Boating in Canada Honour Roll
Voyages & Heroes
2018: Mike Ranta paddles North
July 1, 2018: Mike and Spitzii made a 37-day canoe voyage with Stephen O'Neill in Canada's north, from Fort McMurray, Alberta to The Pas, Manitoba - over 1300 kms on the first leg of an Arctic journey. In north-west Saskatchewan, they did the Methye portage, the longest portage (20 km) in the regular fur trade.
Next year's plan is to paddle from Fort McMurray AB to Yellowknife NWT
on July 1, 2019.
Photo by Hailey Sonntag, Wild Canoes
Mike is also building the world's largest paddle to be ready in 2020 for the Killarney Convention Centre, the largest log structure under construction in the world - see his paddle model
Mike Rantas Paddle (Facebook)
2018: Rylea, Kendra, & Clare paddling across Canada
A trio of women are paddling across Canada to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research (one has been diagnosed with the disease). They started in Vancouver April 7 and plan to paddle until October 31. They invited Mike Ranta (see below) to come along, but he had other plans.
2017: Colin Sanders rowing across the Atlantic
2017: Mike Ranta attempts 3rd paddle across Canada
April 1, 2017:
Mike Ranta and hdog is Spitzii set out on his third cross-Canada canoe voyage, this time accompanied by photo-journalist David jackson
. This time, his goal was to raising awareness for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As usual, Mike collected signatures on this canoe along the way.
October 10, 2017:
Mike, Spitzii and David endured constant winds, snow squalls, and encroaching wildfires before admitting defeat. They ended their journey in Killarney, Ontario, where Mike now works on a commercial fishing boat.
Note from Pat:
Mike met my cousin near Killarney and a friend in Winnipeg, but I never got to meet him!
They stopped short of the Rideau Waterway
to Ottawa for Canada's 150th celebrations.
Mike Rantas Paddle (Facebook)
| Vernon Morning Star news (Mar.17/2017)
| CanoeKayak.com video (Feb.21/2017)
| paddlingadventuresradio.com 2-hour interview (Feb.21/2018)
2016: Mike Ranta Paddles Across Canada in record time
2016: Jeanne Socrates
Jeanne Socrates (73), the oldest woman
to sail nonstop single-handedly around the world (2012-2013), began yet another voyage in October to attempt to become the oldest sailor to sail single-handedly around the world. Her droque and staysail were destroyed in a force 10 storm, and she was forced to return to Victoria, BC. for repairs, but on November 14 she started again.
Canadian Yachting news
2016: Jayson Ambrose to Paddle the Great Loop
2014: Eric Holden named Canada's Top Sailor
Canadian sailor Eric Holden was Canada's first ever skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race
, leading a crew of 55 amateur sailors aboard the 70-foot Henri Lloyd
to win first place in one of the toughest ocean races in the world.
and Rolex Canada named him
2014 Rolex Sailor of the Year
, after being named Sailor of the Month
Holden and five Canadian crew members – Fiona Garforth-Bles, James Dick, Michael Jauncey, Morgen Watson, Phil Driver – were jointly awarded the Gerry Roufs Trophy
for offshore racing - Holden's second time being honoured. Roufs was a Canadian skipper who was lost in the Pacific in the 1996 solo race.
Clipper Round the World Race won by Canadians (Boating in Canada Blog)
2014: Mike Ranta's record paddle across Canada
Mike Ranta (Atikokan, Ont.) and his dog Spitzii made a 7,640 km canoe journey
from Vancouver to Tatamagouche, NS (Apr.1 - Oct.31, 2014) about 350 km short of his goal at Dominion Beach, Cape Breton. His Delorme inReach
geo-tracking system tracked his progress online. He was awarded 2015 Expedition of the Year
Canoe & Kayak Magazine
for the longest solo canoe expedition in a single season. In 2016
, Mike is repeating the trip in honour of Canada's veterans.
Get his ebook "Mike and Spitzii’s Great Canadian Adventure: Cross-Continental Coast to Coast Record-Breaking Solo Canoe Expedition"
. His personal account is must-reading for armchair adventurers - he makes you feel like you're in the canoe with him.
Previously in 2011
, Mike and Spitzii, in a Souris River Wilderness 18
, paddled from Rocky Mountain House Alberta to Montreal Quebec 5200 km
in 132 days along the traditional voyageur route a world record for solo canoeing.
| ottawacitizen.com (Sep/2014)
| Canoe & Kayak magazine Video (Jan/2015)
Mike Ranta finishes 4,750-mile adventure
| eBook: "Mike and Spitzii’s Great Canadian Adventure: Cross-Continental Coast to Coast Record-Breaking Solo Canoe Expedition"
2013: Jeanne Socrates
Seventy-year-old Jeanne Socrates from England, the oldest female sailor to make a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe (Oct/2012 - Jul/2013) is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
2011: Derek Hatfield (1952-2016)
Derek Hatfield, Canada's top solo sailor, took
third place in the 2010/11 Velux 5 Oceans
solo round the world yacht race. Derek is the only Canadian to have sailed solo around the world twice. In the 2002/3 Velux 5 Oceans, his yacht Spirit of Canada
was capsized and the mast destroyed rounding Cape Horn, but he managed to repair the boat and finished the race, becoming the 126th person to sail around the world alone. In
2008 he raced in the Vendée Globe
but he had to retire when his yacht's rig was damaged.
Hatfield began working with the Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders
in 2003, a charity that teaches at-risk youth to sail.
2011: Jack Nye
2010: David Wright saves Kiteboarder
David, a Canadian Laser sailor, was training in Mexico when roused from bed by a panicked man after his kiteboarding friend hadn't made it back to shore. Local police did not help. David used his Merchant Marine Academy training to consider wind and tide. After 3 hours of grid search in a powerboat, he located the lost kiteboarder. #RealCanadianHero [Montreal Gazette April/2010
2007: Meagan McGrath saves Everest Climber
Meagan is our hero of 2007, risking her life to save Usha Bista, a female climber from Nepal, in Mount Everest's infamous "death zone". #RealCanadianHero
[Toronto Star May/2007
| CTV May/2007
2006: Andrew Brash saves Everest Climber
200 metres from the summit of Everest, Andrew abandoned his climb to save Australian climber Lincoln Hall, who was dying of altitude sickness. In May 2008, he returned to Everest and reached the top. #RealCanadianHero [CBC June/2006
2003: Tony Gooch
In 2002-2003, this Canadian sailor is the only person to circumnavigate solo nonstop from the West Coast of North America.
1988: Lawrence Lemieux
Canadian Finn class sailor Lawrence is our hero from the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Sailing in second place, he left his race to rescue two Singapore sailors Joseph Chan and Siew Shaw Her. They were competing in the 470 class when their boat overturned, throwing them into rough waves. Lemieux finished 22nd but was recognised by the IOC with the Pierre de Coubertin medal
for his bravery and sacrifice. #RealCanadianHero [Edmonton Journal March/2008
1986: Gus Dalton (1931-2018)
Gus Dalton, captain of a fishing boat, saved 155 men, women and children floating in lifeboats six miles off the coast of St. Shott's town, Newfoundland in August 1986. The Sri Lankan Tamils were victims of human trafficking that had been abandoned in the Atlantic for 3 days when he happened upon them. Most of the refugees went on to settle and prosper in Montreal and Toronto.
[International Business Times Jan/2018