Kayaking is one of the activities that gives Chris Livorno immense joy.
That she paddles at Blackburn Challenge or exploring the waters of Alaska, Livorno said she found the sport “one of the loves of my life”. The Gloucester resident said what she loves about it is “pure physicality”.
Livorno said kayaking was a sweet gift for her as she suffered slow and long loss of eyesight due to degenerative eye disease.
So when his two-seater yellow sea kayak, affectionately named Sunny, was stolen from Oaks Cove on Rocky Neck earlier this week, it hit Livorno hard.
âWhat I love about kayaking is that because it’s a double kayak there is a lot of camaraderie,â said Livorno. “I can hear the sounds of the sea and the birds, the water flowing over the kayak and even the passing boats.”
âI miss seeing them, but I like to share these moments and ask my partners what they see around them,â she added.
âThe loss has been so huge,â she said of the latter. “I am deeply sad that this activity was stolen from me and I really don’t know when I can replace it.”
As her story circulated on Facebook, Livorno discovered that an entire community had come to help her locate her beloved Sunny.
“I was blown away by the kindness shown to me,” she said, explaining that people went out on boats to look for the lost kayak, some offered to donate money and money. gift cards from local outdoor recreation stores, and others have agreed to fly drones into the area to provide an aerial view.
The loss of Sunny even sparked the interest of West Newbury kayaker Matthew MacKenzie of River Rock Excursions. He graciously led a fundraiser to buy a new kayak in Livorno if his old one is not located.
âI’ve been an avid kayaker for years and love the kayaking community we have here in New England,â MacKenzie wrote on his fundraising page. â(The loss of Livorno) was terrible to watch because I can’t imagine that the joy of kayaking was taken from anyone.â
He said he had located a kayak of the same make and model and was looking for donations to buy it for Livorno.
âI would love to see this happen for her and I think it’s a great cause for us to come together as a community,â he added.
Wednesday evening, GoFundMe MacKenzie’s set-up had surpassed its goal of $ 1,200, with $ 1,275 pledged.
Editor-in-Chief Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705, [email protected] or on Twitter at TayBradford97.