Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Coastal TEAM Challenge Tuesday Report

Another good day of calm seas and good paddling. The big news is the fishing improved and dinner was described as the best fresh salmon, cooked to perfection, ever! Remember, part of the Challenge is taking good care of ourselves and we’re doing just that! Although there are a few minor aches and pains, this is tough TEAM and we’re all in great spirits.  Things are going so well this is a good time to thank our terrific guides Colin & Rob, Steve our fantastic outdoor chef & Ashley superb support boat and camp finder.

A very special thanks to Ed Merta for donating the use of his Morgan Ketch sailboat as a support boat. Ed and first mate Randall Kall have provided us with an extra measure of safety, friendship, extra storage and superb camera positions. Ed volunteered on his own initiative and his contribution has been very important to our success. We hope he and Randall are enjoying the Challenge as much as we enjoy their company.

The seals have been occasionally popping their heads up near our kayaks but today we saw them close up on the shore. A Bald Eagle perched on a tree overlooking camp and was apparently very envious of our salmon. We continue to be mesmerized by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and can’t wait until tomorrow’s challenge of longer stretches of open water.

PS: As soon as we iron out some reception difficulties, we’ll post more pictures.

Bob Vogel and Seth Arseneau


Journalist Bob Vogel and US Army specialist Seth Arseneau at camp.

Josh Sharpe


American Aviation boatswains mate Josh Sharpe relaxing after crossing to Clark Island.

Jeff Henson


American Munition demolition specialist Jeff Henson enjoying the view.

Brett and Paul


Brett Rickard and Paul Franklin - Canadian soldiers drinking beer on the beach as usual.

Clark Island


We made it to Clark Island this afternoon our third destination. We paddled pass seals and a family of dolphins. The currents were strong but we prevailed and landed without incident.

Breakfast at Pelican Bay

Coastal TEAM Challenge – Anacortes to Vancouver, August 1–9, 2009

About World T.E.A.M. Sports and the Coastal Team Challenge

World T.E.A.M Sports (The Exceptional Athlete Matters) uses the universal power of sports to create soul-stirring experiences by teaming disabled athletes with able-bodied athletes, forming a true TEAM. Our Principal aspirations and objectives are to increase and promote inclusive sports opportunities for all people, especially reaching out to disabled people. To organize and host innovative and challenging sporting events that encourage, all individuals, especially those with disabilities, to participate in lifetime sports. Promote diversity and increase awareness, acceptance and integration of those with disabilities.

The idea for the “Coastal Team Challenge” is a high profile, group expedition, consisting of a mix of Canadian and American disabled troops, active or otherwise. Launching at Washington Park in Anacortes, the team will kayak north through Puget Sound, entering the Strait of Georgia in British Columbian waters and arriving, finally, in downtown Vancouver. The event should generate international camaraderie among the athletes, hopefully act as a kind of lead in to the Winter Olympics held in Vancouver a few months later, and provide a challenging personal experience for each participant.

Kayaking north from Anacortes, the seascape will evolve from urban waterfront to outlying urban, passing through increasingly isolated areas that reflect a signature northwest marine environment—forested and rocky seashores, green and white ferries shuttling cars and passengers between islands, seals, bald eagles, whales perhaps—until approaching the BC border and ultimately the striking skyline of Vancouver with white capped mountains towering behind. The journey is roughly 82 nautical miles. The trip is scheduled for Saturday August 1st to Sunday August 9th, 2009.

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