Shawna Franklin was the first woman in the USA to be awarded her BCU 5 star seakayaking award (which means that she is qualified to lead expeditions all over the world). In 2003 she became the first woman to circumnavigate Iceland when she completed the epic trip with Chris Duff and Leon Somme’. Leon is her partner and together they run “Body Boat Blade”, a kayaking business on Orcas Island in Washington State. They take people on trips, provide BCU and ACA training, and rent and sell kayaking equipment. Shawna and Leon are both very creative – Leon built the small log cabin that they live in (where they have no electricity and use only candles for light). Shawna draws and creates her linoleum block prints whenever she has time, taking her inspiration from the natural environment and from her passion for kayaking and the sea.

In 2007, Shawna, Leon and Justine Curgenven paddled 500 miles around Haida Gwaii, the Queen Charlotte islands. This expedition is featured in “This is the Sea 4“. Shawna and Leon are also featured in ‘This is the Sea‘ in their home waters of the San Juan islands.

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