Press Release: Kayaker to Attempt to Circumnavigate the World for a Cause

bryan hansel kayaker


Kayaker to Unattempt a New Route for a Cause

Grand Marais, Minnesota (March 2, 2013) — Starting on April 1st, 2013 expedition paddler Bryan Hansel will attempt a never before attempted kayaking route in the pursuit of becoming the first person in the world to circumnavigate the world by kayak. He’s attempting the solo expedition to bring attention to the slowest growing religion in the world, The Church of the Latter-Day Dude.

Hansel on expedition.
Hansel on expedition.

Hansel begins his journey in the Great Lakes where he’ll paddle from Grand Marias, Minn. on Lake Superior out the Saint Lawrence Seaway. After reaching the Atlantic coast, he’ll head north and cross the gap between North America and Greenland, eventually paddling to the eastern shore of Greenland to cross to Iceland. After reaching Iceland, he’ll cross to the Faroe Islands, then the British Islands and after visiting his birthplace of London, he’ll cross to mainland Europe and paddle south to the Mediterranean Sea. From the Mediterranean Sea, Hansel plans to  paddle through the Suez Channel and follow the shoreline of the Arabian Sea.

From there, Hansel’s journey takes him around India, with a short jaunt below the equator just so critics can’t say he didn’t dip below it, and up the Asian coast to Shanghai to the longest crossing of the trip. He’ll kayak from Shanghai to Japan and follow the Japanese coast north, eventually crossing to mainland again and crossing to Alaskan via the Aleutian Islands. From there he plans to follow the west coast of North and Central America to the Panama Canal. Then the journey heads north from the Gulf of Mexico until he reaches the northern reaches of the Mississippi River. Once at Sandy Lake, Minn., he’ll portage 6 miles from the Mississippi watershed into the Lake Superior watershed via the Savanna Portage. Once on Lake Superior, he’ll follow the familiar north shore to his home in Grand Marais.

“It’s important to me to attempt the most difficult and unlikely sea kayaking expedition ever conceived in the history of mankind,” says Hansel. “And tack on some unrelated cause to help raise money.”

For the last year, Hansel has been training for this record-breaking, first attempt in his home of Grand Marais, Minn.

Kayak Training Video

“With less than one month to go before departure,” says Hansel, “I feel strong and confident of the success of this unusual expedition. I’m looking forward to sharing the Dudeist belief with the world.”

Hansel expects the expedition to take five years, during which he’ll take limited breaks, except for a week-long celebration each March centered around the Day of the Dude, the yearly religious holiday for Dudeists.

Hansel coming in for a landing.
Hansel coming in for a landing.

Hansel owns a kayak guiding company called North Shore Expeditions based in Grand Marais, Minn. He offers Lake Superior kayaking trips and Grand Marais kayaking trips. He has kayaked the entire American shorelines of Lake Superior and Lake Huron and has paddled as far away from the Midwest as the Lofoten Islands in Norway.

The Church of the Latter-Day Dude (Dudeism) is the world’s slowest-growing religion. It’s an ancient philosophy that “preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible…” Hansel has been an ordained Dudeist Priest since 2009.

The expedition is sponsored by these generous companies: The Bank of the Global World, Big Water Kayaks, Groovy Paddles, Around Ankles Kayak Skirts, and many individual donations from generous supporters.


John “The Kayaker” Smith,


Subscribe! Get PaddlingLight in your inbox. Enter your email address:


  • Dude, that’s like, totally awesome!

  • someone has a bad case of cabin fever?

  • Brian, thanks for sharing, loved Dudeism at once.
    You may try this too the philosophy behind is pretty much the same and was developed in Romania .

  • Serious trip dude! Only one negative; as a builder of a Siskiwit LV Sea Kayak in Sydney, Australia, I would have liked to think you could get below the equator at one point on the journey. All the best!

  • Hi Bryan,

    As I read it the lowest point south would be Singapore which is 1.3 degrees North (happy to be told that I have missed some other point) – if you go that “little” bit further south, I agree that you would stop any body being able to say that you did not go around the widest part of the earth – the zig-zag keeping close to coasts will certainly mean the journey will be longer than the circumference of the earth – have you got a figure on how long the journey would be?

    I am enjoying the build of the Siskiwit LV (slowly as I am doing it – fit in a bit here and there as I get some time – all stripping done and getting ready for glass.) It is looking good and I am starting to think I need to step up the pace so I can try her in the water.

    Bryan; is there any significance in the April 1st start date?

Comments are closed.