Paddling Cape Ann

By Vladimir Brezina

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Summer’s here—it’s high time to make our summer paddling plans!

And, as in the last four years, those plans absolutely have to include the Blackburn Challenge—our favorite open-water boat race. It’s 20 miles around Cape Ann, Massachusetts. All manner of human-powered boats take part—canoes, rowboats, dories, kayaks, surfskis, outrigger canoes, dragon boats, stand-up paddle boards—making for a fun day out on the water and afterward on the beach.

Last year, we raced in the Blackburn Challenge, then spent another two days paddling leisurely around Cape Ann.

In eager anticipation of this year’s trip, we’ve been looking over the photos from last year…

Our tracks and the locations of the photos:

Cape Ann

(click on any photo to start slideshow)

Every year that we’ve paddled in the Blackburn Challenge, Johna has won a medal—either second or third in her class. I don’t have a good celebratory photo from last year, but here is one from 2012:

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This year, I think she’s aiming to win…

The Blackburn Challenge: this year on July 19th!

31 responses to “Paddling Cape Ann

  1. Looks like great fun on a beautiful coast, some interesting craft… amused by floating garage sale on the paddleboard.


  2. 2 kewl fer skewl as alwayz :)


  3. Very cool as always, Vladimir.
    Best Regards, Aquileana :D


  4. Johna Till Johnson

    Hm, too bad you didn’t post the photo of my face when I had a look at the bottom of my brand-new Tiderace after having landed on the rocks early in the race… Oh, wait, I was too scared to look!! That’s why no photo :-)


  5. You two make me laugh. Good luck to both of you and extra special girl power to you Johna!


  6. You both are amazing! <3 <3
    Love ALL the paddle stories. We just finished putting the saddles on the Yak Rack… should be hitting water other than that in our pond out front any time now… yippee! :)


  7. Oh… and best wishes on this year’s event!


  8. As always, I enjoyed this wonderful photo blog. Good luck to both of you on this year’s event!


  9. We will see you in Gloucester! Might have a different canoe.


  10. I’ve seen more whales off Cape Ann than anywhere else along the New England coast. Maybe you’ll get lucky and meet some :-)


  11. Great pics as always. Good luck, Johna. :)


  12. I love Cape Ann. I’ve only traveled there by car. Beautiful photos.


  13. I spent lots of happy months in Rockport as a child. Good Luck!


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