Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lost Our Ground Crew

I am sorry to report that one of our paddle group's ground crew, Joe Johanson, passed away quietly this morning. He had been in hospital and long-term care since a stroke in November. With the good care of his nurses, Joe was as well as possible for as long as possible, and had even recovered the ability to speak and swallow with the help of his wife.
After a long career in marine electronics, Joe was an attentive ground crew member for the Kayak Yak paddlers. He paid attention to our boats and gear, and advised us to be careful in changing weather conditions. On his advice, we invested in SPOT devices to communicate messages such as OK, Come Get Me, or SOS!911! Even so, he found it hard to know when we were paddling on open water. If we told him we were launching at Albert Lagoon and going around Albert Head to Witty's Lagoon, he would fret about us till we called to say we were done for the day, and he'd remember every tugboat captain who ever told him a story about rough weather off Albert Head. Or Sooke Harbour. Or anywhere else around our home waters, for that matter.
Thank you, Joe.

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