(words and photos by our Team paddlers and friends, Shawna and Leon of Body Boat Blade)
Shawna Franklin and Leon Somme of the award winning kayak school Body Boat Blade want to thank Werner for the awesome paddles they personally use on all of their expeditions and in their school! Werner has gone with them on every expedition they have undertaken - Iceland, Haida Gwaii, and most recently Vancouver Island.
Their trips do not end when they get home, as they have many speaking opportunities where they can share the incredible experience of living simply out of a kayak, and being immersed in wilderness for days and weeks on end. They try to tell everyone they meet how these trips educate, refresh, provide for new perspectives and clear their minds, and create a healthier body. They encourage people to go now! Don’t wait until their kids grow up, or until they have enough money. Life is about significant memorable moments and these trips embody that thought!
Reaching out to so many people, raising awareness about this incredible planet that we all share, and raising the money for worthy causes is all possible with the incredible equipment and support from Werner Paddles. Thank you Werner!
The Sea Doc Society - http://www.seadocsociety.org/
We believe in what this organization does in the name of the ocean and science!
O.I.E.F. Foundation - the Orcas island Education Foundation - http://www.oief.org/ Leon and Shawna are passionate biologists to this day and feel that with the help of their public education are better able to understand and appreciate the natural world!
Shawna and Leon together with Body Boat Blade and Werner Paddles would like to announce the official start of the annual Jelly Fish Award! In July of 2012, Austin Joseph and Jenna McLennan will take on the challenge of circumnavigating Vancouver Island in MORE time than Shawna and Leon’s 44 day trip of 2011. Jelly Fish are slow and meandering creatures as well as being the mascot of Shawna and Leon’s 2011 trip. Shawna and Leon are now encouraging teams to go even slower than they did to ensure safety, and time to explore this incredible island. Life is too short to rush around something as spectacular as Vancouver island. Upon a successful, but slower than the last year’s slowest circumnavigation the successful team will win a Werner paddle of their choice, acquire some cool Body Boat Logo wear, and win the title of the coveted Jelly Fish Award for the year!
Good luck Austin and Jenna!
Share their adventure this summer by visiting their blog: www.balancebirds.blogspot.com
I am 24 years old and have been living on Orcas Island, WA for 4 years now. The majority of my time on the island has been as an Outdoor Environmental Educator through the YMCA, spending time in and exposing kids to the beauty of nature and the importance of our interactions with it. Living in the San Juan Islands has also naturally sparked my interest in sea kayaking and exploration, which quickly led me to facilitate teenagers on leadership-based kayak expeditions. The past few exciting years have been filled with teaching, learning, guiding, and traveling. Aside from concentrating on hard kayak skills and going on numerous extended-day trips with my girlfriend Jenna, we both participate in the tightrope-like sport called Slack line. We find a wonderful equilibrium in being right at sea level in a kayak enjoying coastal marine ecosystems, and then walking a high line hundreds of feet up in mountains with swift birds soaring with you! We are very excited to be a part of Body Boat Blade’s "Jellyfish Award" this upcoming summer of 2012. A "race" to take the longest possible trip around Vancouver Island, providing a chance to live slow and simplify with nature; on and off the water.
I've been teaching environmental education on Orcas Island since 2009, and feel very fortunate to have discovered this magical place. Shortly after moving to Orcas I met my partner Austin, with whom I've been exploring the San Juan Islands and sharing world wide adventures. During my time here on Orcas I began kayaking through YMCA Camp Orkila's expedition program and have come to love the peacefulness the sport allows for. I spent last summer as a kayak guide in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, and since returning to the San Juan's have taken many personal trips throughout this captivating archipelago. As summer 2012 approaches Austin and I are excited to embark on a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, in pursuit of Body Boat Blade's Jellyfish prize. This opportunity presents me with the chance to demonstrate the importance and value in taking the time to appreciate the excitement of adventure and the beauty of nature.