Happy Camper
Credit: Justine Curgenven

My daughter has good taste in outdoor films.

Bills Mason’s Song of the Paddle gets more play than SpongeBob. She prefers Disney movies like Swiss Family Robinson and Snow Dogs to Cinderella. She also loves anything from Justine Curgenven — especially Justine's latest film, Kayaking the Aleutians. This is absolutely her best film yet.

Kyla watched the movie straight-through; no snack breaks or pausing for a pee. She was mesmerized by the stunning landscape and captivated by the incredible edge-of-your-seat journey taken by Justine and her kayak partner, Sarah Outen.

The two women were the first to successfully kayak a 2,500-km section of the remote and rugged Aleutian Islands, an archipelago between Russia and Alaska. The numerous expansive crossings between the islands, struggling against fierce wind, massive swells and unknown currents made the trip almost impossible. A few bear encounters added to their anxiety as well.

What also added difficulty to the 101-day trip was that Sarah had limited kayak skills. The Aleutians were part of her around the world by human power adventure, and Justine came to Sarah’s aid to help complete her goal. The unfaltering friendship and steadfast determination is inspirational — especially for my 10-year old daughter.

I asked Kyla for her review and she said the only bad thing about the film is that they used the “D” and “H” swear word a couple times.

“I don’t blame them,” she added. “I’d swear too if I was on that trip.”

The DVD is also a great buy. It includes a 55-minute film festival version and a 70-minute Director’s Cut. There’s also bonus material — four extra films that cover sea kayaking with whales on the Bay of Fundy, a downwind storm paddle in Wales, and two short segments on surfing near Tofino, on Vancouver Island, with the Hurricane Riders. Total running time is 155 minutes. It’s shot in HD.

Justine’s Kayaking the Aleutians is a must watch for all adventure lovers — young and old.

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