to upcoming posts. It is an honor and a thrill to provide photography and videography for the SUP Radio Show.
Special thank you to Leslie Kolovich and Bob Purdy for assistance with this post.