Cross Canada Solo Paddling Expedition

Hey everybody, just a quick note to announce my upcoming solo paddling expedition across Canada this Spring.

The trip should cover roughly 9000 kilometers, reaching from the Pacific Ocean in Northern British Columbia all the way to the coastal waters of Atlantic Canada.

The trip should last between 6 and 7 months.

I’ll have coverage of the expedition online and will be updating my site on a regular basis from here on as I prepare to leave in late April or early May.

Cheers…Joe O’

We’ll keep a light in the window
Best of luck Joe, don’t forget the Gulf of St. Lawrence gets mighty cold come November!

Thanks Glenn!

I’ll be sending you an email tonight…it is on my list of things to do later on today.

Cheers…Joe O’

good luck from B.C.

Good luck from Windsor, Ontario
And have a safe paddle-from another berg paddler!

My first thought was…
… I hope you have a woman with you!

Best of luck, and keep that can of bear spray handy.



Don’t foget
to carry around Niagra falls,it has a wicked roller.

Niagara portage…or not!!
If you made it you could write a book and go on Letterman and have a tv movie made…! Actually, there a ton of lakes far prettier than erie or ontario north of these that might do. Erie is a shallow lake and susceptable to the westerlies. Lake Ontario is…cold. Great paddlng all the way is my wish for ya!

Northern Route
No Niagara Falls for this guy! My route will take me along the north shore of Lake Superior, into Georgian Bay, up the French River, along Lake Nippising, down the Mattawa River, the Ottawa River and into the St. Lawrence River.

The route will not take me into Lake Erie or Lake Ontario at all on the trip.

I’ve put up an overview of my route online at my website at

Cheers…Joe O’

Thanks for your well wishes, I appreciate it!

Joe O’

Will watch it
from New Brunswick to see how you are doing. Good luck and take care.

Everybody said: Great.

Sorry, this has everything I dislike. The site sucks too…Hight tech, money, commercial, celebrity, more money,

All this has nothing to do with what I enjoy in canoeing.

New Brunswick?
Hey, what part of New Brunswick are you from? I lived in Moncton for eight years.

Cheers…Joe O’

Portage Across Canada?
Read the route description and there seems to be a lot of portaging that has to happen.

Just curious: have you calculated how much of the total route is portage vs paddling?

I am not a canoist, so all of the portaging sounds like a lot of work. But, I am not familiar with everything involved.

Sure, portages make a lot of differences between various routes. Large lakes and winds too.

I am curious to know what is the best route.

I am pretty sure the fur traders found, used and maintained the best routes.

What boat(s) are you taking …
… and what are the reasons you chose them for the particular stretches they will be used? Has Clipper offered you a canoe for the undertaking? I ask because I saw a link on your site to their site and know that they have leant boats for long expeditions in the past.

BTW … you are IMPLEMENTING many of our vicarious rocking chair dreams … I know it’s a hard job and that somebody has to do it.


I have not sat down yet and added up the total distance of the portages. Many of them will depend on actual water levers when I go through that area…whether it be upriver or downriver paddling etc.

The FIRST portage, coming off the Pacific will be between 35 and 50 kilometers. It’ll be the big one. The Methye Portage into Sask is 19 kilometers. There are dozens and dozens of others along the way.

During the trip I’ll be keeping track of the total distance of portages and I’ll be updating my website with this information whenever I can.

Most of the trip will be on the water though. The portages, although there are many, will only total a small percentage of the actual trip.

I’ll put up some more detail about the portages of the trip on my site in a few days just to give you a better idea.

Cheers…Joe O’

Fur Trade Route
Hi Twinfalls,

Yes…the bulk of my route will indeed be along the Fur Trade Routes. There will be a few changes, mainly due to manmade changes resulting from Dams, articial reservoirs etc but the majority of the trip will be retracing the old routes.

Cheers…Joe O’

Boat Choice
Yes…Clipper has offered to build me a boat for my expedition. I’ve been offered boats from several companies for the expedition and have decided to go with the Clipper.

I’ll be using the “Sea 1” which is actually more of a hybrid. 17’9" by 28" with decked ends. Narrow enough to use a marathon canoe stroke with a carbon bent shaft paddle (compliments of Zaveral) and also suitable for use with a kayak paddle for variety.

The canoe will be equipped with an expedition spraycover and should be good in big water.

I’d thought of using a kayak for the trip as I’ve been doing more kayaking than canoeing the last few years. The number of portages however made me lean towards a canoe. Also, I need something that I can go self-contained with for weeks at a time. Again…a canoe makes sense for this trip.

Part of me would still rather do it with a kayak though and I was considering the new Necky Chatham for the expedition.

Overall though, I think that the Clipper Sea 1 is the boat for this trip.

Plenty of capacity, easy to portage, decent spped and able to handle big water.

I should have the canoe here in the next week or so and I’ll take it for a loaded test paddle soon. I’ll post some pictures on my site afterwards.

Thanks for your comments!

Cheers…Joe O’

Hey Outrageous
Years ago when the Irving Pulp Mill was a death trap, I did a lot of time up there in St John.

I used to watch the pulp mill foam go back and forth in the reversing falls.

I took the family up there one summer, and we stayed in a tent at the Bay of Fundy.

I used to go to work in a rental car from the tent.