From Spirit Forest to the Dragons Mouth

Hi, my name is Garrett Cooper and I am leading a canoe expedition with Matthew Smith down the entire Srepok River and over 400 miles of the Mekong River. In December we will get on the water in Vietnam and paddle into the remote Ratanakiri Province of Cambodia and through the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary. When the Srepok flows into the Mekong River at Stung Treng, we will paddle the entire length of the country from north to south before crossing back into Vietnam and into the Mekong Delta. Eventually we will reach the South China Sea where we will have to paddle up the coast to reach Vũng Tàu which marks the end of the expedition.

We will be on the water for 40-50 days and paddle approximately 750 miles of river from rapids and portages around waterfalls in the upper section, to remote jungle and animist tribal areas along the Srepok, to one of the major rivers of the world, and finally on to the ocean.

The expedition for its own sake, however exciting, isn't enough for me anymore. This time I want to contribute something back to the people who have shown me kindness on previous travels so many times before. I will be teaching a basic CPR lesson in several villages along the way and we will hope to be teaching basic first aid classes as well.

I have already spent some time in Cambodia, including my last expedition, solo down the Mekong in a native wooden boat. Along the way I visited a few villages and I believe the people will appreciate this kind of training and are receptive enough for me to provide these classes which they will otherwise likely never have. The life of a fisherman is dangerous; there are some pretty serious entanglement issues with their nets and of course there are no PFDs. What I didn't know until I started research for this expedition is that every day on average 6 children drown in Cambodia, and 32 drown in Vietnam (Info from swimsafe.org). I don't know if the training we can provide will ever save a life, but it might, and that is what we hope for.

We are currently seeking sponsorship and other support for this expedition and we are grateful to the companies who have shown their support in the form of gear, but we still need funding to buy CPR teaching material such as the American Heart Association videos, manikins, translation services to translate teaching material into Khmer, a tablet or other device to show videos on, plane tickets, visas, in country costs, travel insurance, and other odds and ends. We have already put a considerable amount of time and money into preparing for this expedition and the remaining cost exceeds our goal of $3000, but this amount would ensure that funds are available for everything we need to safely and successfully complete this expedition.

Every little bit gets us closer to our goal, but if you can't help financially you can pass the word on and let people know what we are doing. The more people who know about this the more likely we are to meet our funding goals.

We have a website currently under construction which will have a blog, pictures, and a link to my SPOT satellite tracker. You are all invited to track our progress and follow our blog. I will post the link when it is available.

Thank you for your interest in our expedition and I wish you all the best,
Garrett Cooper
  • Kathy Brewin 
    • $150 
    • 89 mos
  • Aaron Stone 
    • $25 
    • 91 mos
  • Dale Esther Kurtz 
    • $150 
    • 91 mos
  • Myra Clodius 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 91 mos
  • carol dillenburg 
    • $25 
    • 91 mos
See all

Organizer

Garrett Cooper 
Organizer
Orlando, FL
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