Sea Kayaking Information, Opinions, Trip Reports, Book Reviews & Links
About Me

If you read my welcome page, you already know that I’m 69 years old, am married and have been paddling since 1994.  My age often makes me the oldest person in any group I paddle with, though not always.  (I hope to tell you about some of these older paddlers in future blogs.) To keep up, I workout all year, working in the gym two days each week and using the elliptical trainer at home the other five days.  I walk in the fresh air and paddle when its cool enough here in Florida.  I have found that this helps me get my 55 pound boat off the ground and onto the roof of my car more easily and gives me the stamina to keep up with, if not surpass the younger paddlers I travel with. 

I paddle widely, having spent time on the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and many Adirondack Mountain Lakes, as well as other lakes throughout New York State.  In addition, I try to rent boats and paddle whenever I can on non-paddling vacations.  As a result, I have spent time on the water in Washington, California, Maine, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.  I have traveled with professional outfitters to Georgian Bay, Canada, Baja, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bar Harbor, Maine, and several parts of Florida.  It has also been my pleasure to participate in the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Albany to Manhattan Great Hudson River Paddles and Hudson River Rambles.

When I see an interest and have the opportunity, I share my paddling with my large family.  I am father to five, stepfather to three and grandfather to nine.  I have particularly enjoyed camping and kayaking with grandchildren Elliot and Emma, and Danah, Gabrielle and Hannah.  I’m looking forward to more of this as the kids get older and the youngest ones, Zach and Christopher, are able to participate too. 

I am fortunate that Lisa, my wife enjoys paddling as well.  She has her own boat, an Impex Montauk and a lightweight carbon fiber paddle that cost more than my first car!  Lisa only paddles occasionally however.  Lisa and I have paddled together in Baja, Maine, Costa Rica and many Adirondack rivers and lakes. 

      We have now moved from Troy, New York to the Treasure Coast; Sebastian, Florida.  We are exploring new paddling venues here.

Don & Lisa



Name: Don Yackel

Gender: Male

Age: 69

Birthday: February 2nd

Status: Married

Hometown: Sebastian, Florida

Paddling Since: 1994

Boat: Impex Curituck

Stats: Fiberglass,  L: 17 ft, W: 21.5 in, D: 13 in , Wt: 55 lbs.


Industry: Education

Occupation: Administration, Retired

Location: Rochester & Albany, NY


Email contact:



About Me...

Lisa at Indian Lake in the Adirondack Mountains

Why Yackman?

    Where did this name (YackMan) come from?  It’s not hard to figure out.  My last name ( Yackel, with a long “a” sound “Yake-l ) is often mispronounced with a short “a” sound (Yack-l).  That, combined with my love of kayaking (ka-YAK-ing) gives me the nickname YackMan.

About my Photos and Videos:

  1. 1.Photos: If I’m in them, someone else took them and sent them to me. All of my photos are digital, taken with a Pentax Optio waterproof camera, a Sanyo Xacti waterproof camera, or a Nikon D50 (NOTE: The D50 has been replaced by the D40).

  1. 2.Videos: All videos on this site were compressed for web use using Quicktime.  Quicktime for the Mac or PC can be downloaded at no cost by following this link - Quicktime PlayerVideos were shot using a Pentax Optio, Sanyo Xacti or Oregon Scientific helmet cam.  These cameras are waterproof.  The Xacti and Oregon Scientific can take videos underwater.  The graphic below will link you to information on these fine cameras.