About the Author
Reinhard Zollitsch was born in 1939 in Kiel, Germany. He survived 6 years
of war as a small kid, for which he is very thankful. He studied English and Philosophy at the University of Kiel. After spending a semester in England,
he decided to go to America for a year (1962-63) as a graduate assistant.
He received his M.A. in English from the University of Maine in 1964, and
married Nancy Adriance Miles that same year. They have four children.
Reinhard also earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in German from the University of Massachusetts (1968 and 1971) and returned to teaching at the University of Maine in 1969. In Sept. 2004, after 42 years of teaching, he retired.
In his high school and student years in Germany, Reinhard was a national gymnast, which came to an abrupt end when he broke his Achilles tendon.
He then picked up rowing and ocean sailing. He also worked on freighters on
the Baltic and North Sea, and hitched a ride to the US on a coal freighter to Norfolk, VA.
He did not canoe till he built his own in 1974, and started canoe camping with
the family in Maine. That same year he also began sailing the Maine coast in
his 22’ sailboat. In 1977 he had the chance to sail a two-masted schooner
across the Atlantic as a watch captain, and also got involved in whitewater and marathon kayak racing. But after seven years he switched to racing canoes because of wrist problems.
After a serious operation in September of 1994, he decided he needed
something new, and he went back to the ocean in a minimal boat (a 17’ Kruger Sea Wind sea canoe with rudder and spray skirt) on long, solo, unassisted trips along the shores of New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces.
The articles in this website are basically a collection of trip reports of his
almost 5000-mile circumnavigation of that area, plus a few extra thematically related articles. The ocean trips described above were thus done between age 57 to 77, and would not have been possible without the unwavering support of his
wife Nancy, who was willing to drive him to all those distant put-ins and
take-outs, often many hundreds of miles away from Orono, Maine.
Thanks, Nancy! You are a gem.
Happy reading and happy canoeing.
Enjoy and be safe.
Almost daily canoeing at home with my dogs - until freeze-up.
With "Big Boy", 1994-2008:
...and since 2009 with "Willoughby":
Click here to see a story about Reinhard via Bill Green's Maine (WCSH):
"Reinhard Zollitsch Remains An Adventurer"
Click here to read an article about Reinhard from the Bangor Daily News:
"Orono man reflects on solo canoe adventures"