1) Where are you from? Your profession (or former one, if retired)? I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. I lived and worked in Rochester, NY for 28 years and the Albany/Troy area for 17 years. I've been in Sebastian, FL now for three years. I worked as a public school educator for 42 years, including positions as elementary school teacher and principal, science and technology magnet school instructional coordinator, supervisor of PK-12 mathematics, and college professor at Nazareth College Graduate School of Education.
2) When and how did you become interested in paddling? My wife Lisa and I took a three-day wilderness trip off the coast of Maine in 1994. Neither one of us had ever been in a kayak before, but we were immediately hooked. Our story can be found under the trip reports on YackmanArchive.com.
3) Where is your favorite place to paddle? That's a hard question. These are some of my favorites: Forked Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, the Sangenay Fjord in Quebec, and Georgian Bay in Ontario. In Florida: the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail, the Peace, Wekiva, Upper Suwannee, and Withlacoochee Rivers, Arbuckle Creek, and the 10,000 Islands. What they all have in common is a wild remoteness that I find very appealing.
4) Tell us about your 'Yackman.com' web site. I started my web site in 2007. A guy named Bill Quick (KayakGuy.com) was my inspiration. I have always enjoyed playing with photography and technology. Joining those interests with my paddling adventures seemed like a natural thing to do. Changes in web hosting and web site development tools prompted me to archive the pre-2012 reports on YackmanArchive.com while developing a refreshed Yackman.com site at the original URL.
5) How many Paddle Florida trips have you gone on and to where? I've been on five trips so far: Peace River, Florida Keys Challenges 1 and 2, the Wekiva/St. Johns, and the (northern) Withlacoochee/Suwannee Rivers.
6) What keeps you coming back? The relaxed organization, great paddling destinations, and the wonderful people you meet and get to know.
7) Can you describe a particular trip 'highlight?' I found the Peace to be wild, remote, even prehistoric in its feel. I paddled much of the river alone, which I love to do. I seemed to find a new surprise or adventure around every bend.
8) What advice do you have for folks considering a Paddle Florida trip? Just do it! I have come on most of these trips alone. After the first trip, I began to know some of the folks who are 'frequent flyers.' This helped a lot. So don't be shy if you can't find anyone to tag along. Sign up and you'll have a good time. And compared to outfitter-supported trips, Paddle Florida trips are inexpensive.