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PNW Hakai Fundraising Kayak Trip

By Natalie Kaplan, Alumni Relations Manager
Reprinted from The Leader, Fall 2002, Vol. 18, No. 1

By This year’s PNW fundraising event was the Chapter’s premier 2002 event. In August we flew a group of 14 NOLS Pacific Northwest contributors four hours north by floatplane to a beautiful and remote section of British Columbia’s outer islands called the Hakai. The participants made up a diverse group of leaders from the Northwest community and included Washington Governor Gary Locke, who is the highest sitting political leader to have ever attended a NOLS program.

The participants remarked that the trip’s location amongst clear water and sculpted islands was stunningly beautiful. A fun group of participants, perfect weather, catches of sculpin, rock fish, and sea bass, and diverse wildlife all made the trip a huge success. Group members reported spotting gray whales, sea otters, eagles, as well as leaping kings and coho salmon. Added excitement came from having a pod of three orcas surface 15 feet from one of their kayaks and a humpback come up directly under one of the instructor’s boats. Though a trip like this is certainly different than a typical NOLS course, the entire group was active, moving between three separate camps that included two open water crossings.

After five days of kayaking under the leadership of NOLS Instructors Molly Doran, Andy Cline, Don Sharaf, and Chapter members Paul Calver and Dave Jones, the trip ended with lunch with a group of NASA astronauts on an expedition with the Professional Training Institute of NOLS in preparation for space station duty.

It was a great trip that succeeded in raising $25,000 for deserving PNW students in financial need. Paul Calver and Dave Jones, advisors to the PNW Chapter, planned and implemented this trip along with George Newbury and the staff at NOLS PNW, and the NOLS Alumni and Development Department.


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