Alaskan kayak adventure in e-book

Earlston's Danny Wilks on his Canadian adventure
Earlston's Danny Wilks on his Canadian adventure

A KAYAK trip from Canada to Alaska, while surviving off the land, is the subject of a new e-book.

Earlston builder Danny Wilks set off from Vancouver for the 1,100-mile journey after just four days’ experience in a kayak.

The construction worker, who turns 37 tomorrow (Friday), told us last year: “I figured I would learn on the way.”

He is still combining work with travel, having left Scotland five years ago, and is currently based in Vancouver.

He recorded his two-and-a-half-month trip on film which he posted on YouTube. And his first book, This is Me, tells the story of the hair-raising adventure following the Inside Passage, a route along the Pacific coast of North America, through the islands between south-eastern Alaska and western British Columbia in Canada, to north-western Washington state in the USA .

“Highlights were getting to Alaska, seeing a bear, getting chased by a pack of wolves from the safety of my kayak and all the great people I met on the way,” he said.

The book has been almost as much of a challenge as his kayak adventure.

He emailed us last week: “I wrote the book as a lot of people asked for it after watching the YouTube video, and friends encouraged me to do it. Writing it was a real big challenge: I had never written anything before, I actually hated writing, but the kayak trip had given me the confidence to think if I could do that I could do anything, so I gave it a shot in secret, expecting it to be really bad and probably too hard for me.

“After the first hour of writing I was hooked and loved it! Nobody was more surprised than me. Writing the book was amazing, reliving the trip and letting people see what I saw through my eyes thrilled me, as people asked questions about the trip all the time, but I could only tell them small parts.”

And the book’s reception so far has been good, he said.

“People have really liked it, with the majority saying reading it was like sitting down at a table with me having a cup of tea or a beer as I tell them the story – which I think is the best compliment I could ever receive.

“By writing the book I have truly done the unthinkable in my world and nothing is out of my grasp now.”

He hopes the book will raise money for his next adventure.

“There is a kayak trip that nobody has done yet, but because of global warming it now can be, which is to kayak the north-west passage through the Arctic. It has been done over three seasons, but never completed in one season as there is the problem of ice fields closing in. It brings up a whole new set of challenges and dangers as it is extremely remote and hostile.

“But the biggest hurdle is money, I’m not a rich playboy and worked in construction most of my life. I figure I would need around £15,000 for the trip and I’m hoping to raise the money by selling the book.”

This is Me by Danny Wilks is available on Amazon: