89 days – 7th May to 3rd August 2023: Celebrating the completion of a gruelling 2000km unsupported kayak expedition of The Inside Passage from Olympia in Washington State along the Fjordlands of Western British Columbia to Skagway in Alaska! 

The team of eight kayakers included six veterans with a variety of injuries such as head/abdomen gunshot wounds, bilateral above knee amputations, viral induced paralysis and PTSD, chronologically from The Falklands conflict to Iraq and Afghanistan. Having paddled over 1600km in 60 days, from Washington State to Petersburg Alaska, a route that is notoriously difficult and certainly not for the faint hearted, five members of the team had to get back to their lives in UK leaving Marty, Cayle and Theo to complete the journey on behalf of the team – which they did on August 3rd 2023! The team hopes that their successful completion of this expedition will be a source of encouragement to other veterans to aim for their personal goals in daily life regardless of their visible or hidden trauma.

A grant from Team Forces helped to fund this epic expedition but the journey wasn’t easy in the making! The original plan was to kayak the Amazon River back in 2020 and we all know how 2020 went! The logistics and training have been challenging to say the least. Setting out to achieve a once in a lifetime challenge was never going to be easy but a global pandemic being thrown in and all of the complications that brought in made it that much harder. Although the challenge ultimately changed from the Amazon to The Inside Passage, the team remained totally focused and the repeated delays were fully utilised in training hard for the expedition. The team fine honed their kayaking, camp routine and navigational skills and researched the operational area extensively. Medical plans and standard operating procedures put in place, resupplies and potential campsites were recce’d. Throughout their spectacular, and potentially dangerous adventure, it is ultimately this hard work that paid off for the team! Train hard, fight easy.

Visit their blog page to read all about this amazing journey – one of my favourite entries is below:

7th July: Day 61- Caamano Point to Meyers Chuck (distance 36.5km)

Day of days! This has to be one of the best days of kayaking ever! Where to start? This day was filled with magic, awe and wonder! The depth of the mountain ranges lining your left and right! The infinity pool effect in all its glory! Polished glass to paddle on, flow helping you gently, the mist on the mountains so fine it looks like a blanket spun by a million spiders! One mountain getting dwarfed by the four mountain ranges behind! Snow-capped peaks, the cliffs towering over this rugged landscape! Paddling in silence, the flotilla of kayaks carving their way through the water, the sound your paddle makes when you skim it across the surface, the glimmer as the water droplets fall from your paddle! That feeling of being in the wild! Then the excited shouts! Whales! Whales! 12 O’ clock from your position – this massive tail crashing down, water spraying into the air! Then another then another then another! Seeing these beautiful creatures breaching then diving – their massive bodies gliding through the water! A pod of four humpback whales! Coming together their massive jaws opened breaking the surface! The sound they make reverberating through your core! Echoing through the channel! We sat in silence taking in this spectacle!

Stopping for lunch we saw these gentle giants of the deep just play and feed up and down the channel! Lunch done, slurp of coffee and back on the water, we followed the coastline, our paddles breaking the surface, these little silver fish just out of reach under our kayaks – next moment a flash of white and yellow eagles take the opportunity to try and bag an easy lunch! Swooping down without a sound! The amount of salmon we saw jumping out of the water the sun, shimmering of their scales. Two sea lions barking at us as we paddled past! We are making good time – next moment a shadow catches our eye! Whispering to each other take a hard right let’s go investigate! Have to be certain! A massive black bear just turning over boulders looking for food! Using your paddle to signal! On me! Close in on me! Approach from downwind, dip that paddle in as softly as possible don’t make a noise! Arc your way in! Take your time don’t rush your stroke! We just sat and looked at the raw power this massive paw just swiping boulders out of its way! Camera at the ready! The bear notices us looks at us with no care in the world and continues looking for food! After about ten minutes the bear just saunters back into the forest! The smiles on everyone’s’ faces! Back to paddling we still have a couple of hours to go! The glee and joy is indescribable!

You forgot about the whales didn’t you? Well so did we until they breached about 50 foot away from us! The noise they make is like music! Catch your breath! Take in everything! This is memories! This is beauty, poetry and music rolled into one! Sitting on a washed up log for dinner looking out – this was a day of days! Today was a great day!


Why paddle the Inside Passage? To dance along the edge of control and disaster. Learning the skills and discipline to take on these environments and test yourself, to push further than you thought you could. To work as team, having each other’s back when the going gets tough. It is days like this, that fulfils that desire to achieve in the harshest environments.


The team has loved me unconditionally when I didn’t love myself, they gave me a place I could call home, they have navigated me through the sorrow, the heartache and my past! They gave me my voice back! I am a better man than I was yesterday!’