“SUP the Coast” paddles 2000 mile eastern seaboard

Here at Gadling we recently reported on the Dudes on Media team who sea kayaked from Alaska to Seattle and traced the length of India’s Ganges River in a rowboat and a rickshaw. While the Dudes on Media team edits the India footage into what will be their 3rd documentary, on the other side of the world, the SUP the Coast duo of Mike Simpson and Will Rich recently completed an epic paddle of their own to raise awareness for SUP Cleanup and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Beginning in Key West, Florida, on June 29th the SUP the Coast team completed a 121 day stand up paddle journey along the eastern seaboard when they pulled into Portland, Maine on their 90th day of paddling. Covering an average of 30 miles a day in difficult upwind conditions, Simpson claims that progressing at “such a slow pace for such a massive distance” was the most grueling part of the journey.

With adversity, however, of course also comes the reward. Along the way, not only did the duo take comfort in the warmth and hospitality of strangers met along the journey, but they never lost the passion for the causes that initially inspired them to take to the sea.

In addition to paddling the daily 30 miles, the team also decided to spend at least 20 minutes each day cleaning up a local beach to benefit the environmental organization SUP Cleanup. According to Simpson, the cleanup segment of the trip entailed taking a blue plastic tarp, laying it flat on the sand, and once it was full of plastics and marine debris gathered from the shoreline the team would “roll it like a big blue burrito” and paddle it on the front of their boards until the nearest town for recycling and disposal.

What’s the one item that stood out the most during the cleanup project?

Plastic water bottles. “No way will I use another disposable water bottle” claims Simpson. “No way”.

The second group the paddle aimed to raise awareness for is the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization which aims to empower and support wounded military veterans returning from serving overseas. In a statement made by the SUP the Coast team prior to departing on the journey, they respectfully stated that their mission was to “stand up for those who have stood up for us”.

Still trying to wrap their head around the journey and continuing to raise support for their causes, like most long-distance adventurers, the team now must confront those two simple words:

“What’s next?”