63-year-old embarks on year-long kayak journey solo

PORTLAND, Maine (NBC/WCSH) — A woman embarks on a year-long journey, kayaking from Maine to Guatemala.

Dr. Deborah Walters pushed off from Portland’s East End Beach Sunday, heading down the East Coast.

Her trip actually started Friday, a bit north of Portland.

The 63-year-old grandmother says she was inspired during a visit to Guatemala, where she saw the living conditions and lack of opportunities for children.

The 2,500-mile journey is a solo one — with supporters helping her out along the way.

“Well, it’s really hitting me today — a little sad. I have to say goodbye to my husband today, and it’s our wedding anniversary,” said Walters. “So, but I’m just so touched that so many people have come out to wish me well. And so many people along the coast are hosting me, and people are paddling with me. So, I’m excited.”

Walters will accept donations along the way and says they will all go to nonprofit Safe Passage, dedicated to empowering children and helping them out of poverty.

Walters is covering her own expenses for the trip.

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