Paddling

Sea kayakers in Hall Arm, Doubtful Sound, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

Into the Mystic: Sea Kayaking Doubtful Sound In New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park

By Michael Lanza

A light mist falls as our small adventure armada of nine sea kayaks cruises along the shore of Deep Cove, the farthest inland extremity of Doubtful Sound in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. Around us, cliffs rise straight up out of the sea to 4,000-foot summits—sheer, Yosemite-like granite walls improbably sprouting a vertical jungle of podocarp trees and other indigenous vegetation that make these forests look like something from another planet.

Read onInto the Mystic: Sea Kayaking Doubtful Sound In New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park

Sea kayakers in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park.

Back to the Ice Age: Sea Kayaking Glacier Bay

By Michael Lanza The water of Johns Hopkins Inlet lies flat, perfectly reflecting the first patches of blue sky we’ve seen since arriving in Glacier Bay yesterday morning. I rest my paddle across the kayak and listen. A barely audible moan of wind floats down from high in the mountains, then fades away. A bald eagle screeches, briefly piercing the …

Read onBack to the Ice Age: Sea Kayaking Glacier Bay

The Wildest River: Kayaking the Upper Owyhee

By Michael Lanza

I follow a short distance behind Geoff, our expert kayaker, as he weaves with deft turns around rocks in the East Fork of the Owyhee River. Sheer, 300-foot cliffs of black rock rise close on our right and left, amplifying the roar of whitewater. Although paddling vigorously, I shiver in my wetsuit, soaked from the 37° F downpour unleashed by a thunderstorm 20 minutes ago. It’s our third day on the river and our third day of cold rain and wind. Wet and shivering has become my default status.

Then Geoff cuts left around a boulder parting the swift waters like a hippo standing broadside to the current. I try to coax my inflatable kayak to mimic Geoff’s maneuver, but the river has other plans for me. An instant before the impact, I get an adrenaline rush with the realization that things are about to go very badly.

Read onThe Wildest River: Kayaking the Upper Owyhee

Video: How to Pitch a Tent Using Stones

On a rocky beach during a five-day sea kayaking trip in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, I demonstrate how to stake out a tent using stones when the ground won’t accept stakes.

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