“A tale of an epic journey that truly captures the mystique and the complexity of Florida’s longest river. I am ready to grab my paddle to further experience the waters of our mighty St. Johns.”—Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper
“Whaley’s insights on the St. Johns River are fascinating, and he gives us all a few lessons on what to know before you launch.”—Sandy Huff, author of Paddler’s Guide to the Sunshine State
When Ray Whaley set out to accomplish his bucket-list goal of kayaking the length of the St. Johns River, it didn’t take long for him to realize he was in over his head. The longest river in Florida, stretching 310 miles between Vero Beach and Jacksonville, the St. Johns had been paddled in its entirety by only a handful of people. Whaley found himself blazing his own trail on an exciting and unexpected adventure.
In Journey of a River Walker: Paddling the St. Johns River, Whaley tells the whole story of his experience, from his preparations beforehand to the techniques he learned along the way to his daily escapades and discoveries on the water. Learning from Whaley’s recommendations, along with his mistakes and close calls, readers will gain valuable knowledge that will help them in planning their own paddling trips. Whaley’s journey also highlights the delicate ecosystem of the river and the importance of conserving its environment, raising awareness of the fragile yet critical link between humans and nature.
Ray Whaley is a retired U.S. Army helicopter pilot and a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He enjoys paddling the various waterways of the state as well as backpacking the Florida Trail and Appalachian Trail.