Brothers plan kayak trip of a lifetime

Two Victoria-based brothers are taking their love of adventure to a new extreme, kayaking from Brazil to Florida over the next seven months.

While many freshly christened university graduates escape the ivory tower for a beach, lake or backpacking trip, two Victoria-based brothers are taking their love of adventure to a new extreme, kayaking from Brazil to Florida over the next seven months.

Graham and Russell Henry left for Belém, Brazil on June 10 and won’t be back on North American soil until January.

“I think the biggest hassle has been getting all of our stuff there,” said Russell, 21, before the brothers’ departure.

The seed was planted when Russell was tasked with planning an expedition for his adventure sports certificate class through Thompson Rivers University last year.

Thanks to their father’s love of sea kayaking, the brothers were already naturals on the water.

“We had custom paddles at the age of five,” Russell said.

Early experiences at the YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird in Sooke solidified a love for the outdoors, starting the Henrys on a path that has brought them to their current 6,500-kilometre trek through Amazonian wilderness, heat, isolation and open ocean crossings.

“The biggest and scariest factor is the human factor,” said Graham, 22. “You can pitch a tent on a shoreline, but you don’t know what the next person you see will do or how they’ll react.”

The trip begins at the mouth of the Amazon River, continuing along the South American coastline to Venezuela, where the Henrys don’t expect to hit civilization for up to two weeks.

From there, the brothers turn their sea kayaks, donated by Current Designs, north to island-hop across the Caribbean Sea towards Florida.

When they return, the Henrys plan to use their experience to inspire elementary and high school students to dream big and embrace the outdoors.

“We want to take this trip as a speaking tour across Western Canada to get kids thinking outside the box,” Graham said, adding youth today need to free themselves of an “increasingly bubble-wrapped world.”

To read more about the Henrys’ adventure and follow updates along the way, visit


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Metchosin, Colwood hit with morning power outage

Monday morning outage impacts more than 2,600 BC Hydro customers

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Sooke Meals on Wheels seeks volunteers to replace critical roles

Annual general meeting, volunteer appreciation dinner is July 26

Colwood library reopens for public use July 18

Limited services offered Monday through Saturday

Habitat for Humanity launches Victoria family challenge fundraising event

The Road To Home fundraiser set to be an activity-filled day

‘It’s really frustrating’: B.C. Indigenous groups share impact of border closures

The closures have resulted in disputes between Indigenous groups and local businesses

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Most Read