The Panama Paddle Expedition
A record breaking prone paddleboarding journey in support of ecological exploration and preservation in Panama
Hi, we're a team of passionate conservationists, paddleboarders and surfers. We're combining these passions and making a record breaking 1000km paddle along the length of Panama to raise funds and awareness of conservation issues affecting Panama. We're also collecting our own ecological data as we go in the hope that this will contribute to environmental protection of the areas we're exploring and the unique species they contain. Our aims are to:
Set a new long distance world record for prone paddleboarding, not a small feat for a three thousand year old sport! And discover unridden surf spots along the way.
Search for undiscovered populations of Antillean manatee, Trichechus manatus ssp. manatus (yes I did mean to write manatus twice!) as we go.
Determine the status of and hopefully thereafter take the first photos of a critically endangered Salamander, Oedipina maritima endemic to Isla Escudo de Veraguas.
To record this journey sharing with the world images of a seldom visited and largely unexplored coastline.
To fundraise as we travel for the environmental charity Seacology who run human-environment linked conservation projects in coastal Panama. www.seacology.com
Through the adventure we hope to positively engage the public with conservation action not just in Panama but in the wider context of acknowledging our social responsibility to preserve these places of exquisite beauty and intrigue for future generations to enjoy. This is more important today than ever.
We sincerely hope that in part as a consequence of the data we collect greater environmental protection can be attributed to this land while it is wild and before commercial or other human interests compete with conservation and species preservation. This pre-emptive action for conservation can be particularly effective.
Here are a few Manatee, affectionately known to many as sea cows. At up to 13 feet long and weighing 590kg you would think we couldn't miss them. They're an endangered species of herbivore that would you believe are thought to have given rise to the mermaid myth. They exclusively inhabit the Caribbean seaboard and fewer than 2,500 mature individuals remain in the wild and this number is decreasing.
What We Need & What You Get
We've invested all the funds we have into launching this expedition and now we need you to help get us on the starting line before the wet season begins and scuppers our chances of finding these manatee. We're also looking to record our experiences for a documentary, with our capacity to do this dependent on how successful this campaign is.
Where are we short:
Cash to pay for local support vessels, particularly vital as we cannot explore unchartered rivers for manatee without them. And for the latter stages of our trip as we island hop home through the Perlas Archipelago during the Humpback whale migration. For this we would also like to pay for a cameraman.
Money to purchase documentary equipment, EOS 60D, GoPro's, slider, tripod, audio.We'd love to do this justice and record the journey on the equipment that is suited to the adventure rather than that which we can gather.
A reservoir of funds to pay for unforeseen charges, import fees, park access and film fees and later funds for editing our footage.
What do I win I hear you say?
Well the great thing is, we're offering you some incredible original perks in return for your support, including the WORLD'S FIRST ever photographs of Oedipina maritima (fingers crossed for this one!), the chance to NAME YOUR VERY OWN SURF SPOT: we'll even send you the GPS co-ordinates to your PRIVATE SURF PARADISE and maybe one day you'll get to go, exclusive early access to a bank of images of a coastline that produces zero accurate hits on a google image search, a chance to grafitti a message onto our expedition boards: I love you Barbara, good luck, paddle harder, this kind of thing, and a sneak preview of our documentary to boot!
Other Ways You Can Help
Share, share, share our page. The more people who know about the trip, the more successful it will be in terms of the conservation objectives we're trying to achieve. And a successful campaign means that the work we're doing has the greatest chance of success.
So please make some noise and share, here: using Indiegogo sharing tools, there: to schools who might like to follow our progress, clubs, communities and everywhere. Nature thanks you for it.
Arron, Rob, Max