I want to say Thank You to all who have made this amazing journey possible!
First and foremost, my Friend Angela for being my hero and my inspriration. She is the most honest and real person I have ever met and I truely believe that God is using her to inspire those around her! Her blog is so real and raw, read it if you dare!! Angela’s Not So Boring Life Thanks to Angela for snapping some amazing photos that day as well as making sure i was eating and staying hydrated!
If it weren’t for my videographer Drew Little we would not have captured the footage of my almost two our journey with Larry the Minke Whale. His footage has been plastered all over the world, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, just to name a few and it seems he does not get credit so I want to make sure everyone knows DREW IS THE MAN!!
My amazing brother-in-law Mike Penjoyan for watching my two nieces so that my sister could be on the boat with me during this journey!
My sister, Jenny Penjoyan, for putting up with me all our lives and for always taking such good care of me. She stepped in to be a part of my support crew after the loss of my buddy Steve – she knew I’d need the help. She also is responsible for some fantastic photos from my “date” with Larry. We have started a blog: Larry The Whale we are going to try and keep Larry’s story going so that we can do what we can to make a difference in his world since he has made a difference in ours!!
If it weren’t for Larry the Minke whale I truly believe we would not have raised the money we have! To find out more about Larry’s kind Click here. There are only 500-600 Minke’s off the west coast of the United States. There are 3x as many Blues and 4x as many Humpbacks and Gray’s. Apparently the Japanese have been slaughtering the Minke’s off the coast of Antarctica at a disturbing rate! If you haven’t yet seen the Academy Award winning Best Feature Documentary THE COVE about the mass killings that are happening, please watch if you can stomach it, and join me in doing something to make a difference.
Crow’s Nest Yachts – Ray Hsieh [pronounced Shay] was a God send. My original escort boat fell through just 5 days prior to my paddle. On Wednesday, March 24th, I cold-called Crow’s Nest Yachts and talked with Eliza Riedel and Lianne Blach, next thing I knew I had the owner’s cousin calling me telling me that they had a boat and they weren’t even going to let us pay for gas – “No Worries”! Ray even sacrificed a majority of his daughter’s birthday March 28th to drive super slow for 40 miles to guide and protect me along the way! Thank You Ray and the entire crew at Crow’s Nest Yachts! The world needs more people like you in it!
Sport Performance Institute – Big thank you to JT, Mike, & the boys for helping to rehab my foot and getting me physically and mentally ready for this big paddle!
Claudia “Sparky” Chapel – for the pre and post body work when my body was in knots!
BARK PADDLEBOARDS – for the amazing 14 foot board that was so fast and so stable (and apparently so attractive to Minke Whales). Joe and Charlie you guys are the best! Thank You!!
KIALOA PADDLES – Dave and Meg Chun and the rest of the Kialoa Paddle crew up in Bend, Oregon for making such amazing paddles and for supporting Steve and me with paddles from the very beginning! The Pipes was amazing for this crossing! I think Larry liked the sparkly green! 🙂
SKINS – For providing me with the awesome 4 way compression pants and top. The Skins helped increase my circulation and blood throughout my body which really helped to decrease my lactic acid build up! They helped regulate my body temperature and they really helped post paddle with recovery! I wore skins all week, even slept in them! Thanks Greg Hemphill and the SKINS crew!
EMERGEN-C PINK – For keeping me hydrated and for financing my trip to Catalina! What you do for Keep A Breast is really special.
KEEP A BREAST – For the amazing work you do with Breast Cancer Awareness and for the encouragement you gave me!
BOARDING FOR BREAST CANCER – for all the hard work you do in outreach and education to help fight Breast Cancer.
H2O Audio – I will never forget paddling across the sheet glass ocean and watching the sunrise over the mainland while listening to worship music!
VhodR ContourHD – For providing us with amazing HD waterproof camcorder.
The SUP Spot – On March 11th due to a dissecting aortic aneurysm, I tragically lost my business partner Steve Adler. He was supposed to be my coach on the boat on March 28th. We both started Stand Up Paddling at the same time. We both were super passionate about the sport, and we had been training together for this race. Steve was one of the top racers in the 12’6 stock division of the southern California stand up paddle race series. Steve was on the boat with me the year before when i competed in the Ocean Ohana Catalina Challenge as a relay. This year on my solo journey, he was there with me in spirit! Thanks Steve! Steve leaves behind a 13 year old son Clark Adler and on April 18th we will be having a paddle out in Steve’s honor, 9am in Surfside, California. We will also be raising funds for Steve’s son’s College Fund. Clark is one of the most amazing young men I have ever met and I have no doubt in my mind that he will be going to Yale, Princeton, or Harvard! If you would like to donate to Clark Adler’s fund you can do so by sending a check made payable to Clark Adler and mail or drop it off at any Farmers & Merchant Bank.
Chris O’kieffe of Ocean Ohana Canoe’s – for allowing me to participate as a solo paddler in the Ocean Ohana Catalina Challenge which is actually a relay event. Your support has meant a lot to me and to the organizations we are able to raise funds for.
Go Pro – for the waterproof still camera’s.
Special Thanks to the folks at Grind TV for getting our story onto the front page of YAHOO! Because of the amazing story that Pete Thomas wrote and the efforts of all the crew at Grind TV including Greg Morrow and Chris Mauro we were able to raise over $100,000 in less than 24 hours! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
HUGE THANK YOU to my good friends at KURENT INC PR for all of the help in managing the PR from my end. I am so grateful! Andrea and the Kurent crew have done such a great job and have been putting in so many hours on this. The catch is that they will not take a dime. All I have to do in exchange is teach Andrea how to surf! DONE DEAL!