Kayaker Completes Volga River Paddle, Continues Descents of Longest Rivers on Each Continent

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Expedition kayaker Mark Kalch has added another milestone on his attempt to paddle the longest river on each of the seven continents. Yesterday, the Australian announced via Facebook that he had reached the Caspian Sea, completing a 71 day, 3700 km (2300 mile) descent of the Volga River in Russia – the longest in Europe. With the successful completion of this paddle, he now has finished three of the rivers, including the Amazon in South America, and the Mississippi-Missouri in North America.

Mark calls his project “7 Rivers, 7 Continents,” and has been focused on completing it for several years now. His efforts are almost entirely self funded, and his approach to these adventures is to take his time, explore the river he is on, and find great stories to share. He completed his Amazon River expedition back in 2008, and followed that up with the Mississippi River in 2012. Now, he can the Volga to his list as well.

Those three rivers are obviously epic paddles, and impressive accomplishments, but he still has some incredibly long waterways to kayak before he is finished. For instance, he still has to complete the Onyx River, which is a mere 40 km (25 miles) in length, but is located in Antarctica. He also faces the Murray-Darling River in his native Australia, which stretches for 3370 km (2904 miles). The Yangtze in Asia will cover 6300 km (3916 miles), while the Nile in Africa is 6650 (4132 miles) in length.

All of those challenges still await him, but for now, Mark is content with having completes his latest adventure on the Volga. It is quite an accomplishment to paddle any one of these rivers in a single lifetime, but he has now managed to kayak three of them. But his goal is to get all seven, and he is determined to see that mission through to the end.

 Congratulations to Mark on completing this latest leg of the 7 Rivers, 7 Continents project. He is an inspiration to us all.

Kraig Becker