kayaking pirates invade Pittsburgh

Saturday I helped Venture Outdoors, Kayak Pittsburgh, break the kayak world record at the Three Rivers Point in Pittsburgh.  I had the special pleasure of being a safety boat for this event.  It is interesting to admit that I am from Pittsburgh and I had never paddled my hometown waters.  So this was a special treat for me.  The weather reminded me more of Tampa than that of Pittsburgh because of the rain.  It rained before dawn.  And then just after we succeeded in having all of the kayaks and canoes on the water hold on to each other.

The time and effort that the volunteers put into this idea was unbelievable.  To think of an idea to get more than a thousand people together, get them in boats, and get them all to paddle into one spot, and hold on to each other is mind-blowing.  I only know of four capsizes during the event.  I say again 4 boats flipped over out of more than 2,000 kayaks+canoes.  Wow.

I have read several conflicting stories about the mayor of Pittsburgh joining in the event.  Some say he showed up at 1pm after everything had ended. Other sources claim he was in the middle of the mix with four body guard kayakers.   I also heard on the water of sightings of some of the local professional athletes.  I did not see any Penguins, Steelers, or Pirates,  but maybe they were out there.

An old Boy Scout friend was there taking pictures of the event.  He had called me while I was on the water and asked me to describe the kayak I was using so he could pick me out of the crowed.  My answer was…I am in a yellow Carolina 15 ft yellow kayak.  Guess at the number of yellow kayaks that were on the water… check out this gigapan

Again I want to thank the people of Pittsburgh for having this event, being overwhelmingly nice, and making me feel like a Pittsburgher again.

– Jeff

Venture Outdoors eyes kayak world record at Point on June 5 – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Canoe, kayak flotilla likely breaks world record

Pittsburgh’s Paddle at the Point

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