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Paddling My Own Canoe: A Solo Adventure on the Coast of Molokai‘i

Paddling My Own Canoe: A Solo Adventure on the Coast of Molokai‘i

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In 1958, while flying from one island to another, Audrey Sutherland saw the remote and roadless northeast side of Moloka‘i with its spectacular sea cliffs and waterfalls. Always an adventurer, she decided that she must find a way to explore this then inaccessible area. After much study, she determined that the best way for her to navigate these treacherous sea walls was to swim while towing a raft, then paddling a kayak. This is the story of Sutherland fulfilling her dream, of planning then implementing, of launching and advancing, of retreating and reconnoitering, of challenge and success. This is the story of the trip that convinced her that personal growth comes when one goes simple, goes solo, goes now.

This commemorative edition of the book originally published in 1978, along with companion book Paddling North (Patagonia, 2018), celebrates Sutherland’s legacy and continuing inspiration for women and adventurers everywhere.


Audrey Sutherland was known for her solo wilderness expeditions and admired for her philosophy, “Go simple, go solo, go now,” which she lived fully until age 94. Growing up in California and then moving to Hawai‘i in 1952, Audrey raised her 4 children as a single mom and supported her family by working as a school counselor. In 1962, she decided to explore the coast of Moloka‘i by swimming it while towing a raft with supplies, the first of countless solo adventures by this remarkable woman.


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