Kayaking the Caribbian


By - Nancy Terrell   (Nautical Scene July issue 2000)


Rob Ross and Pat Gallagher, unemployed Seattle-area dot-comers, were trying to figure out what to do after losing their jobs.   Rob, a returned Peace Corps volunteer, was looking for a way to use his skills to help people in need of safe drinking water in developing countries. His former colleague and friend, Pat, an avid kayaker, was also trying to decide what to do next, and wanted to take advantage of his unscheduled unemployment to embark on the first documented kayaking trip linking South America and North America. Rob and Pat decided to team up and use this trip to raise awareness of the global water supply crisis.  The two decided to undertake a voyage of over 2,000 miles in their kayak.  This water trip will take Rob and Pat to 13 nations and more than a hundred islands along the 'S' shaped Caribbean archipelago.  

Their mission is to raise awareness of the global water supply crisis and to raise funds for the construction of safe drinking water systems for people in developing countries.  Along the way, they hope to spread the word about this cause and share their impressions and photos. Rob and Pat hope that by making this journey, they can make people more aware of this crisis and raise funds to help people in need of safe drinking water supplies.  Some of the data that Pat gave to me was astounding.  I did not know that water-related diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, killing more people than cancer and AIDS combined. Water-related disease accounts for 80% of all sickness in the world and claims about 10 million lives each year (25,000 lives each day). It is the leading cause of death for children under five. Just think about this the next time you reach for your designer bottled agua.

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