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February 25, 1997

KAYAKING BAJA - update from John Weed

Hello out there in computer land! As the newest member of this trip I've been asked to introduce myself to all of you folks out there in webland who are following this undertaking. My name is John Weed, I'm a certified white water kayak instructor with additional training in first aid, CPR and swift water rescue. I'm forty-three years old and have been very active in kayaking for twenty-three years. I've twice qualified to be a member of the United States national wild water racing team which gave me my first trips to Europe where I raced in Italy and Germany in Pre-World Championships. Some of my other races have taken me all over the United States including a race across the forty mile wide Molokai Channel in Hawaii, the thirty-eight mile race from Catalina Island to Los Angeles (California), which I've done five times and numerous other coastal ocean races. I still enjoy competing in white water slalom races, wild water races (distance races in white water rapids around four miles long) and ocean surfing competitions in kayaks.

I work as an instructor and guide for Current Adventures Kayak school which is in Diamond Springs, California. I teach both white water and introductory ocean kayaking. Last season I taught about eighty children how to kayak; some as young as seven years old.

Kayaking competition in distant places has really opened my eyes to the world and hooked me on traveling with my kayaks to explore new places. Some of these explorations have been the Bio Bio river in Chile, the Colorard River in the Grand Canyon, the Katun River in Siberia, and the Snake River in Idaho.

Right now I'm traveling here in Baja, Mexico with my father, who also has a kayak. We've been on the road for over six weeks now and I've been doing lots of kayaking, exploring, fishing, fly swatting, sun burning, clam digging and other fun things. This is my second time here in Bahia de los Angeles ad I planned to spend three or four days exploring and camping on the many islands in the area. However, my plans have now been modified. The chance to join this small band of adventure seekers in crossing the Sea of Cortez just couldn't be passed up. My challenge is to teach these strong-willed, non-paddlers the skills to safely do this trip and to quickly educate myself in all of the variables of a ten-day kayak trip such as tides, winds, and safe havens to run to if conditions become too harsh.

Fortunately for all of us, a friend of mine, Ed Gillett, happened to be returning after a week long trip of kayaking the area the same day that Jason and I met. Ed is the most experienced, knowledgeable kayak expedition person that I've ever met, and for years he and his wife, Katy, have been leading trips here at Bahia de los Angeles. Ed has written numerous articles on kayaking and done some truly exceptional trips by kayak including a solo trip from Monterey, California to Hawaii that took him over sixty days in the open Pacific Ocean. Ed was kind enough to give us an excellent guide book and took the time to go over a map of our route with Jason and me and just stuffed our heads with information to help us with our trip.

I'm confident that this will be a wonderful trip with these exceptional people and I'm eager to get under way.

John Weed
PO Box 648
Lotus, California 95651
(916) 642-1397 (home)
(916) 642-9755 (Current Adventures)

Posted on February 25, 1997 5:56 AM