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Unlike other sponsors, service sponsors do not finance this expedition neither do they provide any equipment. They are specialists in their fields and have agreed to provide us with valuable support and resources. We are indebted to our service sponsors and invite you to meet them and see how their contributions will make CASKE 2000 an exceptional cultural and educational adventure for everyone following our progress.
When we sat down to figure out how we were going to train for
the physical challenges of the expedition, we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us. As
paddlers, we were starting out from ground zero and needed the best instruction we could
find. After researching instructors we came across the name Ed Gillet.
For a man who has such a ubiquitous presence in the sea kayaking community, he is surprisingly laid back, calm and unflappable. When confronted with his fame, he is self-deprecating and reserved. His instruction is masterful, and his knowledge of the area, wildlife, weather, water and all related topics is awe inspiring. Yet you have to know who he is because he won't volunteer the information. In an age of blatant self-promotion for money and fame, he is a refreshingly modest example of an athlete who cares about his sport and the environment that makes it possible. And for classes ranging from basic surf classes to 5 day expeditions you will never pay so little for so much.
Southwest Kayaks is a full service rental and retail shop that offers instruction and an array of paddle excursions. From beginner surf classes to week-long Baja expeditions there is something for all levels. Ed splits the instruction with a professional staff and handles most of the expeditions himself. On our first trip out into the big surf of Baja, he guided us out safely through 7-8 foot breakers, and even put yellowtail sashimi on our dinner plates the next night (yes spearfishing!). Impromptu natural history lessons of the area are also an integral part of the course.
CASKE 2000 is indebted to Ed for helping us plan the Baja leg of our itinerary. With twenty years of experience paddling the Sea of Cortez and the waters beyond into Central America, he is a wealth of information. He has directed us to the best campsites, the most spectacular vistas and all the secret fishing spots along the way. His local contacts have led us to a Seri Indian guide who will lead us to Tiburon Island and the last remaining members of his tribe. This is sure to be one of the highlights of the first section of our journey. Thank you Ed, we couldn't have done it without you.
CASKE 2000 is grateful to Sea Canoe International and to Dave Williams for our basic training in preparation for our expedition. With daily theory sessions and serious instruction, we progressed from novice paddlers to advanced expedition kayakers in two months.
After 17 years dive-bombing East Coast rivers and 5 years in tranquil Thailand, Dave Williams knows how to paddle. Formerly the head of Sea Canoe's Paddling School Dave still resides in Phuket, Thailand and runs his own business. During the seven weeks of intense training he instructed us in all the strokes, maneuvers, rescue techniques and safety measures necessary for expedition paddling. We are indebted to him for his time and effort and feel fortunate to count him as a friend.
One look behind the scenes at SeaCanoe and you quickly realize that you've stumbled upon something special. Entrepreneurs with a conscience, their love for what they do, for the environments in which they operate and for the local people that help make it possible is reflected in their work. Nowhere is this ethic more accurately embodied than in the words of SeaCanoe's founder John "Caveman" Gray:
Selling The Sea
...The question Mr. Gray poses is how to raise the standard of living in rural sites while conserving the culture and environment. "This ethic is more Asian than western," he says. "I see it as Taoist. Once we discover a site -- and certainly when we commercialize it -- we are ultimately responsible for the environment's welfare." - John Gray on SeaCanoe's business ethics. MANAGER, September 1995
One of the primary reasons we sought out SeaCanoe is because of their philosophy. SeaCanoe has set the standard by which others who wish to call themselves eco-tour companies should be judged.
Seacanoe has reintroduce the concepts of fair play and morality to the world of international business. In age where multi-national corporations scan the globe for the cheapest labor and lax environmental legislation to get the most from their dollars, most developers, resorts and tour companies employ the same philosophies. However, in a typical day spent with SeaCanoe, you may see your guide clear trash from the water as he paddles along giving you a natural history lesson about the area's geology, flora and fauna. You may tour with a local guide whose previous per capita income was merely a fraction now work for equal pay. Don't be skeptical when he tells you with a beaming face full of pride that his friends and family now own the land passing in from of your eyes, it's true.
For more information about our sponsor, we invite you to access their website by clicking on their logo, or email them at [email protected]
Tim Means is the most established and widely respected tour operator in Baja. His company Baja Expeditions has been in La Paz for more than twenty years. For his work in promoting low-impact tourism, environmental preservation and support of local economies (by hiring local guides and staff) has earned praise fom the Mexican Government and he was granted honorary citizenship by the President of Mexico.
His knowledge of Baja is second to none. He was indispensable in helping us plan the last half of our Baja leg and in making the transition to our next stage in Belize. He volunteered the use of some of his facilities and time and was very supportive of the goals of our project.
For your next diving, kayaking or whale watching adventure in Baja refer to the Baja Expeditions website.
Derek A. Parent is our source of information on La Moskitia, the Mosquito Coast of Honduras. We feel very fortunate to be able to count on his support and expertise for the Honduras leg of our expedition.
For 6 months we will be mostly
jungle-bound, experiencing the unique lifestyles and cultural traditions of the Pech,
Tawahka and Miskito indigenous peoples.
Author of the most detailed and accurate guidebook of the area, Derek was among the first to explore La Moskitia by sea kayak. Since his initial forays, he has led numerous expeditions and is widely regarded as a leading authority on la Moskitia in Honduras. Derek's efforts to document some of the least known areas of La Moskitia in Nicaragua continue and we feel very privileged to be involved.
If you would like to know more, we invite you to follow this link to:
We are advised by author and Latin America authority Ron E. Mader for the planning and duration of our expedition.
Ron Mader is a writer and public speaker, focusing on practical applications of environmentally conscious, sustainable business/economics and tourism in Latin America. Ron recently published a book on eco-tourism in Mexico and is co-author of the upcoming book "Honduras: Adventures in Nature" (John Muir Publications).
A member of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), he has written several hundred articles for the U.S. and Mexican press, focusing on environmental business, conservation and policy issues.
Ron is also the host of the Borderlands Environmental Archives, which is part of the Eco Travels in Latin America website (http://www.planeta.com); and the Publisher/Editor of El Planeta Platica, a highly praised website.
Ron is a prolific public speaker, and has given presentations for Florida International University, the Interamerican Press Association, the Miami Conference on Latin America, the Central American Ecotourism Conference and the International Colloquium on Ecotourism in Protected Areas of Central America and Mexico.
In addition to publications and presentations, Ron's media experience extends into audio and film. He studied filmmaking and in 1992 created Talking Planet, an audio cassette distribution company that provides U.S. radio stations and individuals with Latin American documentaries and radio dramas.
Ron Mader's assistance in the planning of CASKE 2000 will help to ensure its success. His knowledge, experience and contacts in Latin America, and in environment, education, and media circles will be invaluable resources for us throughout the course of our expedition in Central America. We feel very privileged to be able to count on Ron Mader's support.
For more information, we invite you to follow this link to:
Our book is currently being edited and should be published