Saturday, January 8, 2011

John Smith - Pride of Peterborough

Here's a sort of "Celebrity Paddle" photo that perhaps many people don't know about...

Ebay Link

The pic is a rare photo of John Smith (also known as "Boshkung Bill") who in 1934, hatched the idea of paddling his canoe from Peterborough, Ontario to Peterborough, England attempting to be the first to cross the mighty Atlantic in an open canoe.

His 16 foot boat, called the Pride of Peterborough, was loaded with gear & supplies (including fresh water) and rigged with a sail. You can just see his paddle in the corner of the photo. Looks like he attempted to get across the ocean with a toothpick!

Unfortunately, not every dream ends up successful. Somewhere off the Gaspé peninsula during his 400+ km leg to Newfoundland, a typical Atlantic storm hit. Smith's body, surf-bashed canoe and supplies washed up on various beaches along the shoreline.

For more info on Smith and his ill-fated journey, check out the The Fall 2009 edition of CanoeRoots Magazine which had a brief writeup on Smith's misadventure.


Mike said...

This is a great story....I first read about this through Canoeroots article by James Raffan....but I'm glad you posted about here....interesting aspect of our canoeing history.

Lee said...

wow that's a lofty goal!!

Anonymous said...

have you seen this yet?

Murat said...

Many thanks for the link to the Martha Stewart paddle clip. Will try to post on it soon!

Anonymous said...

This is my great uncle.

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