Tokyo, or bust...

A friend pointed this out to me today, and though it is somewhat off-topic, I was so shocked at the stupidity, I feel that the alarm must be raised!

Go to Google Maps:

select 'Get directions'

A. Annapolis, MD (home of CLC)
B. Tokyo, Japan

take note of steps 26 and 40.

Now unless you are an utterly deranged suicidal lunatic, you would obviously want to drive to Anchorage, Alaska. From there, kayak along the chain of Aleutian Islands crossing to Kamchatka. Then passing down the Kuril islands to Hokkaido and on to Tokyo. Though another option would be to drive to Fairbanks. Kayak down the Yukon river to the Bering Sea. Then paddle north and cross the Bering Strait to the Chukchi peninsula, and down through Kamchatka, Kurils to Hokkaido and then Tokyo from there.

The exposed crossings of the Pacific Ocean given in the Google directions are completely impractical and borderline dangerous!


Ogata, eric

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RE: Tokyo, or bust...

I'll take bust please, preferably 34D or so.

Seriously, Eric, it's nothing to be alarmed at. It's just the new WaterTribeTrans-Pacific Challenge. Originally, it was supposed to start from San Francisco, but they decided that a 2,700 mile portage would add that little something that was missing from the event. Competitors are allowed to avoid the portage by paddling around the south through the Panama Canal. However, in that case theymust still begin the trans-pacific leg in Washington state and they are NOT allowed to restock their supplies once they have left Annapolis.

The decision to start in Annapolis was made in honor of CLC's past sponsorship of competitors, as well as the kickback paid for the business opportunity of having everyone do a bit of last-minute shopping at the showroom. (That's how they can afford to offer free shipping on the oars and collars.)

So don't be alarmed,



RE: Tokyo, or bust...

WaterTribe. Yes those people truly are lunatics:) But they are full of useful advice about how to survive just this sort of journey.


Ogata, eric

RE: Tokyo, or bust...

You know, I have studied maps and wondered about doing a trip like this. My biggest concern would be crossing the Bearing Straight. Mike (of Guillemot fame) apparently paddled across it once many years ago. He paddled solo (supported) along the west coast from Washington to Alaska (Anchorage, I think). The trip sounds insane but hey, with the blood of a voyageur in doesn't seen so crazy. Perhaps once I complete my cross-Canada trip next summer (ending at Hudson Bay via the Nelson River) I will feel a void in my life and start thinking about it again. Explorers have crossed oceans in small skin's been done before and there is no reason why it can't be done again.


RE: Tokyo, or bust...

Robert....some notes should you go through with the adventure.  Sounds like it would be fun.


RE: Tokyo, or bust...

There's a book called In the Wake of the Jomon that is about two guys that paddled and sailed their kayaks from Japan up through the Kurils, across the Bering Straight and through the Aleutians.  It is a great read.  

RE: Tokyo, or bust...

Hey Chris, well if by "fun" you mean, cold, dank, extremely dangerous, then yeah, Fun! :) That's a pretty good practical summary of the difficulties. It's funny how, given the terrific natural difficulties of the area itself, the overwhelming problem is the international political/military one.

There is aninteresting podcast here, an interview with Trevor Potts, who was part of the team that crossed the Bering Strait from Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska to Cape Dezhnev, Chuktoka in 1989. It has CIA agents, capture by Soviet soldiers, and boat loads of good clean fun:

Also the route from Japan along the Kurils, north to an eastbound crossing of the Bering Sea to Alaska, by way of Saint Lawrence Island was done in 2000:

There is nice video documentary of a 3 person expedition covering about 650 km of the coastline of Kamchatka in volume 1 of Justine Curgeneven's "This is the Sea" series. The Russian military provide some light-hearted entertainment in that one too. What a beautiful and forbidding place.

And there is nice summary of the modern history of bad craziness in kayaks on the deep blue sea here:

Be careful out there! :)


Ogata, eric

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