Being part of a Guinness World Record in the Adirondacks
After having just moved to the area recently, I decided that one way to meet new people was to go out for a leisurely paddle in my kayak with 2,700+ others... at once... on the same [small] lake.
On September 12th, at 9:30 pm, I read a post about the One Square Mile of Hope that was going to be held on Fourth Lake, Inlet, New York the next day and decided to give it a go. There were two causes being promoted for this event; raising money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and to break the Guinness World record for the largest raft, held together only by hands and free floating for at least 30 seconds. The raft could only consist of canoes, kayaks and guideboats with no motorized craft touching any of them and completely floating (not run aground).
Since I was not already previously registered, I loaded up my kayak the night before around midnight and woke up at the crack of dawn to make the fairly quick trip from New Hartford to Inlet. As soon as I turned onto Route 28, I joined a caravan of cars with kayaks strapped to the roof or being pulled on trailers. We were the smart ones because soon traffic was backed up in town and I can only assume it was just as bad after everyone got off the water.
As we all arrived in Inlet and went our separate ways for registration and drop-offs, I noticed that there were not many people around yet. I registered and was told where to launch and park, and was on my way. I was nervous that the lack of people was due to the fact that the weather was on the cooler side and you could feel the rain coming. I meandered through Inlet a bit after unloading my kayak until it was time for people to start entering the designated area on the lake. After I paddled out a few yards from shore, I immediately wished I had on a few more layers, that is until I felt the water which was many degrees warmer than the air. So naturally I kept my hands in the water.
After a while of being out on the water and collecting my official sticker for the count, boats started flooding the area from all over the lakeshore. Eventually we all congregated in the middle of the lake, held on to each other's boats, raised our paddles in the air to catch the wind and drifted across the lake. Several seaplanes flew overhead to take photos and videos of the raft so they could be analyzed by Guinness World Records to obtain an official count.
I was one of the first to break away from the raft after they announced that we had drifted long enough and was able to snap the photo you see here. As of right now, we are waiting to hear the official count but the unofficial count is 2,718 boats! We even raised over $100,000 for our causes.