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Cold, ice stop woman’s bid to paddle 5 Great Lakes

Dec 18, 2017 12:57PM ● By Editor
Traci Lynn Martin paddled the North Shore in July, but her bid to circumnavigate the Great Lakes comes up just short.  From The Detroit Free Press - December 18, 2017

Detroit — A Missouri kayaker who’s trying to paddle around all five Great Lakes has stopped her journey because of the rigors of wintry weather.

Traci Lynn Martin said she paddled 3,582 miles since March and completed lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan. On Oct. 15, she became the first person to circumnavigate the three lakes in one calendar year, according to her website, On Nov. 18, “she walked her boat around Niagara Falls. By Nov. 27, she was paddling Lake Ontario, it said.

In a Facebook video posted Saturday, the nurse said she’s been covered with ice as temperatures consistently stay below freezing.

Martin said “it’s not safe” and “it’s going to get worse.” Her Facebook post said she was in Ontario, Canada.

Martin, who is from the Kansas City, Missouri, area, began her trip at Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and Beach Park, Michigan, in March. She was planning to finish at Lake Erie Metro Park in Brownstown Township “sometime in December,” she wrote on her site.

She said she wants to try again in 2019.

She thanked many people for supporting her on what she called an “adventure of a lifetime.” She attempted to set a record for the farthest documented non-stop paddling trip in a SR Stellar surf ski, which is similar to a kayak but is longer, in one year, according to her website. A surf ski requires the paddler to sit atop the vessel, not inside it.

According to the Guinness World Records, the longest solo journey by a surf ski was by Gerhard Moolman of South Africa, when he went 3,822 miles between Hout Bay, South Africa, and Lamu, Kenya, from April 20 to Oct. 23, 2002, she said on her site.

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