Those familiar with stand up paddleboarding in Canada and this site are probably familiar with the name Bob Purdy and his Paddle for the Planet initiative.
For those that aren't, let's bring you up to speed! Bob has been stand up paddling every single day since January 1, 2011... Through rain, sleet, snow, ice and wind, he's been out there every single day for the past year and a half, stand up paddling to help raise funds and awareness for the protection of our planet through the David Suzuki Foundation.
Bob also recently pearheaded an effort to have Transport Canada recognize the standup paddleboard as a suitable safety alternative when combined with use of a worn board leash. While this initiative still has a ways to go, at the very least he's managed to get the attention of key decision makers, and the dialog is now underway.
Adding to his impressive portfolio, this past Saturday June 16th, Bob completed an epic 19 hour SUP journey along the entire length of Lake Okanagan. Yep, that's right... From Penticton to Kelowna to Vernon. That's ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE kilometres (80+ miles) in a single day!
To put this into perspective, that's like paddling from Vancouver to Nanaimo, then back to Vancouver, then heading back to Nanaimo once more. I realize lake conditions are typically tamer than what you'd find out in the open ocean, but any way you slice it, this was once heck of a paddle! And what made it even more impressive, is he picked right up the next day and continued his daily paddle routine!
The journey kicked off before sunrise in Penticton with grey skies and light rains, and gradually changed throughout the day. Some brightening of the skies, some headwinds, a bit more rain, and some tailwinds later on all made for an interesting day on the water.
Leslie Kolovich and Joan Vienot from the SUP Radio Show in Seaside, Florida accompanied Bob on the journey, and kept everyone up to date through Facebook. Leslie will also be writing a piece for the Stand Up Journal... Watch for it later this year!
Thanks also go out to Rayburns Marine in Kelowna for providing a support boat for the expedition.
Way to go Bob, you are truly inspiring!