31 MAY 2022
Mark Fuhrmann is looking forward to a rather unusual retirement. The 64-year-old Canadian, who has run PR and marketing businesses in Oslo, Norway, for the last 30 years, is today swapping a business suit for a wet suit as he sets out on the first ever kayak round-trip of the challenging 10,500km ‘Greater Loop’. In doing so, he aims to raise over EURO 100,000 for Doctors Without Borders and Captains Without Borders.
Fuhrmann, who undertook a 5,900km charity kayak from Oslo to Athens, Greece, in 2018, has called the expedition the ‘Reverse the Bad’ tour – a response, he says, to the current challenges facing humanity and the strains on our individual well-being.
“I’m not naïve about this,” he notes, “either in terms of the journey, or the impact I can have. I know from previous experience how demanding, physically and mentally, this will be, and what I can hope to achieve in terms of charity and awareness. That will be limited, of course, but there will be an impact… and it’s the ripple effect that can really make a difference here.”
He continues: “We need to demonstrate that we care for one another, that we are not alone, that we enrich lives by working together rather than standing apart. That’s what the charities I’m choosing to support focus on, and I’ll be spreading their message, their values, to everyone I meet along this unique, exciting odyssey through North America.”
A world first
The journey begins in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 1 June at 10:00 at HalifaxKayak, 630 Francklyn St, on the campus of the Atlantic School of Theology. Fuhrmann will progress down the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Rideau and Trent Severn Canals, prior to entering the Great Lakes and the Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers, before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. From there he'll paddle across Florida and up the Atlantic Coast back to Halifax, arriving, he hopes, early next June, one year after his departure.
“The route has been attempted before, but never completed by kayak in its entirety,” he says. “But, as anyone that knows me will attest to, I like a bit of a challenge! Especially when it’s for such good causes.”
The support for Doctors Without Borders is grounded in the fact that Fuhrmann’s late wife, Kirstin, mother of their three children (there’s now two grandchildren too), was herself a physician. The affinity with Captains Without Borders, meanwhile, comes from his professional life providing communications services to the maritime industry (most recently with Oslo-based specialist Blue-C). The charity’s main focus is on providing education scholarships and assistance to females from disadvantaged backgrounds looking to forge careers at sea.
Despite his isolation, Fuhrmann, a published writer, will be keeping supporters up to date with a regular blog and video content from this unique trip. You can follow him, and find out how to donate to the cause at www.mark-ervin.com. The original Great Loop is a popular pleasure boat voyage, with the Greater Loop adding another 3500km in distance.
“I’m looking forward to both the trip and meeting as many new and inspiring people as possible,” he concludes. “I know the huge majority, at heart, support these messages and values, and I want to be able to show them, at least in a small way, that we can act on them and try and impact positively on our communities and society in general. It’s a good time to Reverse the Bad! Say hello if you see me, or please do get in touch online!”
For more details about Mark and the Reverse the Bad tour please contact:
Christina Dupré Roos
Press manager, Blue-C
Tel: +47 93 63 44 49
Tel: +47 90 15 30 03