As Laura Scharle’s 40th birthday approached, she finished a remarkable milestone—kayaking around the entire Delmarva peninsula, covering an impressive 600 miles. On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Scharle completed the final leg, paddling the last 1.4 miles beneath the Chesapeake Bay bridge along the scenic shoreline of Kent Island.
Reflecting on her journey, Scharle shared, “Once I hit 300 miles, I knew I could do it.” This realization fueled her determination and propelled her forward, mile after mile, towards this inspiring accomplishment.
Scharle humbly admits that it took her a lot longer than some other paddlers who have made the same journey. Her circumnavigation took 11 years to complete. Starting with small trips of 5 miles, loading her kayak and driving to each leg of the journey, she remarked, “I’m not super tall or strong,” referring to her technique for efficiently loading and unloading her kayak from her vehicle. Scharle did manage to get stronger, paddling 17 miles in one day towards the end of her circumnavigation.
Her love for the Delmarva Peninsula shines through every aspect of her adventure. “I love the Delmarva Peninsula,” she exclaims, and includes lots of stunning photos of the Bay in her blog posts about the adventure.
When asked about her inspiration for tackling the delmarva by kayak, Scharle told a story about driving over the bridge tunnel and spotting an inviting island. In that instant, she thought, ‘It would be really cool to paddle around it.’ This thought planted the seed for an adventure that would span years and cover hundreds of miles.
Scharle’s 11-year odyssey was not just about sightseeing; it became a journey of self-discovery and resilience. Through job changes, relocations, marriage, motherhood, and personal loss, her kayak became a source of stability and self-care.
The length of her journey is a testament to her unwavering dedication despite life’s challenges. Scharle’s story is an inspiration to all, a reminder that with determination and perseverance, even the most ambitious goals can be achieved slowly.
Check out the full story of this journey on Scharle’s Blog: laurapaddlesdelmarva.com/