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Southernmost ACA Kayak Instructor

Friday, June 19, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kelsey Bracewell
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If you read our January 2020 Edition of Paddle eMagazine, you'll remember the fascinating story of Maurice Van de Maele, an ACA Kayak instructor who leads trips in remarkably scenic waters such as Alaska, the Yukon, the Northwest passage, the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, the Chilean Fjords, and Antarctica.



Since January, he has received some notable attention and been named "the Southernmost ACA Kayak Instructor." Universidad San Sebastian wrote on their website on June 18, 2020: "Maurice Van de Maele, a native of the town of Puerto Williams, was recognized in a note in Paddle eMagazine for his unusual "bipolar" career as a kayak guide in both the Arctic and Antarctic." To read Maurice's feature from the January edition of Paddle eMagazine, please click here.


The following was published by the Universidad San Sebastian, and further illustrates Maurice's unique and incredible life on the water.


Maurice Van de Maele studied and graduated from the University of San Sebastián's Engineering in Expeditions and Ecotourism in 2016. Recently, for the 140th anniversary of the founding of the American Canoe Association (ACA), he was recognized in a note within Paddle eMagazine. The ACA has more than 4,000 certified instructors worldwide.


The southern kayaker is the grandson of the renowned illustrious citizen of Valdivia (of the same name) Maurice Van de Maele, a former prisoner of war and survivor of the world famous Battle of Dunkirk; co-founder of the Austral University of Valdivia (Chile); anthropologist of the revolutionary find in Monte Verde; and owner of the “Maurice Van de Maele Historical and Anthropological Museum” on the banks of the Calle river.


The Polar Guide of the USS, has its roots in the southernmost town in the world: Puerto Williams. His first job as a guide was done at age 8, offering walks to tourists visiting his town. The fact of having been able to go to Santiago and study the career of Engineering in Expeditions and Ecotourism, feels like a dream come true.


“Paddle's editors contacted me when they saw my pictures paddling in places like Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Passage, Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Falklands, South Georgia, Chilean Fjords, and Antarctica. In a few days I wrote a short text in southern English, compiled a couple of photos and told who I am and how proud I am to be from [Puerto Williams].


He is currently a kayak instructor and boat operator for Norway's Hurtigruten, one of the world's leading exploration travel companies in both the Arctic and Antarctic, who have just built the world's first 2 hybrid ships. About his USS experience, Maurice Van de Maele indicates that through the career he was able to standardize his knowledge, obtain certified professional courses, and expand his work network.


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