Norwegian kayaker in Ottawa during trip through eastern North America


“In life, you’ve got home windows of alternative and if you wish to do one thing, you’ve obtained to do it. You possibly can’t wait. Don’t put issues off”

Article content material

The primary time Mark Ervin determined to go for a protracted paddle, he went from his dwelling in Oslo, Norway, to Athens, Greece — a 6,000-kilometre journey by means of the rivers and canals of Europe.

Commercial 2

Article content material

For his newest journey, Ervin determined to go larger.

Article content material

On Wednesday, he paddled by means of Ottawa on the Rideau Canal, marking day 61 of a year-long, 10,500-kilometre “Better Loop” journey round jap North America.

Ervin, aged 64 and “kick-starting his retirement” from a profession in public relations within the delivery business, left Halifax on June 2. He’s paddling the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, sure for the Nice Lakes, Chicago, and down the Tennessee River to Cell, Alabama, earlier than kayaking the Atlantic Coast again to Halifax.

Following his Athens journey, throughout which he spent 70 minutes in 6 C water after capsizing off the coast of Sweden and practically died, “I swore I’d by no means paddle once more,” Ervin mentioned in an interview close to the way more sedate setting of Patterson Creek, simply off the Rideau Canal.

Commercial 3

Article content material

“Then I obtained actually bored at work and I heard about this man doing this (North American) route. He didn’t end it and the extra I considered it, the extra I needed to do it. It’s not on my bucket checklist. It’s simply one thing I needed to do.

“In life, you’ve got home windows of alternative and if you wish to do one thing, you’ve obtained to do it. You possibly can’t wait. Don’t put issues off.”

Ervin was born in Atikokan, a few hours away from Thunder Bay, Ont., and initially educated to be a priest. However after 5 years, he discovered he “hit a wall” and moved to Los Angeles. There, he studied communications and met his future spouse, a Norwegian. They moved to Oslo in 1986 and married the following yr.

Commercial 4

Article content material

The couple had three youngsters and had been married 25 years earlier than she died of a mind tumour.

Ervin started kayaking a dozen years in the past, first as a technique to spend time together with his son, and now as a solo paddler. Finally, he turned obsessive about lengthy journeys and “gradual journey.”

“A number of instances in life all we see is asphalt and brief distances,” he mentioned. “We don’t see lengthy horizons. I simply actually needed to expertise nature and expertise Canada and I made a decision to do it this fashion.”

Alongside the way in which, he’s encountered tides, currents and storms. Crossing Baie Verte on Nova Scotia’s north shore, he was caught in winds and three-metre waves that battered his 18-foot, NDK-brand sea kayak.

“I felt like a rubber duck in a washer. It took an hour and a half to get to shore,” he mentioned. “After which I cried. That was method past what I needed. I instructed my youngsters I’d be protected.”

Commercial 5

Article content material

Ervin mentioned exterior Montreal, he noticed a lady’s physique being washed in opposition to the shore by the waves. He known as 911 and waited for police.

“I may see she was sporting deck sneakers and I assumed it was in all probability an accident,” he mentioned. “However once I glided by I may see it was no accident. She was sure in chains. The chains went from her fingers all the way down to her ankles…

“That was disturbing. I’m not used to loss of life.”

However the overwhelming expertise of the journey has been about connecting with folks, Ervin mentioned. Although he’s self-sufficient with a tent and tenting gear (and drone and laptop computer laptop) tucked in his kayak, he’s slept in folks’s houses, aboard boats and in a storage with a marijuana grow-op.

“After I began, I instructed myself that if folks wish to assist me, I’ll say ‘sure.’ A number of the time we don’t wish to say sure to folks. However for me, life is about folks. We’d like connections with folks.”

Commercial 6

Article content material

Ervin is lean and bronzed by winds and the solar. He paddles for 5 days in a row after which takes one relaxation day. He averages 40 kilometres per day, typically extra. He did 60 kilometres on Tuesday earlier than tenting on Higher Duck Island on the Ottawa River.

Although the fundraising side of his journey is low-key, Ervin is working with a Norwegian TV charity marketing campaign to lift cash for Medical doctors With out Borders and a charity known as Captains With out Borders, which trains underprivileged girls and ladies for a maritime profession.

“Life for me is about two issues,” he mentioned. “The very first thing is religion: What do you consider in? What’s your worth system?“

Religion as in faith?

“No, religion as in simply religion. Some folks consider in God. I all the time ask folks, ‘What’s your “Why?” What’s your function?’ And that to me is religion. After they uncover what they wish to do, who they’re,” he mentioned.

“And the opposite factor is to create good reminiscences. When my spouse died, I simply mentioned, ‘I wish to be one of the best dad I may be and I need good reminiscences.’

“My youngsters are actually 22, 30 and 33, however I’m nonetheless creating good reminiscences.”

Comply with Mark Ervin’s journey together with his reside GPS tracker right here. He’s documenting his journey on

Commercial 1


Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a energetic however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the location. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We now have enabled e-mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e-mail in the event you obtain a reply to your remark, there’s an replace to a remark thread you observe or if a consumer you observe feedback. Go to our Neighborhood Pointers for extra data and particulars on alter your e-mail settings.

Share post:


More like this

The Evolution of Entertainment: A Journey Through Time

The world of entertainment has undergone a transformative journey,...

Breaking News 2024: Navigating Through the Maze of Information

In today's rapidly evolving world, staying informed about the...

Embracing the Magic: A Journey into the World of Entertainment

Entertainment, in all its forms, has the remarkable ability...

Exploring the Dynamic Realm of World News

In an era where the world is more interconnected...