Paddling to Sable Island – all for the kids

Paddle to Sable is about raising funds for kids with a relationship to mental health.

“You’re doing what!?”

This is the usual reaction Jan-Sebastian La Pierre and Graham Carter get when they tell people they are paddling under human power alone, over 175 kilometres from Canso, Nova Scotia to Sable Island this coming August 2013. Sable Island is located off the coast of Nova Scotia and is 42km long and only 1.5km at its widest, and it is also the second largest sand bar in the world.

The Atlantic Ocean is cold, un-predictable and even shark infested. The journey from the coast of Nova Scotia to Sable Island will take an estimated 16 to 25 hours, depending on many factors.

“We’ve paddled 80 kilometres before in one day. So this will definitely be a challenge,” says Graham Carter, one of the paddlers. “We will wait until there is several days of good weather forecasted. We don’t want to be paddling into, or just ahead of a storm or hurricane”, he adds.

Both Jan-Sebastian and Graham are experienced paddlers and are level 3 and level 2 kayak guides, respectively. Both men have led countless multi-day kayak trips over the years and taught thousands of people how to paddle around the maritimes.

But this incredible mission does have a special purpose. All proceeds of Paddle 2 Sable will directly benefit youth with a relationship with mental health and chronic illness who have not had access to adventure and recreational opportunities. Specifically, the Brigadoon Village and Chisholm Youth Services.

“The idea of adventure is an important aspect of life. Brigadoon offers this message in a wonderful environment to the youth who need it the most. The experiences that are found there are worth paddling to the moon for”, says Jan-Sebastian La Pierre.

“When this opportunity to raise money for the first ever youth mental health camp [in the maritimes] came up it was a no-brainer and is our way of raising money for a good cause while doing something we both love to do”, adds Graham.

The two won’t be alone during this paddle, as both the Coast Guard and Parks Canada have supported the journey. There will also be a support boat travelling along side their kayak for the duration of the trip.

Paddle 2 Sable is also seeking sponsors to help them achieve their goal of raising at least $25,000 for these great causes. The expedition will be documented from start to finish by filmmaker Jarrett Corke.

“The documentary will feature the pre-sable training, the awareness campaign, the actual paddle to sable and the kids camp afterwards. It’s important to educate and inform the public on issues surrounding youth and mental health and the need for adventure in Canadians’ lives, while at the same time stressing the importance of nature and the oceans,” says Jarrett.

The documentary will also be entered into a number of film festivals across Canada.

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Kayaker: Jan-Sebastian La Pierre
Kayaker: Graham Carter
Videographer: Jarrett Corke
Personal trainer: Jeff Zahavich
Videographer/Media liaison: Chris Surette

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Uploaded by Chris Surette