Don Starkell, who canoed from Winnipeg to the Amazon River and kayaked from Hudson Bay to the mouth of the McKenzie River, passed away over the weekend from at the age of 79.
In 1980, Don and his two sons began a 20,000 km canoe trip from Winnipeg to Brazil. One son would leave the expedition and journey took almost two years, but when finished Don and his other son Dana would enter the Guinness Book of World Records for longest canoe journey.
In 1990, Starkell began his 5,000 km kayak expedition to trace the Northwest Passage. He nearly died, losing the tips of almost all his fingers and some toes. His two expeditions led to his writing two best-selling books and co-starring in a third, all reviewed on Kayak Yak here.
Starkell is believed to have paddled more than 120,000 km over his paddling career, which also included taking part in the 1967 trans-Canada Centennial Paddle.
Starkell was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2006.
More coverage can found at Canoe and Kayak, The Winnipeg Free Press, the CBC, The Mundane Adventures of Bryan, The National Post, The Winnipeg Sun and Paddling Instructor.