Live Life!

Live your life to the FULLEST. Susie did.

Susie Lantz (left) and Helen (right) on a beach on the Oregon coast

Canmore resident Susanna Lantz was skiing with a friend in an area known as Chickadee Pass, on the south side of the Great Divide bordering Banff and Kootenay national parks, when an avalanche swept down the side of the mountain around 4 p.m. prematurely ending the life of this wonderful 28 year.

Helen and I met Susie a couple of years ago on our Oregon coast bike trip. She was this amazingly energetic and enthusiastic spark who was living her dream by cycling from Vancouver to the tip of South America. We spent a day with her, then we split off and wished her the best of luck on her adventure.

Her unfortunate story made the front page of the Calgary Herald and Helen recognized her face, and I recognized her name. A few minutes spent digging through photo archives of our Oregon trip resulted in a sad confirmation - it was indeed Susie.

Susie - your positive attitude, energy, enthusiasm and zest for life was infectious, and you will be missed.


Ocean WiTHiN progress:

I am happy to report that we have contracted a naval architect to produce working drawings of Ocean WiTHiN. Stuart Bloomfield from Bloomfield Innovations will be talking the basic dimensions from my overview and drafting plans that will go to a composite fabricator for construction. I am considering a few builders now.


If we can negotiate an early departure from the Canary Islands with the Spanish coastguard of November 1, then I will be crossing the Atlantic with skipper Nick Dwyer from Around-in-ten as my safety boat. Working back from there - this is what the schedule looks like:

November 1st - DEPARTURE from La Gomera Spain
Oct 15th - WiTHiN and I arrive in La Gomera
(two weeks to get WiTHiN ready)
Sept 1 - deliver WiTHiN (fully provisioned and equipped) to the
container ship on the coast for 6 week
transport to Canary Islands
Aug - second sea trials
July - first sea trials
June 30 - WiTHiN ready for sea trials (equipment, electrics,
hardware - everything installed and ready to go)
June 1 - WiTHiN bare-boat built
March 1 to 7 - plans delivered to boat builder

I made cardboard cutouts of the various Lewmar port lights and sat in the mock-up to figure out exactly where these windows should be placed. I plotted a horizon line on the coroplast canopy and shifted my view by moving my head forward, back, right and left such that I could get a full 360 degree view around me to watch for other ships.


I am still planning on another attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat distance record for early June. As I have said before, this intermediate challenge motivates me to start taking my training seriously now! After the 24 hour event, I will be perfectly situated to start some seriously long distance training which will get me ready for the ocean crossing.

My long rides have been inside in the little red coroplast playhouse trainer, but the weather here has been marginal for outside rides, so I cleaned up the M5, and in an hour I'll be heading out for my 2nd 5-hour outside ride with my buddy Dr. Chad Anker who is training for Ironman Coeurdalene.


As you know, I will be building a brand new human powered boat for the 24 hour 'Pedal vs Paddle' challenge. This is Rick Willoughby's tried and tested design, so there shouldn't be much time consuming R & D involved in this build. Jarrett Johnson is CNC machining the hull and outriggers out of solid foam right now. They should be finished next week. Ben and myself and whoever else we can grab to help will be adding carbon and Kevlar to the foam hulls. Then a drive frame and seat goes on, rudder, prop and I'm done - ready for testing in the nearest unfrozen lake to Calgary.

I had purchased a bunch of Chrome Alloy to fabricate the drive frame with, but decided to build it out of aluminum instead. I've welded aluminum before, but I lost faith in my welding skills when a simple bracket I made failed at the weld. I thought I would give it another try.

I welded up a test join -two tubes about the same wall thickness as the tubing that I planned to build the frame out of. The welding very surprisingly well and I smashed the test part with a hammer as it was held in my vice and it failed on the tube - not the weld. Good news. So I went for it.

I am VERY happy with the result. It weighs 2 pounds without any hardware, pedals, etc. My seat weighs 3 pounds. I need to add a bracket for the right angle gear box kindly provided by one of my sponsors MitrPak, a shaft, the prop (we're hopefully getting this CNC machined), aluminum frames for the seat back and outriggers and the rudder.

I am really trying to have this new boat ready for water testing in March sometime. If it tests out as expected, then I will 'pull the trigger' and officially announce the race.

In March, I also want to get back out to Tofino for another round of sea trials in the prototype WiTHiN using a keel which I still have to build.

So much to do, but I am hanging in there! Susie will be my inspiration for March.

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3 Responses to “Live Life!”

  1. # Blogger Ben

    when do my Al welding lessons start?  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Great mock-up! It helps so much to feel the space. Did you considered just to slide back over your seat (with folding back) into the sleeping area... instead of funny way of tourning around?
    Then- uh, you may wana some gymnastics to stretch-up thay body, hey?

    Take care!
    Martan, Montreal  

  3. # Blogger David Tangye

    See earlier comments. I would plan on being out at sea a *lot* in July and August!  

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