David is the owner of Blue Dog Kayaking, the country’s number one provider of Paddle Canada Sea Kayaking program, SKUK distributor and expedition center for North West America .

After moving to BC in 2008 with his partner Alison, David discovered kayaking (initially as a way to access difficult hiking routes) however, paddling soon became his passion.

As a senior Instructor and Instructor trainer with Paddle Canada.David holds; Paddle Canada Level 3 Instructor Trainer, Level 4 Instructor and Level 4 skills certification. As a professional kayak instructor he has taught hundreds courses and as a result has been instrumental in the delivery of the Paddle Canada Sea Kayaking Program on Vancouver Island.

"I feel very privileged to have worked with so many wonderful people helping them to achieve their individual goals in the quest to become confident, competent and safe paddlers"




Originally from Ireland he is now based in Auckland New Zealand.

He is a passionate outdoors person, with a keen focus on protecting and regenerating our local environment. Daniel shares these passions through guiding and instructing clients from around the world in the waters surrounding Auckland, New Zealand. Daniel is the Operations Manager and Head Guide for Auckland Sea Kayaks.

In a previous life he worked as a site engineer for a large construction company. He found the paddle in 2015 and made the transition into the outdoor guiding/instructing industry. Learning his trade in the fjords of Norway with NJORD. He went on to spend 4 seasons guiding and instructing in the fjords of Norway.

His passion for sea kayaking and being in wild and remote places have seen him paddle and guide in some remote and stunning places in Patagonia, British Columbia, Scottish Isles, dynamic waters off the Isle of Man, fjords of Norway, Wilson’s Promontory, Australia and of course his favourite Great Barrier Island in NZ.

In July/August 2019 Daniel paddled solo around Vancouver Island, Canada in an NDK explorer and using a Celtic Pro Sea Touring 650 Paddle.

When not on the water with clients he can usually be found exploring Auckland islands and wild west coast.

Daniel holds qualifications in BCU (4* sea leader), NPF (Activity Leader), NZOIA Sea Kayak 1& Leave No Trace Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder and ISA SUP level 1 Instructor. Daniel is constantly looking to challenge and push his limits and is currently working towards higher qualifications in BC & NZOIA.

Follow Daniel’s adventure on instagram

Vancouver Island Circumnavigation Blog

I am 22 and I live in Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, Northumberland. I love the water, and in particular the sea. I have been out on the sea since I can remember; from my local sailing club I learned to enjoy the sea and to harbor a healthy respect for it.


BCU UKCC 5* Sea Kayak, 4* Canoe and Kayak, 4* training Surf, Level 2 coach kayak and canoe. By this summer I hope to be updated on the coaching front with the new Level 2 and have moderate water Endorsement Sea and Canoe.


In 2012 myself, my brother Stuart Leslie and Friend Lee Wilson decided to start our expedition portfolio with a big trip. It was a challenge to find something that had not been done already and was within budget.
To Kayak around our country, mainland Great Britain, but to be the first to do so anti clockwise, against superstition and prevailing winds oddly took our fancy. We set out from our home town on 26th May 2012 and arrived back 96 days later. I reckon there are a few more trips in me yet but nothing to disclose just now.

Paddling Career

I started paddling at 16 when my dinghy sailing club enrolled me on a Kayaking course with the eventual goal of becoming a coach. The course took place in many crafts, in any weather, every weekend without fail but I loved it.
Thanks to my involvement with coach Tom Thomas at Wansbeck Paddlesports Club I now have a healthy list of qualifications and a host of experiences to take me forward.

Other Interests

Between 2007 and 2010 I gained invaluable experience whilst working as first mate on James Cook, a 70ft sail training vessel. I had the opportunity to lead teams of up to 16 people from all walks of life on sailing adventures to all sorts of exciting locations.

During my work I took part in 3 Tall Ships events and got to visit great countries including Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland and Finland. These trips exposed me to the planning and attitude required to stay safe whilst journeying on the sea.

This brilliant job came to a swift end when I was diagnosed with epilepsy after an episode at the end of 2010, thankfully the condition is now under full control and I have embarked on a new career path. In my spare time I love to do anything in the outdoors, cycling, walking, sailing, climbing (despite my lack of skill), I also have a passion for food, cooking and real ale.

Sea kayaking tops it all, for me if I had to choose a favorite activity it wins hands down every time.

The sea represents something bigger than we are used to; it is the road to anywhere, seemingly never ending, dynamic and changeable beyond our control. It can mean freedom, adventure or fear therefore a journey on the sea is the greatest journey there can be.

What little wisdom I would share

I think the most essential things about kayak expeditions is getting the right kit, the right skills and the right company.
I have been lucky so far in that I have had the support of Lendal, Sea Kayaking UK, other organisations and people that have made it possible for me to learn in safety and complete life changing expeditions.

Chris Duff has travelled over 15,000 miles by sea kayak since 1983 when hepaddled 8,000 miles around the eastern third of the US and Canada. In 1986 he became the first person to solo circumnavigate England, Wales and Scotland. With the completion of the Irish expedition in 1996, he is the only person to have soloed the entire British Isles. In 2000 Duff completed the second ever, 1700 mile solo paddle around New Zealand�s South Island.His book �Southern Exposure� will be published in March 2003. He is currently planning a team circumnavigation around Iceland in the summer of 2003. In addition to these trips he has paddled extensively throughout Washington State and British Columbia both as a sea kayaker and a whitewater river paddler.

Duff has been a guest speaker at many national sea kayaking symposia- L.L.Bean Symposium (Maine 1987, 1999, 2000, 2001), West Coast Symposium(Washington 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000), the British Canoe Union skills 2000 symposium Peekskill NY, and the British Canoe Union skills symposium onOrcas Island in 2001, and The Great Lakes Symposium (Michigan 1997 and2001), the Anglesey Sea and Surf Centre symposium in Holyhead, Wales 2001.Other speaking engagements have included inspirational talks to school groups and civic organizations as well as more specialized talks to outdoor recreation and paddling clubs such as being the keynote speaker at Canoecopia 1999 in Madison Wisconsin and again in 2001.

Sea Kayaker magazine (Spring 1987) published an article entitled The LuckyOne- about his first kayak trip around the US and Canada. Chris was a contributing author to Seekers of the Horizon (Globe Pequot 1989), and hashad his article, An Emerald Isle To Starboard, published in Sea Kayakermagazine (June 1997). His first full length book, ON Celtic Tides- One Man'sJourney Around Ireland by Sea Kayak was published in August 1999 by St.Martin's Press (NY). On Celtic Tides won the 2000 National Outdoor BookAward- Literary category.

Duff has recently signed on with Werner Paddles, a Washington State basedleader in the paddling industry that has donated paddles for his past expeditions. Werner Paddles was a major participant in Chris's successful solo circumnavigation of New Zealand's south island- winter of 1999-2000. He is also sponsored by Sea Kayaking UK of Holyhead Wales who provides kayaks for his expeditions, Kokatat Watersports Wear, the premium manufacturer of paddling equipment and clothing, Cascade Designs camping equipment, and Snap Dragon paddling accessories.

In addition to the exposure of being associated with his various sponsors,Duff has also been featured in newspaper articles, radio talk shows and,while on his various expeditions, television coverage.

Duff is ranked has a five star proficiency paddler in the British Canoe Union and holds a Coach Level Four (sea)rating.
He teaches sea kayaking and continues to be a well known and sought after public speaker for many national and international sea kayaking symposiums.

Duff can be contacted for motivational speaking engagements, slideshows and/or kayaking instruction at:

Chris Duff
73 Klahhane Ridge
DrivePort Angeles,
Wa. 98362
Tele. (360)452-6052


After extensive solo backpacking trips in the western and north-western states of the USA, Canada and Alaska between 1988 and 1993 Axel took up kayaking in 1994. In that year he paddled from his home town of Rijswijk in the Netherlands all the way to the tidal harbour of Noordpolderzijl in the northeast along inland waterways; a 21 day and 650 km solo trip.

In 1995 he started sea kayaking with the national Peddelpraat (translates as "Paddle Talk") club and attended their annual sea camps ever since.

From 1997 he organised his own trips and expeditions with friends to Isle of Mull (1997), Shetland (1998), West coast of Chichagof and Yakobi Island in Alaska (1999), German Bight (2000), Islay (2001), Outer Hebrides (2002) and Faroe Islands (2004). In 2003 he paddled around the Netherlands by sea kayak; 1241 km in 28 days.

By assisting at sea camps and club trips he got into coaching and guiding. He became a Dutch sea kayaking instructor in 2001. At about the same time, during visits to the Anglesey Sea Symposium, he entered the BCU coaching scheme to become a Level-4/A1* sea coach holding 5-star sea. In 2004 he gained the ACA Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor qualification. He is a member of the Peddelpraat and NKB sea kayaking committees and the NKB coaching committee. He guides sea kayaking trips in Wales and Scotland.

He likes photography and he wrote articles for Peddelpraat, NKB and Sea Kayaker Magazine and gives lectures about his trips, and among them, at the "Op Pad" national outdoor show. Many of his trip reports and pictures are now on-line on this web-site.


  • BCU Coach level 4 Sea, A1* assessor
  • ACA Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor
  • NKB Sea Kayak Instructor

Website: www.seakayaker.nl

Alon Ohad was born in 1971. Although home is Israel for him, he was living in different parts of the world including Scotland, Australia and Denmark. He travelled in many other countries such as New Zealand, Thailand, Cuba, Mexico, Turkey and many more.

His paddling career started after a friend told him to try sea kayaking to alleviate the back pain he was suffering from. A few years later he decided to make kayaking more than just a weekend hobby. He went on some serious trips and expeditions. This hunger to explore still exist.

In the past few years he also started to go on whitewater adventures, although not as much as he would want.

His expeditions to date are:
2003 370 km of trips in Wales and Great Britain (with Misha Hoichman).

2003-2005 Paddling hundreds of kilometres along the New South Wales eastern coastline.

2005 1300 km circumnavigation of Tasmania, Australia, with Misha Hoichman. 240 km solo circumnavigation of Stewart Island(NZ), around latitude 47 south, way into the roaring 40's. Whitewater paddling on different rivers in New Zealand. Kayak surfing on the west coast of the USA.

2006 Circumnavigation of Ireland with Misha Hoichman.

2008 Attempting to circumnavigate Svalbard with Tim Starr. This epic expedition ended with a five hour walk on the ice dragging the 80-90kg kayaks toward the land while the ice mass was moving north very fast.

In 2009 Alon spent three weeks exploring the Faroe Islands.

Website: www.ohad.info


Alain, for whom adventure and a life in the open air are second nature, is a rowing competitor and instructor delta wing and hang glider pilot.

Experienced in travelling by sea kayak for more than 15 years, presenter and author of numerous magazine articles, particularly in respect of his descriptions and photographs of Southern Africa.

One example from many made the first non-motorised flights over the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, on a delta wing and then a hang glider. Has driven teams of huskies in Alaska and Yukon. Has made many single handed trips in a sea kayak Spitzberg, Norway, Scotland, Iceland.

Alain and his wife Nathalie have embarked on a project lasting several years, travelling by sea kayak round the coast of Greenland, with the aim to meet, listen and report on the views of the Inuit people. 600 nautical miles were covered during their 2009 expedition. Photos and eye-witness reports are available on their website.

Website: www.phototeam-nature.com

Details coming soon.


Hometown: Orcas Island, WA

Website: www.bodyboatblade.com


Shawna is co-creator, co-owner, and coach educator at Body Boat Blade International, a highly successful two time award winning paddle sports school based on Orcas Island, WA. Shawna's accomplishments from winning kayak races, competing in rolling competitions, to successful expeditions is extensive. She is a team athlete for numerous top paddle sports manufacturers and has worked with some of these manufactures to create award winning products. Shawna has been featured many times in magazines, films, and as a featured guest coach at symposia around the world.


Shawna was the first woman in the USA to gain the BCU 5 Star Sea award, a coveted sea kayaking award testing personal skill, leadership, and judgment in some of the most demanding conditions you may find on the sea. Currently she holds BCU UKCC Coach Level 5 Aspirant, BCU Assessor Level 4, BCU 5 Star Sea, Foundation Safety & Rescue Provider, BCU 4 Star Provider, BCU 4 Star Surf, BCU 2 Star Canoe. She is also currently serving on the new Paddle Sports North America (PNA) Board.

Biggest Adventure:

Shawna was the first woman to circumnavigate Iceland by sea kayak with famed solo paddler Chris Duff and her partner Leon Somme in 2003. This was a 1600 nautical mile trip and took 81 days to complete. This was the biggest adventure in terms of length and logistics, it was also my first real expedition! It was a challenge of both mind and body and taught me a great deal about myself. Iceland was the beginning to a never ending life of exploration and self discovery! In 2007, Shawna circumnavigated Haida Gwaii, a 500 nautical mile, six week trip with her partner, Leon Somme and adventure filmmaker, Justine Curgenven. In 2012, Shawna and her partner Leon Somme circumnavigated Vancouver Island in 44 days.

Life these days:

She also owns FAT HAT ART Company, where she produces and sells her own drawings, prints and paintings. Shawna grew up in Minnesota, but she finds home is Orcas Island (Washington), centered in the paddling paradise of the Pacific Northwest. The first time she was ever in a kayak, she learned a paddle roll and a hand roll. On an expedition, she will never hesitate to slow things down long enough to stop and look at the tiniest wildflower, or sit and paint a sky because it has 100 shades of gray.

“I am passionate about exploring this beautiful planet we live on, and I want to share what I see and experience with others. I coach, I lead, and I do expeditions because it all makes me happy.”

Paula is strong, word class, international female coach, an ambassador for female coaches.


Nathalie, with an enthusiasm and extraordinary energy for exploring areas which are off the beaten track. 

- has been sailing in a sea kayak for almost 15 years.
- independent and enterprising on all kinds of terrain, whether in charge of a winch for a glider in the intense heat of a desert in Namibia, or driving a team of huskies in minus 43�, on a section of the -Yukon Quest Race in Western Canada.
- adept at underwater photography, she is the main organiser of the Monaco Competition for Underwater Photography.
- has been with Alain, generally just the two of them, on all his trips.

Nathalie and her husband Alain have embarked on a project lasting several years, travelling by sea kayak round the coast of Greenland, with the aim to meet, listen and report on the views of the Inuit people. 600 nautical miles were covered during their 2009 expedition. Photos and eye-witness reports are available on their website.

Website: www.phototeam-nature.com

Hadas was born in January 1971, in Israel. She has widely traveled across South America, East Asia and Africa, cycled solo for 2 months in Laos and found her ideal way of travel in sea kayaking.
Several years ago Hadas started to work as a white water rafting guide on the Jordan River, a river that on occasion is classed at grade 6. She subsequently turned to the sea and ever since has been involved in the sea kayaking industry. Currently working as a kayak instructor in her home base of Israel at Optimist Kayak center and Gil kayaking center as well as leading kayak expeditions abroad.
Hadas is keenly sought after for her photographic skills and has been invited to deliver inspiration/motivational lectures world wide.
Her previous expeditions include:

2002 - 300 kilometers solo expedition along the cost of Turkey. Also led kayak trips around the Dodecanese islands in Greece.
2003 - 600 kilometers journey along the Kamchatka coastline with Justine Curgenven.
2004 - Together with Jeff Allen on a 6 month journey, paddled 6500 Kilometers, circumnavigating the four main islands of Japan.
2005- she paddled 800 kilometers in Alaska. From Whittier to homer.
2005 - Paddled 650 kilometers circumnavigating the sub Antarctic Island of South Georgia together with Peter Bray, Nigel Dennis, and Jeff Allen.
2007- Together with Tomer Sabag kayaked around the Island of New Found Land, a distance of 2200 Kilometers.

As a youngster in NY, Ginni Callahan grew up canoeing and camping. Shortly after moving to Oregon, she undertook a short-lived canoe ride in the Oregon surf one January. Swimming back to shore behind the old Coleman, wearing waterproof boots and a jogging outfit, she learned the value of immersion gear, and paddling something with a closed deck.

Ginni Callahan has since built a life around her passion for sea kayaking and coaching. She guides and teaches for part the year in Baja, Mexico, part of the year on the lower Columbia River and the Oregon Coast, and travels to coach around the world when she can. In 2000, she founded Columbia River Kayaking, which has evolved into a guide-owned cooperative. She and her Mexican business partner Ivette started Sea Kayak Baja Mexico, the only Nigel Dennis Expedition Center in Mexico, and the only full-service kayak center in Baja, with rentals, retail, courses, tours, and a club.

For four years she organized the on-water instruction at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium in Port Townsend, then ran her own skills symposiums, the Lower Columbia Kayak Roundup (LoCo) from her 21-acre Puget Island farm “Slow Boat Farm" for 5 years. In 2012 she crossed the Pacific from Mexico to New Zealand with Henrick Lindström in his sailboat with 2 Romanys on board. She paddled a few of the shorter crossings between islands: Tahiti to Moorea, Tahaa to Bora Bora, a few in Tonga.

In all her spare time, she raises a market garden, writes, and hangs out on warm beaches.

BCU certs:

  • 5* Sea
  • 4* Surf
  • 3* Open Canoe
  • Assess level 4 Sea
  • Also ACA Advanced Open Water Instructor




Blog: kayaktravel.blogspot.com

Whether be it the warm waters of the Philippines where she was born and raised, or the sunny, coastal surf of southern California where she now lives, Gennifer Gatan finds herself completely at home on the water.

Sea kayaking since 2008, Gennifer hasn’t looked back since, enjoying all its facets – day touring, expedition-style trips, rock gardening, surfing. She has combined this passion with a love for world travel; the views from the seat of a kayak are some of the best, after all.

In the NDK Pilgrim, she feels her skills continue to grow into the kayak’s design and functionality, and finds that its performance shines in sporty, dynamic conditions.

Gennifer works in the local outdoor recreation industry as an instructor and guide, both on water and hiking trails. She’s a British Canoe ASKL aspirant, and holds an ACA-L3 certification.

“I can’t say enough good things about this tiny powerhouse! She reminds me a lot of Eila. She’s an amazing paddler with excellent technical and tactical understanding. She is an exceptional leader, coach and mentor who embodies BC’s model of empowerment.”
Jen Kleck

See Gennifer’s adventures – both local and beyond – on Instagram, @out.i.go.

Freya Hoffmeister, the Woman in Black, lives in Husum, North Germany, when she's not traveling for sea kayaking around the world. She's either picking her van, tent or a rental car to sleep in: independence is her lifestyle.

Accomplished in several styles of paddling, including marathon racing, Greenland style rolling, expedition paddling and rough water kayaking and who knows what else she's going to try next. Freya chooses boats, paddles and gear depending on the conditions, her moods, and by pure chance! A squeeze into a squirt boat, a sidestep to white water rivers, a sprint and balance act on a surf ski, its all about variety in life! No time for her to get bored and when you see her having fun playing around or experience her endurance on a race or trip, you might feel what a kayaker's life is all about.

She started kayaking 1997 with a folding kayak on quiet waters, where her newborn son grew up in the back hatch.
In 2003, her interest was raised for the 'rough' waters, exploring with her first sea kayak along Germany's and Denmark's coastline, inviting her to play. In 2004 she participated in her first international sea kayak symposium in Anglesey, which made her instantly hooked and an extensive kayaking travelling career had begun.

FreyaIn open water racing Freya won the Arctic Sea Kayak Marathon in Norway 2004, placed 2nd 2006 in the 300 km race around the Danish Island Fyn, and took 14:07 hrs for a 120 km one-day trip around the Isle of Man.

Having been a former gymnast, bodybuilder and skydiver, Freya has the balance and flexibility needed for rolling. Soon after she started Greenland style rolling, she was already teaching rolls at symposiums all over the world.

In 2005 Greenland style rolling has become her trademark. She had not only mastered most of the 35 Greenland rolls in a very short period of time, but had also made up some of her own, and added some creative balancing movements ON the kayak. Freya won the overall women's class on the 2006 Greenland national championships. Her total of 8 gold medals in rolling and races made her the most successful foreign competitor ever.

She's been a guest teacher in Japan, New Zealand, America, Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Holland, Scotland, Spain, Finland and Germany so far! Invitaions to Iceland, Israel, Italy and more are on the 2008's list. Combining this teaching with various kayaking trips in the area has been an exciting way of traveling for the last few years.

Freya started her 'longer' expeditions career with a three weeks trip in May 2006 on the remote South Coast of Newfoundland, where she joined Wendy Killoran. Her appetite was wettened now for longer trips on even more challenging coastlines! Together with her partner Greg Stamer, she circumnavigated Iceland in June 2007 in the record time of 33 days/ 25 paddling days only.

A solo trip around the challenging and unforgivable coast line of New Zealand's South Island made her the first woman to circumnavigate, and the 4th person overall, again in the record time of 70 days/ 47 paddling days only.

Freya is part of Justine Curgeven's 'This is the Sea III' video.

She is available for lectures about her trips and with her special rolling classes for symposiums all over the world.



I grew up by the sea, as a family we enjoyed many adventures sailing our boat around the south of England, France, Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly. In 1994 I started work in outdoor education and discovered sea kayaking, I loved it and that year experienced my first sea kayak expedition to the Hebrides and I was hooked.

I have tried all areas of the sport, completing the devices to Westminster canoe race twice, a gold medal in my category in the British National marathon championships, raced at national level for Sprint races, wild water racing, surf kayaking, dragon boating and expedition canoeing. My main focus in my own time is on Sea paddling I enjoy spending time coaching as well as expeditions, whilst at work I coach canoe adventures for staff and students on the lakes and rivers of the Lake District.

On the personal paddling side I have done many expeditions both in the UK as well as various places around the world, these have included a circumnavigation of Great Britain and Ireland, paddling the South West Coast of Australia, circumnavigating the Hong Kong Territories, The Falkland Islands, Israel coast and areas of Sri Lanka and Vancouver Island.

I have lead groups and coached at Symposiums on the coasts of Northern and Southern Spain, Gibraltar straits, East and West coast of North America and Alaska. The challenge and enjoyment I get is endless, I am constantly full of thoughts of places I would like to paddle only time will tell if I am able to do them.

My main choice of boat has been an Explorer, it’s a great all round work boat, whilst maintaining speed it works well in surf, tidal races and on expeditions.

On my Great Britain and Ireland trip I paddled a Greenlander Race, this was a great boat with good waterline length for speed, it had great storage capacity and was incredibly stable and steady when loaded with expedition kit.

My preferred play boat is a Romany Surf, it is stable, manoeuvrable in waves and good fun.

Paddling resume includes

  • Level 5 sea A5
  • Aspirant Level 5 coach Open Canoe A3
  • Level 3 coach Inland A3
  • Level 3 coach Surf and 5 star trained
  • Level 2 coach Placid Water A1.

Based in Holyhead, Anglesey. Eila is a UKCC L3 coach & AWE & 4 star (sea) assessor. (Aspirant 5 star sea assessor).

Specialising in the tidal waters and races around the coast of Anglesey Eila runs her own business. Eila runs expeditions to St Kilda, Outer Hebrides & Ireland.

Eila is a Sea Kayaking UK and Celtic Paddles sponsored paddler having completed successful and fast circumnavigations of Ireland & the Outer Hebrides (using a Greenlander Pro). Enjoying the challenge of distance & speed paddling Eila also holds pretty fast non stop circumnavigations of Anglesey and the Isle of Man in Pilgrim Expeditions.

She is an advocate for women's paddling, coaching and sea safety, proving time after time that women can accomplish and excel on an equal level with the men. Specialising in leadership, technique, skills and efficiency of paddling in every sea environment imaginable and sharing her knowledge with others.

Eila's boats of choice are her light weight carbon Kevlar Pilgrim Expedition in custom glitter and red colours and her little 50/50 construction Pilgrim in black and gold sparkles. She raises the seat to give more connectivity and responsiveness in the kayak.

Favourite paddle? At home she usually has her 1 piece 204cm narrow straight shaft Celtic Paddles 650 blades on a 60 degree feather to hand. For flying and travel you will never find her without her 4 piece of the same make up.

You can contact Eila on www.eilawilkinson.com

Ashley started kayaking when she moved to Norway in 2010. She stumbled across a job working in a camp school where kayaking and canoeing were lead activities so she soon became introduced to the water. Already having passion for the sea, Ashley quickly found her new passion for kayaking.