Vancouver Island solo speed record

for those of you who find this stuff interesting, you may recall that a guy named Joe O’Blenis was attempting to paddle a sea kayak around Vancouver Island in 20 days or less, which is insanely fast.

he ran into a number of difficulties, weather and normal stuff, also he was paddling a Greenlander Pro, not a Greenlander Race as he was expecting, as a sponsored guy.

just around Cape Scott he had landed for the day when a wave came up and swamped his beached kayak. his hatch covers were in the cockpit and he lost them at that time, putting an end to the trip.

he is back home and preparing to leave on his second attempt within a couple of days, this time in a Greenlander Race.

this all from his website;

ps. tether your hatch covers kids

You can’t keep a good man down
I hope he makes it.


Thanks for the update
i feel a little better about carrying my neoprene emergency hatchcovers around in my Explorer for the last many years.

don’t quite understand
I don’t really understand why NDK has unteathered covers that sink.

Joe is a class act IMO.

Go Joe!

we sometimes will play frisbee with the hatch cofvers. As you can imagine, though, that can create its own set of problems.

Ack too bad. Go 2nd attempt. Joe is a cool guy i hope his 2nd try is successful!

Thanks everybody for the kind words and encouragement.

As you can guess, I felt pretty devasted about the whole incident and having to turn back.

By the look of things now however, I will be relaunching most likely on Monday morning. And yeah, this time around I’ll be paddling the Greenlander Race. The Pro is an awesome kayak and I love it…but the Race should have that extra little bit of forward speed and glide, hopefully the perfect combination for the trip. I’m swapping kayaks this weekend with Don up at Comox Valley Kayaks in Comox and will be paddling his personal kayak for the second attempt.

I’ve posted a few photos tonight on my website from the first attempt and will get more up over the next two days. Hoping to do a photo pictorial on the “Creation” of the emergency replacement hatches as well.

During the expedition, I’m hoping to personally update my website from Tofino and Alert Bay. In between, I should have a few updates posted by a friend as well.

Thanks again for the encouragement!

James…hope to see you in Tofino!


That’s a tough one Joe
Bummer. Glad to hear you’re getting right back on the horse. This weekend is the Kite and Kayak Festival at Pictou Lodge, we’ll hoist a Keith’s or three in your honour.


Thanks Glenn…and yeah, kick back a few beers for me for sure!

If this second trip goes as planned, I know I’ll be having “A few” wehn it ends in 3 weeks.