Solo Kayaking to Alaska, the book.
With great delight one lazy Sunday afternoon, when I should have been hunkered down in the seat of my own kayak I sat instead with my laptop plugged into the tv watching a long Youtube video about kayaking. It is not my practice to watch instead of doing but this was different. During the two and a half hour video I was taken along as passenger, confident and observer to one Danny Wilks’s solo paddle from Vancouver, BC to Alaska. This sort of thing is not news. Many have paddled this route including a local Salt Spring Island kayaking guide. The difference this time was he had the forethought to document the trip and more importantly, his own interpretation and thoughts of where he was, and how he was travelling. The kayak was just a bit player on his journey that took him, a novice kayaker at best to places few of us will ever see. Living simply as part of the land, fishing for his supper and becoming fully entangled in the coastal way of being. Sitting out storms in a hammock for days, dealing with the intense grey gloom that can settle on these shores at any time, linger and work against his ambition to reach Alaska.
Months later he appeared with a new page on Facebook to update everyone on the progress of his book about the trip. He occasionally asked questions of his fans on the process, which photo to use for the cover etc. I was happy to put my two cents worth into the pot, hopefully I was of help after my own experiences with self-publishing.
Over the weekend he announced that it was now available on Amazon in Kindle version. My heart dropped as I am a Kobo guy, but voila I was able to download the Kindle app for free at Amazon. Problem solved.
The book is as intriguing as the video and he has a humble and smooth way of revealing his tale as though he was sitting across the table and telling it over a pint. From his self-assured adventuring and an introduction to kayaking, his approach to nature and landscape is something most of us kayakers can relate. I liked him on the video and felt he would be the type of person to paddle with on such a journey. Again, in the pages of the book, though I have not had the time to sit down and read all of it, already I felt that same kinship. My only problem with his book is that it appears to be shorter than I would like and am sure that by the end I will want more.
This is me, the book is just that. A portrait of an adventure. In his own words…
This is not a story about cutting off body parts to survive, or going to brink
of existence in an unforeseen twist of fate. This is an adventure born from
watching old movies and programs of people living and travelling in the
Alaskan/Canadian wilderness. It is a story of a solo quest to get to Alaska by
kayak with very little experience, surviving in the wilderness along the way;
it’s a story of learning to believe in yourself when some others think you’re
crazy, of putting one foot in front of the other each day, and of trusting your
wits to get you out of a situation if it all goes wrong. Some describe it as
crazy, some say it’s a spirit quest. All I know is that I needed to do it, so I