Boating in Canada Honour Roll
Voyagers & Heroes
2019: Bert terHart: first North American to circumnavigate alone, non-stop, without electronic navigation.
July 18, 2020 Bert terHart sailed Seaburban, an OCY 45, back into Victoria B.C., returning after 265 days at sea – and possibly the longest quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He is the first North American to sail solo, non-stop around the world using only traditional navigational tools - no modern electronic navigation. He spoke at the
2021 Virtual Vancouver Boat Show
. He was awarded the OCC Barton Cup for his exceptional voyage by the
Ocean Cruising Club
2018: Jean Socrates: oldest person to circumnavigate alone, non-stop, unassisted
Jeanne Socrates (77) is now the oldest person to sail around the world alone, non-stop and unassisted. She returned to Victoria, BC. in her 11-metre S/V Nereida after 330 days.
In 2013, Socrates was the oldest woman to sail solo non-stop unassisted around the world and the first woman to accomplish this from North America. See 2013
for previous news.)
| 2016 Canadian Yachting
2018, 2019, 2020: Mike Ranta paddles North
July 1, 2018: Mike Ranta and his dog 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.
July 1, 2019: Mike Ranta paddled from Fort McMurray AB to Yellowknife NWT
. He travelled about 1,500 kilometres on the Athabasca River to Great Slave Lake in 22 days — much less than the five weeks he had expected. He was accompanied by Spitzii, his purebred, 11-year-old Finnish Spitz. Photo by Hailey Sonntag, Wild Canoes
Mike is building the world's largest paddle for the Killarney Convention Centre, the largest log structure under construction in the world - see his paddle model
. Feb. 2021 Guiness World Records named it the world's largest oar/paddle 33.68 m (110'6") long X 5.18 m (17') wide by Mike Ranta and Holden Rhodes.
Mike was awarded the
2020 Governor-General's Meritorious Service Medal
, in recognition as a remarkable Canadian for supporting youth and veterans through his cross-country canoe expeditions. He had planned to paddle to Ottawa to receive it, but weather dictated he turn "right" and return home.
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: Adam Shoalts treks across Canada's Arctic
2017: Mike Ranta attempts 3rd paddle across Canada
April 1, 2017:
Mike Ranta and his dog 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's World Record Paddle Across Canada
2016: Jayson Ambrose to Paddle the Great Loop
Jayson Ambrose plans to paddle a kayak around the Great Loop counter-clockwise from Mobile, Alabama - 8,000 to 12,000 km. Jayson started out October 1, 2016 estimating the trip would take 15 months, but had to return to Canada in mid-November. He continues to post his photos of Canada in his blog and on social media.
Winnipeg (Sep.3, 2016 copy)
| Fox10tv (Sep.28, 2016)
| Fox10tv (Oct.1, 2016)
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.
, Mike and Spitzii, in a Souris River Wilderness 18
, had also 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
Jeanne Socrates (70) from England, became the oldest woman
to sail non-stop single-handed around the world (2012-2013) - all made without shore-based support.
In 2016, accidents and equipment problems ended attempts to become the oldest sailor
to sail single-handed around the world - achieved in 2019.
| Canadian Yachting 2016
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 Vend?e 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. After 3 hours of grid search in a powerboat using his Merchant Marine Academy training, he located the lost kiteboarder. #RealCanadianHero [Montreal Gazette April/2010
2007: Meagan McGrath saves Everest Climber
Meagan is another climbing hero, 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
Although not a sailor, Andrew is a Canadian hero. 200 metres short of the summit of Mount Everest, Andrew abandoned his climb to save Australian climber Lincoln Hall, who was dying of altitude sickness. In May 2008, he returned to reach the top of the world's tallest mountain. #RealCanadianHero [CBC June/2006
2003: Tony Gooch
In 2002-2003, this Canadian sailor is the only person to circumnavigate solo non-stop 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