Grand Marais, MN – February 14, 2009 – On May 2, photographer, writer, guide Bryan Hansel will paddle out of the Grand Marais, MN harbor on a 5-month, 3,800-mile solo kayak circumnavigation of all the Great Lakes. During this expedition, Hansel will attempt to become the first person to complete this circumnavigation by kayak. His goals for the trip are to produce a book from photographs taken, to promote paddlesports participation and resource protection on the Great Lakes.
“With this trip, I plan to call attention to the increasing pressure placed on this area and highlight the world-class paddling opportunities. I believe that by increasing paddlesport participation, we will advance resource and wilderness protection,” Hansel said. The Great Lakes contain roughly one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water, they’re surrounded by eight U.S. States and one Canadian province, and have over 10,000 miles of shoreline. Formed just under 10,000 years ago as the last glaciers retreated, this young drainage basin is home to over 33 million people. This unique resource is under constant pressure from pollution, invasive species, and urban sprawl.
During the trip, Hansel will update his expedition blog found at http://www.aroundthegreatlakes.com with journal entries, photos, and descriptions of the areas he’s paddling past. Using his cell phone, he plans to post to frequent updates to Twitter (http://twitter.com/bryanhansel/), an online service that allows people to stay connected. “With the website, I’m building a resource for paddlers who want to learn more about all the great places to paddle on the Great Lakes. I want to provide testimony that great expeditions are possible near home, and for 33 million people the Great Lakes are that home.”
Along the way, Hansel will meet up with local paddlers to resupply, and for short day or overnight paddles. He believes it’s important to connect with locals to discover their experiences and passion for the lake. “The more we can share our individual passions for the Great Lakes, the greater that passion will become,” he said. He’s asking interested parties to contact him from his website.
Hansel estimates a finish date of September 25th and he’s planning to paddle home to Grand Marais with a group of friends. After the trip, he’ll produce a photography book about exploring the Great Lakes from the viewpoint of a kayak. But more important, he said, is the experience of exploration and the people I’m hoping to meet.
Bryan Hansel’s Around the Great Lakes Expedition is sponsored by Kokatat Watersports Wear, Epic Kayaks, Enertia TrailFoods, Java Juice, Seals Sprayskirts, Pacific Outdoors, Action Wipes and 6d6Designs. Sponsorship opportunities available. Learn more at: http://www.aroundthegreatlakes.com