Photo Of The Day: Stand-Up Paddling On The Colorado River

The confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers in Utah is a maginificent sight for the adventurous traveler. To see it from above is one thing – you can access it by trail in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park – but to see it from the ground is quite another.

Today’s Photo of the Day comes to us from Flickr user Terra_Tripper, who paddleboarded to the confluence of the two great rivers of the West – an up-close way to explore one of America’s greatest natural spaces.

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[Photo credit: Terra_Tripper]

Adventurous Options In Turks And Caicos

nautique sports While many people think of Turks and Caicos as being a relaxing beach getaway, the islands have a lot more to offer than just that. In fact, adventure enthusiasts will feel right at home with an array of daring options in a beautiful setting.

Barefoot Waterskiing

Forget skis and boards; barefoot waterskiing lets you feel completely free during your adventure. Because the coral reef system runs the length of the north shore beach, the water remains calm and creates the perfect conditions for the sport. Also known as “barefooting,” you’ll get the chance to zoom over the water at 40 mph.Eco-Kayaking

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, kayaking is an excellent way to explore the unique flora and fauna of the area. As you paddle through lush mangroves, keep your eyes peeled for Lemon Sharks, Pufferfish, Snappers and Bonefish in the sea, and Herons, Oystercatchers and Brown Pelicans overhead. Feeling adventurous? Pre-dawn bird watching and secluded island camping can be added to a multi-day kayaking itinerary.

Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding, a combination of windsurfing and snowboarding, is a unique adventure that is rapidly growing in popularity. The Turks and Caicos Islands are a great destination for kiteboarding, as the area features warm waters and cool winds that help to propel boarders at quick speeds.

Because kiteboarding poses inherent risks, it is wise to get acquainted with the sport through a professional tourism company. Big Blue Unlimited‘s Kite Safari is a three- to four-hour action packed adventure for anyone who wants to get their adrenaline pumping.

Scuba Diving

The Turks and Caicos Islands boast the world’s third largest barrier reef with some amazing sheer drop walls. Divers will be able to spot rays, turtles, sharks, exotic shoals of fish, beautiful coral and sometimes Humpback whales and dolphins. While the islands host a multitude of diving companies, it is best to choose one that offers small diving groups so you can get the most out of the experience as well as minimize your effect on the local eco-system.

Snorkeling

For those interested in exploring marine life who are not interested in scuba diving, snorkeling is a great option. You’ll be able to spot tropical fish without the burden of gear or needing to take a diving course.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

While the Hawaiian’s have used paddleboards for years, it wasn’t until recently that Big Blue Unlimited brought them to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) allows you to view what’s over as well as what’s under the water while also getting a great workout.

Horseback Riding

While many destinations offer the chance to go horseback riding, not many allow you to do it quite like this. With Provo Ponies, you’ll get the chance to trot through clear ocean water while enjoying four miles of private, white sand beach.

Sailing

Because the Turks and Caicos Islands are surrounded by water, sailing is a popular adventure option in the area. Instead of simply boarding a boat as a passenger, why not learn how to sail the boat yourself? Or choose a tour that combines sailing with other adventures such as diving, snorkeling or hiking.

Biking

While many of Turks and Caicos adventure options put thrill-seekers in the water, biking makes for an exciting land excursion. Because the islands offer both rugged terrain and flat land, the adventure is great for people of all abilities.

Queen Conch Salad

Along with daring activities, there’s adventurous food as well. Head over to the Grace Bay Beach Club and order the Conch Salad, which features fresh ingredients from the local waters. Want to go diving for your own lunch? You can, as the Turks and Caicos Islands are home to the world’s only Conch Farm.

Drink Like a Pirate

According to the legend, Pirate Calico Jack Rackham used the Turks and Caicos Islands to hide from authorities, and he may have left some of his rum behind. If you head to the Regent Palms‘ Green Flamingo Bar they will prepare you a rum punch cocktail with a kick. Bambarra Rum, which is locally produced, is named after a shipwreck that freed captive African slaves on Bambarra Beach.

To get a better idea of these adventurous options, check out the gallery below.

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Adventurer completes stand-up paddle of the Mississippi River

Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite completes stand up paddle of the Mississippi RiverBritish adventurer Dave Cornthwaite, who we first told you about back in July, has successfully completed his attempt to stand-up paddle the length of the Mississippi River, setting a new distance record in the process. Cornthwaite finished his journey last week when he paddled into the Gulf of Mexico, 82 days after he first hit the river.

Dave’s journey began in Lake Itasca, located in northern Minnesota, on June 19th. From there, he navigated out onto the river itself and started his voyage south, knowing that he had more than 2400 miles to cover before he reached his ultimate destination – the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, he faced some major challenges, including oppressive summer heat, swarms of mosquitoes, snakes, alligators, and a little tropical storm named Lee. As he neared his finish, he was also forced to contend with large ships and barges, which is not easy on a stand-up paddleboard.

Stand-up paddling is a sport that is quickly growing in popularity. Participants stand on a flat, narrow watercraft that is not unlike a surfboard and use a long canoe paddle to propel themselves through the water. In Dave’s case, the board was large enough to carry his travel and camping gear as well, allowing him to travel self-supported for days at a time. It is estimated that it took him 1.3 million strokes and 485 hours of paddling to complete the journey, which officially came in at 2404 miles in length.

With this adventure now over, Dave has already returned home to the U.K. where he is busy plotting his next expedition. The Mississippi paddle was the fourth stage of his Expedition 1000 project, during which he will be conducting 25 separate non-motorized journeys of 1000 miles in length or longer. He has already crossed Australia on a skateboard, kayaked that country’s Murray River, and ridden a tandem bike from Vancouver to Las Vegas. In the future, he plans to ride across Mongolia on horseback, paraglide through the Himalaya, and ski to the South Pole, amongst other things. Along the way, he hopes to raise £1 million ($1.5 million) for charity.

[Photo courtesy: Dave Cornthwaite]

Stand up paddling the length of the Mississippi River

Stand up paddling the length of the Mississippi RiverAt more than 2400 miles in length, the mighty Mississippi is one of the longest rivers in North America. The iconic waterway, which has become an indelible part of American folklore, stretches from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through the heart of the nation in the process. Over the years, the muddy waters of the Mississippi have been explored by every kind of watercraft from steamboat and simple river raft to kayaks and modern motorboats. Now, British adventurer Dave Cornthwaite is attempting to become the latest person to travel the length of the river from source to sea, but he’s doing it on a stand up paddle board.

In recent years, stand up paddling (SUP) has become a popular activity amongst outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend some time on their local rivers, lakes, or even ocean. The sport is a combination of surfing and paddling, that has participants standing on a surfboard while using an oar to help maneuver and generate forward momentum. Most stand up paddlers restrict themselves to relatively calm bodies of water, but the more skilled athletes have taken to challenging themselves on big waves and wild rapids.

Back in early June, Cornthwaite traveled to the headwaters of the Mississippi located at Lake Itasca, and started his southward journey. By last week he had arrived in Minneapolis, having already covered approximately 500 miles. That leaves him with more than 1900 miles yet to go, and he expects that it will take him well into September before he reaches the finish line in New Orleans, where the river enters into the Gulf at last.

This stand up paddle adventure is just the latest long distance journey that Cornthwaite has undertaken. He has already traveled from Vancouver to Las Vegas on a tandem bike and kayaked Australia’s Murry River – a distance of nearly 1480 miles. Even more impressive, he once went 3618 miles coast-to-coast across Australia using only a skateboard. All of these trips are part of his Expedition 1000 project, during which he hopes to complete 25 unique journeys of at least a 1000 miles in length, while only using non-motorized forms of transportation. Along the way he also hopes to raise £1 million ($1.5 million) for charity.

So what’s it like for Dave while he’s out on the water? Check out the video below for an idea.




[Photo courtesy of Dave Cornthwaite]

Explore the Galapagos Islands on a stand-up paddle board

Stand-up Paddling The Galapagos IslandsThe Galapagos Islands have been inspiring adventurous travelers almost from the very moment that Charles Darwin first stepped ashore back in 1835. Upon his arrival, the famous naturalist discovered an array of unique wildlife there, which inspired him to write The Origin of Species and formulate his Theory of Evolution. Modern travelers continue to visit the Galapagos hoping to catch a glimpse of those same creatures while cruising through the Pacific waters 500 miles off the coast of Ecuador.

While relaxing at the local resorts and spending your day aboard a comfortable cruise ship is the perfect vacation for many, active travelers are often looking for a little more when they visit the Galapagos. With that in mind, adventure travel company Detour Destinations has designed a number of great itineraries that include hiking, snorkeling, mountain biking and kayaking around several of the 18 main islands that make up the archipelago. But a new itinerary offers a unique way to tour Darwin’s natural laboratory as visitors can glide along the coastline on a stand-up paddle board.

Stand-up paddle boards have seen an amazing rise in popularity over the past few years. Essentially, the sport puts the rider on a surfboard, but also gives them a one-bladed paddle, with a long shaft, that is not unlike those found in a canoe. Using that paddle, the rider can propel themselves through the the water and deftly steer through and around obstacles.

Using a stand-up paddle board in the Galapagos provides visitors with a number of advantages. The almost silent mode of transpiration allows travelers to get close to the wildlife that permeate the coastlines, which include sea lions, penguins, turtles, sharks and more. It also allows them to visit places that are not normally inaccessible through other forms of transportation, while the standing position affords a better view of the surrounding scenery than a kayak.

Active travelers whow want to explore the Galapagos in unique and adventurous ways should check out the various options that Detour Destinations has to offer. Even Darwin would be envious of these tours.

[Photo credit: Bill Ebbesen]