Canadian, Yannick Daoudi, has woven together his professional, humanitarian, and personal lives in a way that’s led to non-stop travel and adventuring all over the planet. Professionally, Yannick’s an international educational consultant. His humanitarian volunteer work helps improve health and education in developing countries. His personal interest is exotic travel. His boat is the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Kayak.
“In 15 years of expedition travel, I’ve taken over twenty trips through forty different countries in Africa, The Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceana. I estimate I’ve traveled close to 20,000 miles, all by muscle power, on bicycles, on foot, and by kayak.
I’ve kayaked down the Gambia River in Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa. The country is largely the river and narrow strips of land on either side. You can practically see the whole country from the river! I also paddled in the ocean in Palau, an archipelago near the Philippines. I slept on desert islands and snorkeled into amazing underwater environments.
I’ve kayaked down the Vaupés River, a tributary to the Amazon River. Kayaking is the best way to travel the Amazon. I organized two expeditions in Panama — one in the ocean and the other down a river in the Darién Jungle near the border with Colombia. My boating trips last up to four weeks during which I try to rely on myself and the gear, food, and water I bring with me or can collect along the way.
I saw I needed a sturdier inflatable kayak
I chose an inflatable kayak because they’re the most transportable kind of boat. When I travel by plane, I can pack it and check it as luggage – it’s not overweight or oversized. As I never know which situations I’ll find myself in when I travel, it’s important for me to be able to carry the boat and all my gear at the same time.
I started out with an ordinary inflatable but after a few trips I saw I needed something sturdier. I compared a few brands. I read customer comments online, judging quality vs. price. Then I saw Sea Eagle’s video of someone pounding it with a claw hammer and driving a Jeep over it. I knew that Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Kayak was the one I needed.
I got Sea Eagle’s QuickSail, too. I tested it on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. It’s a lot of fun because, with the wind behind you, you can travel at higher speeds than paddling. With the sail, I just used the paddle for steering. I’ll definitely use it on my next ocean trip.
150 remote river miles in Laos
My most recent adventure was down the Nam Tha River in northern Laos with my girlfriend, Audrey Mc Mahon. We put in at Louang Namtha , and came out at Pak Tha on the Mekong River . That’s about 130 miles on the river.
We passed small local villages the entire trip and witnessed the threat to the indigenous way of life in Northern Laos because of damming and mining projects. It was such an inspiring experience to see how the locals relate to and respect their environment. They are a very spiritual people. A lot of the villages had Buddhist temples, and although their homes are basic – simple bamboo huts on stilts — their temples are very elaborate and colorful.
What struck us most was the vital importance of the river in every aspect of these people’s lives. It is their main source of food, it is where they bathe, do the laundry, wash their dishes, play, and since there are no roads to link these villages, it is also their only means of transport. Curious locals would touch my Sea Eagle 380x and couldn’t understand how light and strong it was – all they knew were the long wooden dugout canoes they have been using for generations.
Traveling day after day at the pace of the river, and camping in the jungle, you start to build a relationship with the river and at the end of such an amazing trip we felt like we were saying goodbye to a good friend.
The Sea Eagle 380x Explorer kayak is the right boat for this kind expedition. It allows me to explore hard to reach places that are rarely visited by tourists. I find that this makes the contact with the locals more authentic and the experience more enriching. I’m looking forward to my next adventure trip. Maybe I’ll go back to Africa. I’m thinking about Mozambique…
— Yannick Daoudi, adventure traveler, Sea Eagle Explorer Owner