Canoeing and paddle boating around our island nation

Meet Chandan Lahiri and Timm Kruse, exploring the waters of our Island.

By Bernadine Rodrigo

Sri Lanka, often referred to as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is a nation surrounded by all kinds of waters which are not always used by the people living here. As well as the diverse waters which surround our country, we are also home to a massive amount of wildlife including birds, reptiles, and other creatures. Some of these creatures lie along the waters of Sri Lanka which are also adorned with picturesque sights of the land holding ages of rich history and culture.

While we as locals do go on boat rides on occasion within the country over a few canals and lagoons just for the experience of a boat rode, or go rafting on rocky waters for the thrill of a water sport, we do not necessarily try to engage in boating around the country – perhaps because we live here and get to enjoy the beautiful scenes while partaking in them, or simply because we do not have time. Nevertheless, this is exactly what Indian adventurer Chandan Lahiri and German reporter Timm Kruse began to do on 8 March.

Chandan Lahiri

Timm Kruse

Lahiri is a wilderness survival instructor and has authored few works on the subject. His adventures are not done simply, as he goes on them with a prosthetic knee. He does not believe however that a “slight” disability is enough to prevent him from living up to his goals of exploring the world in various ways. He is certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and also runs an OTA Survival School where he conducts his training. His main aim is to make sure that people living in eco-sensitive locations of the world and are well trained in order to fend for themselves should danger come knocking on their doors.

Kruse too, has been an author of about five books which are about topics such as spiritual healing and adventure. He works as a reporter at the largest television station in Europe, ZDF, a German station, and spent two years (2003-2005) doing a show about breaking free by sailing around the world.
The two became acquainted and once they discovered their mutual love of sailing decided on an adventure. They sailed across the Ganges in India last year and after it’s troublesome but triumphant success, they turned their heads towards Sri Lanka.

Gladly welcomed by Kaleidoscope Sri Lanka,, and Groove House Hostel Colombo, the duo came down to plan their adventure. OTA Survival School from India and Sea Eagle Boats from the US too will be supporting them on this expedition. Their PR partner is PR Wire.

While Lahiri will be paddling his canoe, Kruse will be using his stand-up paddle board to travel around Sri Lanka – close to the shore of course hopefully before 21 April. They began their journey from Mount Lavinia; however, they are unsure where exactly they would end up. They fear that if the currents are too strong they would not be able to successfully complete the journey. Nevertheless, they are extremely optimistic and hopeful. With Lahiri’s calm and reserved demeanor and Kruse’s outgoing personality, the two are sure to find balance in the journey, metaphorically, hopefully on the seas.

Their biggest fears they say are not those which are generally imagined. According to the outcomes of their last journey, various kinds of unpredictable things can happen. For example, Lahiri twisted his ankle while Kruse broke his wrist – which is still swollen. They assured everyone that they would not be in too much danger as they will keep close contact with their associates on land and that a tuk tuk with all their belongings will follow closeby. They hope and pray that they would be able to finish earlier than 21 April as Kruse has to catch a flight back home. They are desperate to complete the trip so that they may aid in the uplifting of the tourism industry of Sri Lanka and be of service to this country, which they find beautiful.