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Don Starkell

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Registered: December 2009
Posts: 3,707
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This is not the best image in the word (the last shot on a roll of Kodak 400) and all I had was my Canon EOS 650 with no extra film.

This is a picture of a Don Starkell who kayaks the Red River and Assiniboine River through most of the year when the rivers are free of ice.

Through various trips and adventures, Don Starkell built a 64-year legacy as one of North America's most respected canoeists and kayakers,
telling of his adventures in a pair of books. In Paddle to the Amazon, Starkell and his son Dana faced a 23-month, 20,000-kilometre canoe journey from Winnipeg to the Amazon in the 1980s -- an adventure that earned the duo a Guinness record for the longest canoe trip ever.

Contrasting that trek was Paddle to the Arctic, an account of a solo trip covering the Northwest Passage by kayak. Starkell lost portions of his
fingers and a few toes to frostbite during that 1990 expedition.

At the age of 77, Don Starkell may have paddled farther than any other human being has ever paddled.

Back in August 2009 he was closing in on a new milestone -- paddling 120,226 kilometres, a distance equal to three times the circumference
of the Earth -- Starkell believed he was the rightful holder of the world record for the most kilometres paddled by a human being over the
course of a lifetime.

In 2009, his routine on paddling days involved waking up at 2:45 a.m., leaving his East Kildonan home and hitting the water by 4 a.m. in order to paddle 22 kilometres along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

In late March 2010 he was injured quite seriously in a fire in his home in the north end.

f8.5 1/350 105mm
· Date: Sun April 11, 2010 · Views: 896 ·
Keywords: Don Starkell, Red River, Amazon, Winnipeg, kayak
Camera Make / Model: Canon EOS 650
Lens Make / Focal Length: Canon 28-105mm
Filters / Type Used: uv
Flash / Type Used: none
State / County / Area Image Taken: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Country Image Taken
Processing Software Applications Used

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Registered: September 2009
Sun April 11, 2010 2:26am

AMAZING NOTES Jan. What a story! I hope he recovers and can get out on the water again. I like this image a lot - the 'graininess' matches the 'grit' of the man. And you've displayed his whole outfit to good advantage on the diagonal. Thanks for the info. I'm going to look up more on him. Again, super story and image.
Jan Holland

Registered: July 2009
Posts: 11
Sun April 11, 2010 9:39am

Hello Jan.
WOW... that is a great story. Thanks a lot for telling it here.
You sure can be proud of this picture regardless the quality, which is still good enough.
Sure 'some' people made something from their life...
Have a nice sunday.

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 1,659
Sun April 11, 2010 2:52pm

The record for longest unbroken solo canoe/kayak journey was set earlier this year by BBC TV presenter Helen Stokes with a solo paddle from the source of the Amazon to the South Pacific Ocean - a distance of 2010 miles by a young women who, until beginning training, had never before been in a canoe/kayak.
Sensible girl for making sure it was all downstream! She's unlikely to ever approach Don's lifetime record because I think she's had enough of canoeing.

Registered: August 2009
Posts: 74
Sun April 11, 2010 5:27pm

He sounds like a very interesting man. This is a very nice image of him doing what he loves! I hope you sent him a print of this, I bet he would love it!Hope he recovers and gets back out there!Thanks for the wonderful story to go along with the image!
Tony Mil

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 138
Sun April 11, 2010 6:29pm

Hi Jan
Interesting story and I agree with Jill make a print and give it to him, I am sure he would love it and appreciate it very much. I wish him a speedy & full recovery.

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 1
Mon April 12, 2010 1:06am

Thank you for the notes and history Jan----so interesting to wonder about other peoples lives and what makes them do what they do----the image almost has an HDR look to it---yes, I am sure he would love a print and would love to know that you have introduced him to such a large community---his story is so important and unique----Lynne

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 860
Mon April 12, 2010 3:28pm

Jan, Hi:

Marvelous story and very interesting composition of the gentleman and his well traveled kayak.

Thanks for all of your support of myself and all others on PC.

Very Nice

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 22
Tue April 13, 2010 3:32pm

Wow I bet he has some amazing stories to tell - thanks for the notes Jan

Registered: October 2009
Tue April 13, 2010 4:45pm

Like your diagonal composition, Jan, and your notes bring this remarkable man alive. Thanks for all the details.
Tue April 13, 2010 11:55pm

On my computer screen, the photo looks like a painting...wonderful story about an amazing man. Thank you for sharing.

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 3,707
Wed April 14, 2010 12:12am

There was an interview with this fellow on the local news on April 13, 2010. After the fire that nearly took his life in March he is hoping to be out of the burn unit in the Health Sciences Centre next week and following doctor's advice he is going to have to take it easy initially with his daily kayaking trips on the Red River and Assiniboine River in Winnipeg.

His personal goal is to get to 75,000 miles of kayaking and he has approximately 300 miles left to go to reach that goal.

When I was watching the interview his hands were shown and it would seem that suffering from frostbite on his kayaking of Northwest Passage is a little understatement as far as I can tell. He basically has lost the tips of all his fingers. It sure has not slowed him down.

Registered: August 2009
Posts: 1
Thu April 22, 2010 12:56pm

Interesting story, this guy is remarkable..
Thanx for sharing, well done Smile

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 2,831
Thu May 13, 2010 6:40am

Interesting notes Jan. There is no doubt, that film used wisely, was an excellent medium. Good colour and lovely light,

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 3,707
Mon January 30, 2012 6:18pm

Legendary Winnipeg adventurer Don Starkell, who is best remembered for a Guinness Book of World Records feat of paddling more than 19,000 kilometres with this son Dana, from his prairie home to the Amazon, has died.

He was 79.

[ link ]


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