The sun is shining in Chicago – I like to think I brought it with me from the West coast
I’m 3 weeks in to a North American tour with the “Kayaking the Aleutians”. Time has flown by with visits to the Toronto Outdoor Show, Deep Cove Outdoor’s in Vancouver, Ocean River Sports in Victoria & The Mountaineers in Seattle. My hair was authentically wet and salty for a presentation at San Francisco’s Bay Centre after I got the chance to paddle from Rodeo Beach to Point Bonita with Sean & Gina Morley and friends. Sean had allowed time to paddle and eat, but not to shower – good priorities I think!
I was treated like a princess with a house overlooking Trinidad harbour on one side and Trinidad’s surf beach on the other side at the first US Storm Gathering organised by Greenland or Bust. The hot tub with the same view and the delicious fresh & local organic food set the tone for a great 3 day event where I was able to paddle with happy paddlers including Nigel Foster, Bryant Burkhardt, Jeff Laxier, Roger Schuman & Bill Vonnegut. Bryant has written about the event here. And Paul Kuthe wrote a blog for Kokatat here. There was a flare shoot off organised by the coast guard, a helicopter rescue demonstration, free beer from Kokatat & Thule which may have helped my presentation about my Aleutians adventure go down well! I also got the chance to look around the Kokatat factory and was impressed by how many people are employed there making the kit that I trust and love.
The Clinton Theatre’s claim to fame is that it’s been showing “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” since 1978. Last week the Portland venue also hosted ‘Kayaking the Aleutians’. I’ve seen one of my films up in lights a few times before and it’s always really exciting. Thanks to Seth for driving us from Trinidad to Portland and then up to Orcas island where I enjoyed a day catching up with great friends at Body Boat Blade.
The world’s largest paddlesports show, Canoecopia lived up to it’s name last weekend with 3 busy days with thousands of paddlers heading to Wisconsin to get excited about the ice melting and upcoming paddling adventures.
I’m on a road trip with James & Dympna from Ontario Sea Kayak Centre for the next week, showing ‘Kayaking the Aleutians’ and James’ film about going to Greenland to compete in the Greenland Kayak Championships and learn about the culture. Both films have won 3 awards now so it’s sure to be a great night of entertainment and fun.
Check out the tour schedule here.
We’ve seen lots of great reviews of “Kayaking the Aleutians” on the internet and magazines. Do a search or look out for a later blog listing the ones we have found.
I’m delighted that “Kayaking the Aleutians” won “Best Film” at the 2015 German Kayak Film Festival last night.
About 300 people watched the selection of films, including the world premiere of our Alaskan adventure. Afterwards the organiser, Olaf Obsommer, called me to the stage for a short interview. Next the judges stood up to talk about the films and announce the winner. They were talking in German of course so I couldn’t understand what they were saying. It was only when there was a pause (perhaps when I should have been coming back to the stage) and Olaf beckoned to me that I realised I had won.
It was a fantastic 4 month adventure in such a beautiful part of the world with a tough, funny woman, generous locals, amazing wildlife and more than our fair share of challenges. I knew I had the ingredients of a great film, so I’m glad I didn’t mess it & I’m grateful for all the help from people on the trip, and friends back home who watched the developing film with me and suggested changes.
The first reviews have all been really positive. Simon Willis said “Quite simply, it is the best yet from Justine Curgenven…. There’s nothing false about the jeopardy here….This film has content. In bucketfuls” – read his full review here.
Meanwhile, a tour is shaping up nicely for “Kayaking the Aleutians” in America & Canada visiting Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Detroit, Kitchener, Rochester (NY), Maine, Connecticut, New York, San Diego, Canoecopia, Jersey Paddler, the U.S Storm Gathering in Trinidad, California & the Bajakayak fest. Click here for more details.
As I write this, I’m taking the rough with the smooth! I’m spending the day in Munich airport after a flight mix up! But on the positive side, they have free wi-fi and I’ve just seen people walking past with a delicious looking ice-cream which I think merits further investigation!
After 101 days of kayaking and a similar number sitting at my desk, I’m excited to release the trailer for ‘Kayaking the Aleutians’.
It was an incredible adventure full of excitement, wildlife, laughter, fear, friendship and wonder. Jon Turk, a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year described the many crossings between unpopulated islands as “the greatest, as yet undone, technical sea kayak expedition in the world”, and adds that “The film is spectacular, full of high adventure, a touching friendship, and some of the most magnificent scenery on earth” . -
Colin Angus, who has completed a human-powered loop of the globe also gave it the thumbs up.
“Superb filming to go with a superb adventure! Justine and Sarah are kayaking alone through one of the most challenging and dangerous environments in the world. It is incredible that not only did they make it, but that they were able to create a high quality documentary without a film crew following along. Their film not only communicates the hardships and dangers of the expedition, but also conveys the rich backdrop of wildlife and culture in this region. A definite 5 out of 5 stars.”
You can read more about the film on this page on my website.
The film is released on Valentine’s Day for anyone wishing to treat someone special (which could of course be yourself!). There is a discount on pre-orders so head over to the store to make sure you get your copy as soon as they are off-the-press. The DVDs are being made at the moment but we hope to be able to ship them in time for a 14th February arrival.
There will be a High Definition Download available on 14th February.
We will also be selling through outdoor stores so if you prefer to buy from your local store then please encourage them to get some in stock!
I’m going on tour with the film to venues in America, Canada, Germany, Norway & the U.K. You can check the locations here. More are being added and I’m always interested to hear from people with proposals of extra showings!
I hope you enjoy the film!
Phew, that was a long blog title but it pretty much sums up the situation. I’m excited to be talking at the Adventure Travel Show in about 10 days time. Now in it’s 19th Year, this is the UK’s only event dedicated to discovering the world off the beaten track. You can meet the biggest collection of specialist adventure travel companies in the business and hear over 100 inspirational talks from the likes of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Doug Scott, Monty Halls, Benedict Allen, Dave Cornthwaite and Felicity Aston. All the talks are free once you pay a small fee to get in.
And here’s some more good news! My name is finally getting people somewhere - you can get advance tickets for only £6 – saving £4 off the door price if you quote ‘JUSTINE’ when booking online at www.adventureshow.com or when calling 0871 230 7159 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras). I’m tempted to buy a few myself to make sure that not everyone goes along to see the big names!
I’m also on a panel on Saturday afternoon with other adventurers talking about how we got started, which should be fun.
When I’m not talking, I’ll be hanging out quite a lot at the ‘Say YES more’ booth, run by Dave Cornthwaite where I’ll have DVDs for sale. I’ll be there on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, perhaps longer!
In other news, the’Kayaking the Aleutians’ film is getting really close to being finished. It will be released in mid- to late- February, and I’ll be going on tour with the film soon afterwards - details to be announced as things get organised.
For now, it’s confirmed that I’ll be at Canoecopia, the world’s largest paddlesports show in Wisconsin, and I’m presenting and paddling at the U.S. Storm gathering in Trinidad, California – both in March. If you are near the West coast of the States / Canada, or somewhere between Chicago and New Jersey by road and you’d like me to give a presentation then please get in touch!