John Gray's SeaCanoe Wins SKAL CLUB
INTERNATIONAL Ecotourism Award
SeaCanoe received the SKAL Club International Ecotourism Award for
Transportation at the 2008 SKAL World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan. In 1983,
John selected human-powered sea kayaks with which to explore tidal sea caves
and remote tropical coastlines, promoting alternative non-polluting marine
"The SKAL Award is special because we did not apply," said Gray, "but were
nominated by Andrew Wood, Skal Int'l Councilor-Thailand, thanks to feedback
from numerous SKAL members who actually experienced our trips since the
formation of John Gray's SeaCanoe in 2001."
"Our guides, many with 12 years or more seniority, are the true winners.
They capture our guests' hearts and imagination day in and day out. Guest
comments praising our guides fill my inbox" said Caveman. "The SKAL award
highlights their ongoing professionalism, including the awards from our old
company, which date back 13 years."
Gray works from a broad-based environmental commitment. The University of
Leeds recently published his case study about Puerto Princesa, Palawan, The
Philippines. John lectures at Prince of Songkla University - Phuket, writes
feature stories/photos, promotes conservation in on-going video appearances,
writes a Phuket Gazette environmental column - and constantly collects
marine rubbish from his kayak.
In 1976, the environmentalist co-founded and named "Keep The Country
COUNTRY", a Honolulu, Hawai'i NGO promoting citizen-based planning on
O'ahu's North Shore.
In 1983, he founded Natural History By Sea Kayak, in Hawai'i, to promote
nature conservation via local enfranchisement. Over the next five years Gray
explored Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, Rarotonga, Vanuatu and New Caledonia by sea
kayak. He then looked to Asia. Thailand's official timeline lists "1989 -
John Gray formed SeaCanoe, an ecotourism venture, to show tourists the
southwestern limestone caves known as hongs." Gray explored Vietnam's Halong
Bay in 1992 and Palawan, Philippines in 1995.
For his 25 Year Anniversary, the lifelong waterman plans expeditions to most
countries in which he pioneered commercial sea kayaking with local people.
The schedule starts with a Phang Nga Bay Clean-up trip on Caveman's 64th
Birthday - January 14, 2009. Reunion Island is the one new "wild card". Gray
says "It's time for the Indian Ocean."
Awards are nothing new to the Caveman. 1961 brought the Junior Achievement
President of the Year and New York Stock Exchange Annual Report awards.
Caveman conceived and hosted the documentary "Moloka'i's Forgotten Frontier"
produced by Honolulu news anchor Gary Sprinkle and videographer Mike May.
The show won a 1985 Regional EMMY and a TEDDY from the US National Outdoor
Writers Council for Best Environmental Education Production. In Thailand,
Gray's former experimental ecotourism company won six major awards in five