About us

DOUG TAYLOR - former officer in the Canadian Forces (36 years) and manager at Osgoode Hall (7 years), retired to the Comox Valley in 2004. Can be found in my NDK Explorer HV, when not having a coffee at Rhodos or hanging out at Comox Valley Kayaks where I teach Paddle Canada courses.

JONATHAN REGGLER - Ex-British Army medical officer, became a civilian GP in the United Kingdom for 11 years then immigrated to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC, in 2003. Sea kayaking since 2004. Family physician in Courtenay.

WHERE ARE WE?

Click on the link to maps.google.com in the latest post and follow our progress.

A message sent in the evening means we have been paddling and have reached a new place. A message sent in the morning means we are staying put.

If there is no SPOT message for a few days do not panic! SPOT is new technology and a glitch or two may happen. We have loads of back-up with VHF radios and EPIRB.



Comments

Doug and Jonathan love the fact that so many of you are following their progress but they also enjoy reading your comments when they have access to the internet. The links are at the end of the Spot message for the day. To read the comments: click on the Comment link. To leave a comment: click on the Envelope. They even answer some of them!!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Acknowledgements

We have been helped, supported, sheltered, showered with hospitality and befriended by an army of people. We would like to acknowledge how grateful we are to everyone for their involvement.

First, we want to say a huge thank you to our wives, Anne Reggler and Penny Dutton. An expedition such as ours takes a lot of planning, with our consequent removal from familial duties (neither of us have touched our gardens for a very, very long time) and the weight has fallen on the shoulders of Penny and Anne. Resupplies in Sayward, Port Hardy, Winter Harbour, Tofino and Sooke relied on both our wives, sometimes with only 24 hours notice, hightailing it to the appropriate place with boxes of kit and food.

Others in our families played a major part in resupply runs or in their support, either physical or emotional. So our thanks to Doug’s son Christopher, brother Don and brothers -in-law Ron, Rob and families; and to Jonathan’s son Will and daughter Clare. Also Jonathan’s parents Mike and Daphne who thought he was a bit mad to be trying this in the first place.

Don Lockwood of Comox Valley Kayaks put us in contact with each other two years ago. Our thanks to Don for recognizing that we just might be able to make a go of this together, and for his friendship, humour and real support with kit and resupply, especially at Winter Harbour.

We had hoped that Brent Arnold would be able to join us for more of our expedition. Pressure of work in a difficult industry – logging – kept Brent, who trained with us during much of the winter, from paddling alongside us except on the first two days and the last one; but we were delighted he could join us then as he is a fine paddler who is an inspiration to both of us.

Our thanks to the following for their parts in our adventure:

Rhodos Coffee Shop especially Janice Proudfoot, Bea, Kim, John and Kelly
The many members of the Comox Paddlers who gave us such a great sendoff and escorted return
Jill Blacklock and Sharon Crowe for the laminated front page of the Comox Valley Record that they presented to us on the Puntledge as we left
Sally Atton for meeting us in her kayak and providing a fabulous fruit cake
John and Jackie Watson for their kindness and back yard campsites
Charlie and Jill from Quadra and Qualicum
Jennifer and Scott Larsen who provided the dehydrated carrot cake for our celebrations
Alice Woods and dog Maggie from the Chatham Point light house
Steve Emery and Louise Defryn of North Island Kayaks at Telegraph Cove
Pat and Jackie Kervin from Port Hardy
Curt Usherwood, Bob Gilbey, Dan Baudin and Earl Sontag who assisted us at Nissen Bight
Jay and Heather McGee and their dog Ty
Robin Rooke, Adrian Le Pitre, Ron Greene and Bruce "Pockets" for their hospitality at Winter Harbour
Kristy from the Kyuquot Market
Tom and Nancy Murphy, Dave and Diane Lewis and Dean and Geoff Johnson from Esperanza for their extraordinary hospitality
Fred Martin from Fanny Bay who was also circumnavigating the Island by kayak
Cliff and Linda Haylock and sister Marie from Bamfield for their hospitality
Fellow paddlers and friends from Ecomarine including Joan Mercier, Eric Schwartz, Lisa Blachut and Charlie Easton
David Lecovin and family paddling out of James Bay
The ladies from the Nanaimno Paddlers including Lyn Hancock, Laurie, Bonita, Gloria and Kalavati for excellent hors d'oeuvres at James Bay
Steve Davis, Jenn Erlendson, and Ziggy the dog for their excellent company and goodies at Thrasher Cove and again at James Bay on Prevost Island
Brent and Merle Middleton from Chilliwack for their appetizers and travel stories at Pirates Cove
The crew from Power to Be and their happy kayakers/campers from BC hospitals
Ken and Olga McClean for the great photos of us in Baynes Sound as we flew past
Mike Jackson and Roy Messina for their advice
Doug Alderson and John Kimantas for their excellent books and charts on expedition paddling especially around Vancouver Island
Nigel Dennis for designing and building the very fine Explorer kayaks that we paddled for over nine weeks
And finally, to those not mentioned who followed our journey through our blog and your comments there.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The last two days

Just two more days of paddling brought us back to the Comox Valley. The forecast was not as good as we had hoped and in fact was very similar to the previous day’s which had led to us staying off the water – high winds of up to 30 knots, which exceeds the windspeed in which we feel it is safe for us to paddle in our heavy fully-laden boats. However, unlike the open-ended forecast the day before, this time the meteorologists were predicting when the winds would drop. As the winds the previous day had not actually attained the predicted speeds, and as we were paddling along a shore untroubled by swell and absolutely littered with safe landing spots (unlike the north and west coasts) we decided to launch. We could always land and wait patiently for the lessening winds in the evening.

In fact, it was one of our better paddles. We were assisted by a moderate southeasterly on our backs, which never rose above about 17 knots, and we moved quickly towards Denman and Hornby Islands, which emerged then disappeared, then re-emerged periodically out of the drizzle and mist.

Interestingly, the winds reported from Chrome Island lighthouse when we were only about two miles away, and in 10-15 knot winds, were 23 knots gusting to 33 knots. We think this must have been due to the same “point effect” on winds (and waves) that we had experienced at Pachena Point.

We waved at Doug’s friends Ken and Olga McClean as we passed by their home in Deep Bay then put our heads down to complete the section taking us along most of Denman’s southwest-facing shore. The reward was an excellent Americano at the coffee hut at the Denman Island ferry terminal. This place can be highly recommended to coffee aficionados who find themselves on the island. Doug (who knows about these things, it seems) and the young woman serving us had an enthusiastic discussion about something called crema.

Whilst there our mutual friend David Davies, from Comox, turned up on his bicycle having battled against the southeasterly that had treated us so kindly. We were so busy regaling him with our experiences that we had suddenly to jump up to stop our boats from floating even though we had dragged them a fair way up the beach. The lesson, learnt more than once in our trips last year and this, is: First secure your boat.

By this time the weather had brightened, the current had turned to assist us further, and we had a really fast Denman ferry to Tree Island leg. It was a great feeling, as we rounded Denman Point, to see Royston, Courtenay, Comox and Lazo laid out in front of us. We landed near the very large Arbutus Tree, often used as a symbol for Tree Island, having completed 25.3 nautical miles in just over 7 hours of paddling. That evening I crossed from the campsite on the southern side of the island to its northern shore and washed our last supper’s dishes as the sun set and the lights in the towns twinkled. Even after a fabulous trip like ours, it is great to get home to family and familiar places.

As we prepared our kayaks for our last paddle the next morning a lone paddler snuck up on us. He was in the bay and just ten yards offshore before we noticed. An expertly executed scull-for-support with his Greenland paddle announced the arrival of Brent Arnold, our longtime paddling buddy who had paddled with us for the first two days of our trip. Brent joined us as we traveled the last six miles of our expedition. As we neared Goose Spit five other kayakers joined us: Brian Buckrell, Bruce and Wendy Calder and Ron and Sandi Ulmi from the Comox Paddlers.

Finally, nine weeks, one day and a few minutes (and 722 nautical miles) after setting out, we reached the boat ramp by Comox Valley Kayaks. Our thanks to family and friends for turning out to see our return and to Rhodos for again fuelling us through the celebrations with their terrific coffee, which goes surprisingly well alongside fizzy white wine (though not in the same container).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Qualicum Saturday, July 5th. One overnight then Comox Valley Kayaks (launch site) Sunday!! Timings TBA
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.6819
Longitude:-124.9841
Nearest Location: Courtenay, Canada
Distance: 0 km(s)
Time:07/06/2008 12:11:56 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.6819,-124.9841&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Saturday, July 5, 2008

ARRIVAL TIME

DOUG AND JONATHAN ARE PLANNING TO ARRIVE AT COMOX VALLEY KAYAKS IN COURTENAY AT NOON ON SUNDAY JUNE 6TH. THEY WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEIR FRIENDS THERE TOO!!!

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Qualicum Saturday, July 5th. One overnight then Comox Valley Kayaks (launch site) Sunday!! Timings TBA
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.6182
Longitude:-124.8509
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/05/2008 18:26:25 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.6182,-124.8509&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, July 4, 2008

Qualicum Beach

An unexpected weather day in Qualicum Beach has given us the opportunity to bring the blog up-to-date.

The part of our journey taking us around the southern tip of the Island had always been one that we felt was potentially going to be difficult because of the lack of campsites and places to stop. The stretch from Sooke to Discovery Island is fairly long and yet there is only one place that we know of to stay overnight. Victoria, though attractive, would add logistical difficulties and although we are really grateful to all those friends who offered shelter, none of the multimillionaires with oceanside properties in the area contacted us.

So we opted to paddle to Pedder Bay marina to set ourselves up for the hop to Discovery Island. We hoped that we would be helped by the flood to get past Esquimalt and Victoria and indeed we were. We whizzed past both although we had to keep a careful eye out for other water traffic. Having marveled at the lack of other marine users on most of the west coast, barring the little flotilla of sport fisherfolk outside Port Renfrew, the bay outside Victoria and the airspace above it was teeming with vessels and floatplanes. Some pretty fast-moving stuff, too. We also remarked on the warm wind on our faces – the first time we had had this since the start of the journey in early May.

We made such good progress that we decided to press on to D’Arcy Island. Neither of us had put the next chart into our on-deck waterproof chart cases but the bottom half of D’Arcy, a small island, was clearly marked on the chart we were using and a welcoming land mass appeared in the “right” place as we rounded one of the points so we paddled towards it. Unease set in after a few miles and our lack of progress towards the island. A light on a rock failed to materialize on our left as promised by our charts. I interrogated my GPS, which has mapping, though I prefer the “bigger picture” available from paper charts. The rock was actually half a mile to our right – we were paddling just a few degrees to the left of our intended direction, the sort of difference which one tends to put down to the bobbing of the bow (and the on-deck compass) from right to left during the natural motion of the boat. We had been heading towards James Island, a larger island further off. D’Arcy Island was actually camouflaged by a larger island behind it, obscuring its western and eastern shores. This was another lesson relearned; that charts work but you need the whole area around your destination. It is not that we had actually disregarded our charts – we had simply made much better progress than we had hoped for and had basically paddled to the edge of the chart in front of us (the next was buried deep in our hatches). Had we had the area beyond our destination on the chart we were using, we would not have made the mistake. Fortunately we paddled no more than an extra mile although we were certainly tired (the flood had also turned to an ebb against us for the last few miles) when we reached D’Arcy.

D’Arcy is a nice little island with a well-maintained campground and decent tent pads. It is the site of the leper colony created by the BC government to house the mainly oriental leper victims in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They were deposited there and received no medical treatment. A supply ship visited once every three months. Not BC’s finest hour.

From D’Arcy we pressed north until we reached Prevost Island. We decided that we would spend a day there. We paddled along Sidney Island, both of us saying that we would like to return for a proper exploration of the area. It looks like a great destination for relaxing paddles and stops on a beautiful sandy spit at the north of the island.

We stopped at the very tip of the spit to take bearings (determined not to aim at the wrong island two days in a row) and as we did so heard the excited voice of Jenn Erlendson asking “What are the chances?”, as she came across the beach towards us. We had met Jenn and her friend Steve Davis at Thrasher Cove the week before. It was marvellous to see her again although we were a tad disappointed by the lack of McVitie’s chocolate digestive cookies this time.

The paddle to Prevost Island from Sidney Island was harder than we expected. We should have had the benefit of the flood but there was a reasonable back eddy in the whole of the Moresby Channel and also in the large area north of Beaver Point and south of the Channel Islands. We also had to cope with a very large amount of holiday traffic and more ferries in one day than we had seen in the whole of the last month. As Doug said, “These are the most dangerous waters we have paddled!”.

At Prevost Island, quite by coincidence David Lecovin, paddling buddy and fellow Explorer user, was there with some of his family. It was a very pleasant surprise to see him there. We also met Lisa Blachut, an Ecomarine kayak guide and instructor, and her friend Charlie Easton. We had a number of mutual friends and acquaintances from the BC paddling community. We were also delighted to meet up again with Steve Davis; Jenn had radioed him on his boat Cavu and he anchored off the island. We spent our rest day chatting and eating with Steve and hiking to the northwesternmost point of the island with him and his dog, Ziggy.

We also met some of the ladies of the Nanaimo Paddlers, who were in the last two days of a Gulf Islands trip. An intrepid bunch who have kayaked some of the tougher bits of Vancouver Island’s coast, we were happy to share some of our experiences and ideas. Our gear and kayak outfitting was photographed extensively by Lyn Hancock, the well-known author and member of the Nanaimo group.

Passing through Dodd Narrows was a milestone for which we had to do some planning. We were in a period of large tides and consequently fast currents, so the period of slack water was going to be short. After considering our options we realized that the best solution was going to be a night at Pirates Cove on De Courcy Island (sadly bypassing the nicer campsites at Blackberry Point) so that we could make the Narrows in good time the following day. The 20+ mile push to Pirates Cove was aided by a good flood in the morning. The campground is worth avoiding. Lots of mosquitoes, plenty of raccoons, and the only place where mice damaged gear trying to get at an old candy wrapper (which should not have been where it was, however). We did meet Brent and Merle Middleton, a retired couple from Chilliwack, who told us of their mammoth cycle ride across Canada, in two installments, which we thought was a pretty major undertaking although they seemed to think it was a bit of a jaunt. The Power To Be organisation was there, too, with a group of young people from some of the BC children’s hospitals, on an extended kayak camping trip.

De Courcy Island is also remarkable for the story of “Brother XII” and his religious cult The Aquarian Foundation, which was based on the island (and Valdes Island) in the 1920s and 1930s. This charlatan managed to persuade 8000 people to give him their life savings and about 2000 of them joined him on De Courcy and Valdes.

We were up in plenty of time to have a relaxed paddle to the Narrows. This gave us time to enjoy the extraordinary sandstone structures along the western side of De Courcy Island. Erosion has worn the sandstone into remarkable shapes, with harder areas standing out in sharp latticework-relief. Large near-spherical boulders seem stuck into the sandstone like M & Ms (British = Smarties) in smooth icing sugar on the side of a cake.

Nipping through the Narrows between a line of boats passing the other way we headed up to the north-western end of Gabriola Island where we saw more strange sandstone formations and a large cormorant rookery. The cormorants nest in the erosion-excavated holes and spaces in the sandstone. The odour of bird guano is pretty pungent there. We last came across it in the caves just to the north of Port San Juan.

Finding somewhere to stay the night in the area immediately to the north of Nanaimo promised to be difficult but we did have a campsite marked just outside Nanoose Bay. As we paddled up to Southey Island it looked extremely unpromising but we managed to find a grassy ledge with enough room for two tents and two kayaks. It was also blessed with a fantastic stand of rose campion, the magenta flowers almost glowing in the early evening sun. As we set up camp a fellow kayaker arrived. AJ told us that he was four days out of Anacortes at the start of what he hoped would be a two and a half month trip covering the 1300 miles to Glacier Bay in Alaska. If AJ manages this it will be a terrific feat.

From Southey we put the boats in the water for what we hoped would be a relatively easy stage to Qualicum Beach. We were not disappointed. The wind blew up as expected, a nice friendly southeasterly that we had at our backs for the whole run. We arrived at Qualicum Beach a good hour earlier than expected. Charlie and Jill, who looked after us so kindly on Quadra right at the start of our journey, invited us into their Qualicum home too. We are very grateful for their continuing hospitality. And their extended hospitality: the wind today was forecast to (and in fact did) reach speeds that we felt it was prudent to avoid so we have remained here for an extra day. The forecast for the next two days is favourable, however, and we hope to return to Courtenay, our circumnavigation of the Island complete, on Sunday.

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.3571
Longitude:-124.435
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/04/2008 11:12:33 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.3571,-124.435&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, July 3, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.3582
Longitude:-124.4352
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/03/2008 15:16:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.3582,-124.4352&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.2761
Longitude:-124.1039
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/02/2008 16:07:03 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.2761,-124.1039&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.0943
Longitude:-123.7255
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/01/2008 15:51:10 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.0943,-123.7255&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, June 30, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.8399
Longitude:-123.3986
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/30/2008 07:17:39 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.8399,-123.3986&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, June 29, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.841
Longitude:-123.3988
Nearest Location: Saturna, Canada
Distance: 15 km(s)
Time:06/29/2008 16:34:15 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.841,-123.3988&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Saturday, June 28, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.5665
Longitude:-123.2718
Nearest Location: Saanich, Canada
Distance: 7 km(s)
Time:06/28/2008 16:30:23 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.5665,-123.2718&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, June 27, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Sooke Friday, June 27th on the last leg. Next update from the Comox Valley in about two weeks!!
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.3475
Longitude:-123.5724
Nearest Location: Metchosin, Canada
Distance: 5 km(s)
Time:06/27/2008 14:02:57 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.3475,-123.5724&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The skeg

Don Lockwood kindly sent a replacement skeg down from Comox Valley Kayaks.

He also sent instructions for its replacement, which we publish here in unedited form. Those of you who read Don's contribution in Winter Harbour will understand.

Skeg installation instructions for Doug.
1. Open the envelope being careful not to scratch the skeg.
2. Hand the skeg to either Penny or Anne.
3. Send Jonathan away to fuss with gear as Anne says he's not good at fixing things.
4. Assemble all "fixing" tools from the resupply boxes. Be sure to check each box at least twice so as not to miss something.

Directions for Penny and Anne.
1. While Doug is assembling tools grab a screw driver and replace the skeg.
2. I vote for Anne to do the assembling and Penny to supervise (much easier than jump starting a tractor)
3. Doug will be still assembling tools for a good 3 hours so I suggest you ladies go for a nice lunch.

WARNING: Failure to follow these directions will result in this project taking far too long.

Sooke update

The Tofino to Sooke leg has probably been our hardest. Many days have seen us in the boats for extended periods due either to a singular lack of beaches, or surf on the beaches available.

The first day was long, involving a 28+ nautical mile paddle from Tofino into the Broken Group, in weather that became increasingly fine as the afternoon progressed into evening. The next day was very tough. After the better weather the day before we had hoped that it might continue but it was very cold (this must be the coldest June for ages) and there was a south-easterly blowing directly in our faces as we turned away from the shore of Effingham Island and headed for Folger Island, which was on the way to Cape Beale and Pachena Bay. The marine forecast was for the wind to change to a westerly which would have given us a bit of a boost but it never happened and after 45 minutes of battling into the south-easterly we accepted the inevitable and changed direction to head in a more easterly direction towards Bamfield. If one paddles straight into a head wind and the concomitant wind waves there is an energy-sapping jarring that occurs as one crests the wave and then plunges into the trough. There is a considerable easing of effort necessary if one turns only 20 or 30 degrees away from a headwind, particularly if there are appreciable wind waves.

We did see a couple of great sea arches on Effingham, and the north coast of Diana Island, in the Deer Group, which we would not otherwise have seen had we not changed course - definitely worth a future visit.

In Bamfield we were looked after by the artist Linda Haylock and her husband Cliff Haylock, who live at the end of Bamfield Inlet, and Linda's sister Marie. Jonathan knows Linda and Cliff from cross-country skiing at Mount Washington. With only 40 minutes notice they welcomed us into their home and allowed us to de-gunge and then fed and watered us. Marie produced a wonderful vegetarian spaghetti bolognese and in the morning a fabulous breakfast. We are so grateful to all three.



Our day for rounding Cape Beale and setting ourselves up for the journey along the Juan de Fuca Strait was very memorable. In Doug’s words, “Our best viewing day” yet it was only 13 nautical miles from Bamfield to our campsite in Pachena Bay. As soon as we were out of Bamfield Inlet and heading towards Cape Beale we started coming across some great rock gardens, the kayakers’ term for rocks and channels that one can paddle around and into. The key is to time entry into channels with the movement of the swells and breaking waves.

Cape Beale has the reputation of being one of the most testing bits of the west coast, with a number of shipwrecks over the last 200 years, but, as was the case with Cape Scott, Cape Russell, and the Brooks Peninsula, we were lucky with conditions. Some decent sized boomers but rather than having to go so wide that we could not appreciate them, we were able to paddle up close and to really enjoy their power.

As we crossed Keeha Bay, before reaching Pachena Bay, we suddenly found ourselves very close to two or three (we never determined which) gray whales which swam around us for 20 minutes. Being downwind of one of them as it blew only 20 or 30 metres away, Jonathan learned first hand about cetacean halitosis. Whale breath is foul. We watched enthralled and got a couple of great photos before paddling on to Pachena Bay. We had not finished our discoveries. On the southern side of Pachena Bay, a mile or so from the beach, is a large sea arch that we spent some time investigating. We found that it actually had not only the main arch but two smaller arches leading into the main chamber. It was a great find. Continuing on our way towards the eastern end of the bay in search of a campsite we spotted a waterfall tumbling directly onto the beach. To make it a more perfect picture, a black bear wandered up to the waterfall for us.

The following day was frustrating. The wind was forecast to move to the southeast and to rise in the afternoon but we felt we had time on our side and would be able to make it to Carmanah. However, there would be few possibilities for “outs” if conditions worsened, as all of the beaches on the way would be exposed to winds coming from the south and would have surf on them. We had only been on the water for an hour and a half when it was clear that the wind was freshening much earlier than predicted and listening to the Coastguard broadcast confirmed this. A revised forecast had been issued. We were heading into a gale. We paddled back into Pachena Bay and headed for the commercial campground on the First Nations reserve, expecting to have to stay there for a day.



In fact, the gale blew through quickly and the next day we were back on the water and heading for Carmanah. We encountered strong southerlies again north of Pachena Point, and lots of clapotis, but realized that this was partly a “point” effect. Points tend to concentrate both wind and wave energy. Moving further out from points can help one escape these changes and this proved to be the case at Pachena. Once past the point we had much less wind against us and just put our heads down for the rest of the day. After nine uninterrupted hours in the boat, and a total mileage of more than 21 nautical miles we reached Carmanah.

Carmanah beach contains one of the west coast’s little oddities. For a number of years a French-Canadian woman has run the eponymous Chez Monique establishment, supplying burgers, beer and breakfast for hikers doing the West Coast Trail. A semi-permanent structure of logs and tarps, and a garden, await those who make it to the beach. Apparently they only see about four or five kayakers a year on the beach, which surprised us.

The second of our days paddling the San de Fuca Strait was the Carmanah to Port San Juan leg. The Strait is not really a paddling destination. There are some interesting geological formations but basically it is a very long straight section prone to strong winds which, to be honest, we agreed was going to be more a matter of getting done rather than enjoying enormously. Whilst this is pretty much how it worked out for us, this leg did include one of our great finds, which does not appear in any of the paddling guidebooks although we suspect it is well known to south Island paddlers. About a mile before Port San Juan is a cave complex. The middle and right hand caves, each about 50 metres from mouth to rearmost section, are joined at the back. The middle cave has a chamber wide enough for a kayak to be turned so that, having paddled down into one cave one can paddle out of the other. The colours within the caves are gorgeous, pinks and reds and greens, and the white flashes on the sides of the pelagic cormorants nesting on the walls add an additional dimension as they fly past.







We camped at Thrasher Cove, which is either the first or the last night’s stop for West Coast Trail hikers, depending on whether they tackle the trail in a northerly or southerly direction. The cove is really just a sliver of sand and must be a major part of why only a set number of hikers are allowed to set out on the trail each day. There is not much room. Whilst we were there we re-met a couple of hikers, an Ecuadoran girl and her Swiss partner with whom Doug had chatted at Pachena Bay, the other end of the trail. They had hiked the trail in three days. It takes most people five to seven. We were not surprised to learn that in Ecuador she is a mountain guide, but where a young rather slight Swiss winemaker summons up the energy to crack the Trail in three days we could not work out – “And we still had time to lie on the beaches”, they told us.

Our last two days were spent taking advantage of following seas thanks to obliging westerlies. This part of the Strait runs basically west to east, which is slightly counter-intuitive for those of us who think of the island as having a north-south lie. The same is the case in the Queen Charlotte Strait in the north, of course. The winds in the Juan De Fuca Strait tend to rise in the afternoon and we had quite a ride into our last campsite of the leg, at Jordan River. The last day the winds were less vigorous but the paddling was made more “interesting” by the fact that one of the boats lost its skeg. The skeg is usually fully lowered in following seas to improve “tracking” which is the straight-line travel of the kayak. Without the skeg down a kayak tends to veer to right or left as waves coming from behind, but slightly to one side, make the boat broach to that same side. It takes much more effort to control a skegless boat in following seas but it certainly helps in skill development. The remaining skeg was raised in sympathy and we had a testing couple of hours paddling to Sooke. There at Whiffen Spit was Penny Dutton, armed with Coca Cola and Miss Vicki’s salt and vinegar chips, our favoured first meal at re-supply. Anne and Clare Reggler arrived within moments of our beaching. The last resupply before our return to the Comox Valley was underway.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sooke

Now reached Sooke where we will stay for a couple of days with our families. Will post a proper update tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.3561
Longitude:-123.7263
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/24/2008 14:50:57 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.3561,-123.7263&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, June 23, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.4219
Longitude:-124.0548
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/23/2008 17:12:13 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.4219,-124.0548&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, June 22, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.5587
Longitude:-124.4716
Nearest Location: Midway, United States
Distance: 24 km(s)
Time:06/22/2008 19:59:27 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.5587,-124.4716&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.5588
Longitude:-124.4715
Nearest Location: Midway, United States
Distance: 24 km(s)
Time:06/22/2008 10:08:25 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.5588,-124.4715&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Saturday, June 21, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.559
Longitude:-124.4713
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/21/2008 16:03:38 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.559,-124.4713&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, June 20, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.6111
Longitude:-124.7478
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/20/2008 19:14:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.6111,-124.7478&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Confused?

Doug and Jonathan set out this morning following a favourable marine forecast for their 14-17 mile hop. They realised the winds had changed dramatically once they were out of the shelter of the bay and the marine forecast was revised. They turned back and are now staying at a commercial First Nations campsite in Pacheena Bay. The time of the Spot message and the smallest change only in their whereabouts had definitely confused me. Jonathan managed to phone home this evening which why I have a reason for the explanation.
Anne

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.7985
Longitude:-125.1266
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/19/2008 12:16:12 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.7985,-125.1266&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, June 18, 2008





OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.7878
Longitude:-125.1159
Nearest Location: Ecoole, Canada
Distance: 20 km(s)
Time:06/18/2008 18:27:18 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.7878,-125.1159&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.8155
Longitude:-125.1557
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/17/2008 17:59:02 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.8155,-125.1557&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, June 16, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Departed Tofino Monday 16 June. Next update from the Sooke in about 10 days
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:48.8863
Longitude:-125.3806
Nearest Location: Ucluelet, Canada
Distance: 14 km(s)
Time:06/16/2008 21:22:09 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=48.8863,-125.3806&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tofino

Firstly, we need to add an amendment to our Winter Harbour entry. Our thanks to our re-supply team were clearly (we entirely accept) inadequate and we are grateful to Don Lockwood for drafting a far more accurate account which we reproduce here unchanged:

“Anne Reggler and Don Lockwood risked life and limb to restock us in Winter Harbour. They battled dust, bears and very uncomfortable beds to bring us our much needed supplies. And more importantly they endured 20 hours of watching us fuss endlessly over our gear. We are eternally grateful for their support and saint like patience”.

Now to our report. For those without the time to read a long post, here is a synopsis. This is the blog entry in which Doug and Jonathan: struggle around Kwakiutl and Lawn Points - round the Brooks Peninsula during a 29 nautical mile day - find and paddle through a great sea arch that does not appear in any of the paddling books - visit an extraordinary pit toilet in the rain forest - pop into Kyuquot - spend two wonderful days in Esperanza - successfully negotiate the outside of Nootka Island – explore Yuquot and find an old totem pole in the brambles - meet another kayaker circumnavigating Vancouver Island - feast on mussels - sit out 53 knot winds - irritate sea lions without meaning to do so - discover the geological wonders of Homais Cove - enjoy the hot springs at Hot Springs Cove despite having to paddle nearly 30 miles and whale watch on the same day - tackle current, wind and clapotis off Vargas Island - reach Tofino.

*****

The Winter Harbour to Tofino leg has been our longest yet. We left Winter Harbour in murky conditions (this really has been a pretty dismal late spring, weatherwise) and paddled across Quatsino Sound, and then around Kwakiutl Point to Lawn Point. This was surprisingly hard work as we had not realized that there is an appreciable current here which was running against us at about one knot. Add in the 10 to 15 knot southerly wind blowing against us and our speed was reduced to about one and a half knots. It was rewarding, however, since because there was a low swell we were able to paddle very close to the reefs and boomers (where swell waves hit submerged rocks leading to an explosion of turbulent breaking water) which was exhilarating.

Rounding the Brooks Peninsula is one of the Vancouver Island kayaking “biggies”. We were quite nervous about it. Kayakers who approach it with a less than committed attitude can become seriously unstuck and only a couple of years ago a kayaker was lost in the seas there. Our plan was to position ourselves in a bay about halfway along the northern shore to await suitable weather for the 17 mile journey around the peninsula. This often requires kayakers to stay in their boats for six to seven hours without a break if the weather prevents landing at the only real out on the southwest facing shore between Cape Cook and Clerke Point. As we paddled towards the Brooks it became apparent, after we had already been on the water for quite a number of hours, that conditions were actually ideal that afternoon. The winds forecast had not materialized, the wind speed at Solander Island, usually 10 to 15 knots higher than elsewhere in the area, was only four knots. We decided we had to go for it. 29 nautical miles (32 Statute miles) after we had set out for a paddle of only half that distance we had done it!

We have made some great choices on the way; some planned, some accidental. Paddling from the Brooks Peninsula south we happened across the Cuttle Islets, near the Bunsby Islands, and found a great sea arch that does not appear in any of the paddling books that we have read. Because of the height of the tide at the time, we were able to paddle through it. On the same day we also saw the sea arch that actually passes through an entire island (Thomas Island). We finished that particular paddle by staying at West Coast Expeditions’ (thanks, Dave Pinel) base camp on Spring Island. No one was there yet as the season had not quite started but we were both really impressed by the camp. Our favourite part was the most extraordinary pit toilet in the rain forest, the walls built from wonderfully shaped bits of driftwood, and with a seashell mobile hanging on one side, aptly called “Thunder Grove Cathedral”. For those who knew him, Mike Simpson’s presence was everywhere.

A quick visit to Kyuquot allowed us to get a few treats at the Kyuquot Market (thanks Kristy!); water, bananas, chips (crisps to the Brits reading this) and bacon. Kyuquot consists of two communities, a Native community on the Indian Reserve on the Vancouver Island mainland to the north, and a predominantly Euro-Canadian community on Walters Island less than a mile to the south, facing the Indian Reserve. We met a young Native man working on the dockside on Walters Island. We had heard the marine forecast that day which promised a gale soon. Doug asked about the storm coming. “It has already been”, said the young man, “but our two communities have been living together for 150 years and have learnt how to communicate with each other and hopefully the weather ahead is going to be good, God willing.”

When we reached Rosa Island a couple of days later we had to choose whether to paddle on the inside or the outside of Nootka Island. Nootka has very few sheltered beaches on its outside and after our exciting day at Nissen Bight we have renewed respect for the power of surf particularly when one is paddling heavily-laden and thus less manoeuvrable boats. The weather was expected to worsen with stronger winds so we opted to go inside. The only community on the map in the immediate area is Esperanza, which we learnt later that day is a Christian mission that now tends to the needs of families and individuals in crisis. Families go there for six weeks and are helped to face and deal with their often very serious problems. The community is very integrated with the west coast population, both Native and white. When we reached Esperanza, which is on the shore opposite Nootka’s northern side, we stopped at the store hoping to help Doug satisfy his Coca Cola and chips (crisps, Brits, remember?) craving. As it was getting late, and cold, we ended up being offered accommodation for the night, which stretched into three. We were given the use of what was essentially an apartment, with comfortable beds, a kitchen, washing machine and a hot shower. We stayed longer than expected because of high winds and so tried to repay the kindness shown us (we were not allowed to pay for the accommodation although were delighted to be able to make a donation) by helping to build kitchen cabinets in one of the buildings that is being renovated. We both want to express our heartfelt thanks to the extraordinarily kind and welcoming people we met at Esperanza, especially Nancy and Tom Murphy, Hamish, TJ, Geoff Johnson, and Dave and Dianne Lewis and visiting friends and family. The latter were paying a quick visit prior to undertaking the very daunting “Great Walk” from Gold River to Tahsis.

On leaving Esperanza we decided to backtrack ten miles and, by paddling a few miles more through what Doug calls “wallowing seas”, positioned ourselves over night at Tongue Point (thanks again to Esperanza for letting us use their shelter) prior to kayaking the outside of Nootka Island. The marine forecast was favourable, offering a one day window before more high winds were expected (high winds have been a feature of this trip, giving us more no-paddling “weather days” than we had hoped). Neither of us believed that failing to go around Nootka would diminish what we are doing – this is a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, not of all the islands of BC’s coast – but it seemed a shame not to add this extra jewel in sea kayaking’s crown, if we could manage it. It was definitely worthwhile. Nootka’s outside coast makes for great paddling, particularly the north western tip at Ferrer Point, and especially the south eastern section from Bajo Point and reef to Beano Creek to Yuquot, which includes the very “interesting” water around Maquinna Point. Here, the inevitably confused seas that occur around most points are made extra-fun by the addition of lots of rocks and steep cliffs which adds masses of clapotis into the equation. Clapotis are waves that reflect back off rocks and cliffs, in the opposite direction to the incoming waves. Great stuff. We were able to make quick stops along the way at Third Beach which we shared with a very large but gratefully disinterested bear and again at Calvin Creek to visit the spectacular Crawfish Falls.

We were weathered in yet again at Yuquot which gave us the chance to explore. Yuquot is perhaps better known as Friendly Cove, and is one of BC’s most historic sites. It is where Captain James Cook became the first European to set foot on Canada’s west coast. At that time there were 1500 people in Yuquot, living in 22 long houses. Now there is only one house, the rest of the band having been “persuaded” to move to Gold River because it suited the government. Ray and his family let us use their spring to replenish our dwindling water supplies, and told us something of the history of Yuquot. Ray also directed us to the last totem pole in Yuquot. It lies slowly rotting, in the ferns and grass and brambles, about 100 feet from his home. It is exquisite, with small areas where some of the pigment is still just detectable. First Nations people believe that this is what should be allowed to happen to totem poles – it is a spiritual thing. To non-Native eyes it seemed somewhat sad that this link back to Yuquot’s more glorious past will simply turn to earth when it could be preserved. We also had time to visit the light house and a unique church where several historical events (including the meeting of Captains Vancouver and Quadra) are depicted in beautiful stained glass. They were donated by the Government of Spain. Doug also recognized the name of a former parish priest from Brantford Ontario, the Rev Tom Lobsinger OMI, who served the community of Friendly Cove in the 1950’s. Father Lobsinger was in Friendly Cove when the church was rebuilt and dedicated after burning down. His name appears on a plaque commemorating the event.

At Yuquot we met Fred Martin, who is also paddling around Vancouver Island. He started from Fanny Bay, a couple of day’s paddle south of Courtenay, some 10 days after us, but has been paddling almost every day. Fred is more of a minimalist, but seemed happy to experience our approach as we offered him stir-fried mussels followed by mussels steamed in Doug’s garlic, orange and parsley jus, within moments of him stepping out of his boat. The mussels, freshly harvested from the rocks just by our cabin, were, it must be said, delicious. The following day, weatherbound again although in glorious sunshine, the three of us ate more mussels, whilst watching the sea two miles outside the bay (which was calm) boiling in wind gusting at 53 knots. It is great to be able to eat food freshly gathered from the sea. We have also had meals of rockfish, kelp greenling and sea bass enticed onto our plates, via the frying pan, by Jonathan and his handline.

The next step promised to be one of the more difficult. The Hesquiat Peninsula is reasonably long and, like Nootka, has very few “outs” along the way. In fact, from Yuquot to Hot Springs Cove is a long stretch with very few campsites at all. One could turn north after rounding the tip of the peninsula, and enter a large bay named Hesquiat Harbour, but this involves crossing the Hesquiat Bar, a shallow stretch of water with nasty breaking waves (which we tackled last year) only to reach a campsite which is a total (there and back) of about 3 to 4 hours of extra paddling out of the way. Added to this, the winds were expected to be high (oh, really?) in the afternoon. We set off having planned a staged approach to the day, with decisions regarding each subsequent step to be made on reaching certain key positions. By doing this we reached Homais Cove, the only really protected bay on the peninsula, just a couple of miles north of the lighthouse at Estevan Point. This lighthouse is notable for being the only bit of Canadian soil attacked since 1812. In the Second World War a Japanese submarine shelled it. The pointlessness of this has led to a conspiracy theory that the Canadian government actually had the building shelled, to ginger up the country’s population.

Homais Cove is probably the most interesting bay we have been on. The geological formations, with lines of sandstone eroded to look like super-wide sidewalks (pavements, Brits, but you knew that) stretching out into the sea, sandwiched by odd pillows of a different sandstone above and an aggregated pebble and sandstone mix beneath, were fascinating.

Our entry into the Cove was also marked by an unusual encounter with some of the local wildlife. Paddling through a kelp bed (which reduces manoeuvrability and increases the risk of one’s paddle getting caught), we realized that we were nearing a sea lion colony on an island that we could not avoid approaching. We both have a healthy respect for these beasts, which are big and the most aggressive of all the sea mammals encountered on the BC coast. As we moved past the island, through a rather narrow channel, a very large sea lion surfaced about two yards ahead of Doug, who yelled at it since it was facing the opposite direction. It turned, reared up, and to avoid Doug’s boat executed an amazing back-flip, nearly but not quite missing the kayak which it clipped with a flipper. It let out a very annoyed bark and suddenly the whole colony of about twenty sea lions launched into the water and surged in our direction. Our paddling rate quickened somewhat and we beetled off at high speed. The sea lions kept up their barking for hours.

Our intention was to take a further three days to get to our next resupply point, Tofino. We anticipated a five hour, 14 to 15 mile (no breaks) paddle to Hot Springs Cove on the first day, a shorter flit to somewhere along the southern shore of Flores Island the next day and then a 14 mile trip into Tofino on the third day. As ever, the weather begged to differ. We were halfway through the first day’s foggy paddle when the 1030 a.m. marine forecast upped the ante and added in an outlook of gales about 24 hours ahead. We contemplated missing out Hot Spring Cove but anyone who has been there will know that this is not done lightly. So we steeled ourselves for another near 30 mile day and steered a more direct route to the Cove. The sea caves north of the Cove would have to wait. We would have to get to Tofino in two days.

The hot springs are heaven, especially if you have just kayaked for four hours and are facing another lengthy spell in the boat. The waterfall at the entrance to the pools is actually the hottest part, at nearly 50 degrees C. A neat way to enjoy the place is to climb down to the sea, get thoroughly chilled, and then progress up through increasingly hot pools and finish with the waterfall.

After the Cove we crossed to the southern shore of Flores Island and around into Cow Bay, a possible overnight stop. As we paddled towards the campsite we had used last year Jonathan spotted something we have been looking for in vain for more than 40 days. A thin triangle of mist, “base” uppermost, suddenly appeared over half a mile away: a gray whale!! In fact there were two. Despite the almost immediate appearance of two commercial whale watching boats, which we were concerned would scare the grays away, the whales carried on feeding, blowing three or four times before diving to feed on the molluscs and other goodies in the sand and mud of the bay. The noise they make when they blow is very eerie. A sort of “pfuuusht” followed by an almost metallic hollow echoing sound as if you are listening to noises generating within a huge cylinder.

We actually chose to end up in Whitesands Cove, more than 27 nautical miles from our starting point in Homais Cove, even though we had to dig deep to do it and put our tarps and tents up in the dark. The next day’s weather window was going to be small. Up early (0400 hours) we launched after a decent breakfast (we insist on this) and tackled the outside of Vargas Island in an intriguing mix of a 15-20 knot northwesterly crossing the flood current and variable amounts of clapotis, most notably off Hobbs Island at the north west tip of Vargas. We reached Tofino at noon, turning the corner into the kayak launch just as Anne Reggler arrived bearing a big smile and bottles of Coca Cola.

We are in Tofino two days, resupplying, cleaning kit and ourselves, drinking better coffee than we can make in the wilderness (Doug ran out of Rhodos coffee a few days earlier) and enjoying – sunshine. Once again, we are eternally grateful to Anne Reggler for her timely arrival and patience while we, once again in the words of Don Lockwood and Penny Dutton, futz endlessly with our gear. We were also surprised and delighted when good friend and paddling buddy Brent Arnold arrived and spent the day with us.

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.1539
Longitude:-125.91
Nearest Location: Tofino, Canada
Distance: 1 km(s)
Time:06/15/2008 16:04:53 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.1539,-125.91&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Saturday, June 14, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.1539
Longitude:-125.9099
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/14/2008 12:54:23 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.1539,-125.9099&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, June 13, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.1531
Longitude:-125.9104
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/13/2008 12:03:58 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.1531,-125.9104&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, June 12, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.2614
Longitude:-126.0588
Nearest Location: Ahousat, Canada
Distance: 3 km(s)
Time:06/12/2008 20:48:39 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.2614,-126.0588&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.2449
Longitude:-126.0959
Nearest Location: Ahousat, Canada
Distance: 5 km(s)
Time:06/12/2008 20:02:40 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.2449,-126.0959&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.4085
Longitude:-126.5666
Nearest Location: Estevan Point, Canada
Distance: 3 km(s)
Time:06/11/2008 12:49:47 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.4085,-126.5666&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.5937
Longitude:-126.6311
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/10/2008 07:32:09 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.5937,-126.6311&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, June 9, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.5939
Longitude:-126.6312
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/09/2008 09:26:26 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.5939,-126.6312&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, June 8, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.5934
Longitude:-126.6311
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/08/2008 18:15:24 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.5934,-126.6311&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Saturday, June 7, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.7471
Longitude:-126.9396
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/07/2008 16:05:50 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.7471,-126.9396&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, June 6, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.8722
Longitude:-126.7442
Nearest Location: Esperanza, Canada
Distance: 1 km(s)
Time:06/06/2008 10:04:19 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.8722,-126.7442&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, June 5, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.8713
Longitude:-126.742
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/05/2008 10:49:13 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.8713,-126.742&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.8722
Longitude:-126.7445
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/04/2008 17:51:03 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.8722,-126.7445&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.8276
Longitude:-126.9708
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/03/2008 18:25:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.8276,-126.9708&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, June 2, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.9841
Longitude:-127.2918
Nearest Location: Chamiss Bay, Canada
Distance: 9 km(s)
Time:06/02/2008 10:59:03 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.9841,-127.2918&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, June 1, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.984
Longitude:-127.2917
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/01/2008 15:45:20 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.984,-127.2917&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Saturday, May 31, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.0071
Longitude:-127.4178
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/31/2008 17:59:09 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.0071,-127.4178&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, May 30, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.1236
Longitude:-127.7232
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/30/2008 20:26:54 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.1236,-127.7232&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, May 29, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Winter Harbour Thursday May 29. Next update Tofino in a couple of weeks.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.3323
Longitude:-127.8722
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/29/2008 16:53:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.3323,-127.8722&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Winter Harbour

This has been an eventful and interesting leg of our trip including the milestones of the northernmost part of the island (Cape Sutil), and the feared capes of Scott and Russell.

The stay in Port Hardy had allowed us to gather more information about the stretch of paddling that we were about to face. Thanks to Pat and Jackie Kervin, and Kyook.

We had some hard paddling to get to the north of the island. The Tatnall Reef, the southern part of the Nahwitti Bar, was tough going with significant currents (only a brief slack) and daunting waves. We finished the day with a flypast by a Coastguard helicopter which seemed to be checking on our progress as he overflew us twice more, the last time being when we had made the beach at Cape Sutil. The pilot waggled the helicopter from side to side by way of greeting as he passed directly over us. It was a pretty gloomy day with low cloud and choppy seas. We were pleased to have made it but amazed that despite all our effort we had come less than nine miles.

The Cape Sutil to Nissen Bight section was very testing. The wind was not especially strong where we were but offshore there had been strong winds and this was reflected in size of the swells. We battled through the biggest seas that either of us have paddled – it is an awe-inspiring experience to look down 10 feet from the crest of a wave to the other paddler in the trough. Some of the waves were 12 to 15 feet in height. Getting off the water was always going to be one of the hardest parts of the day. We selected an allegedly sheltered cove but found when we reached it that it was rocky and definitely not sheltered because of the size of surf that day. We decided to land in Nissen Bight. The surf was very big and we both ended up being turfed out of our boats and swimming them to shore. There were four guys on the beach who helped us get our boats above the high water mark, got Doug (who was very cold) into fresh fleece and warmed us up with a very welcome cup of tea. Thanks to Curt Usherwood, Bob Gilbey, Earl Sontag and Dan Baudin who were hiking the new North Coast Trail. Curt and Earl had cleared the Cape Scott Trail as a BC Centennial project in 1972 as members of the Canadian Forces stationed at CFS Holberg.

Our next paddling day was a very significant one. At 1025 hours we turned our bows south for the first time as we rounded Cape Scott. After our adventures two days before off Nissen Bight we were prepared for a real battle but the day was a glorious one and although the sea is never still, and there was always the sound of waves crashing on rocks, it was a very benign paddle, and we were able to get close to the shore and wend through the reefs of Cape Scott and Cape Russell, taking care to avoid boomers (rocks that are mainly submerged but against which the largest swells smash, creating huge bursts of frothy water). We made 18 miles and reached San Josef Bay.

Our expected day of arrival in Winter Harbour was May 27 but when we reached our intended campsite in Grant Bay the realization that another three hours push would allow us to beat the promised rainy and windy weather the next day gave us extra strength. We managed a 28 mile day and arrived tired but looking forward to a two day stopover.

Winter Harbour is a quiet little community that was much more on the map when the fishing industry was stronger. We met up with a group who are here for a fishing trip and were invited in for a lunch of the most fantastic chowder that either of us have tasted, prepared by Adrian Lepitre for fishing buddies Ron Greene, Robin Rooke and Bruce (“Pockets”).

Very many thanks to both Anne Reggler and Don Lockwood for making the long trip out to Winter Harbour from the Comox Valley in order that we were resupplied and also fed a fantastic chicken curry and a full English breakfast.

We are leaving Winter Harbour on Thursday morning. Ahead lies the Brooks Peninsula. Next update will be from Tofino but we are not sure when – the Brooks can only be tackled in good weather.

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.51
Longitude:-128.027
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/28/2008 09:27:49 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.51,-128.027&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.51
Longitude:-128.0269
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/27/2008 09:55:53 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.51,-128.0269&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, May 26, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.5127
Longitude:-128.0307
Nearest Location: Elephant Crossing, Canada
Distance: 17 km(s)
Time:05/26/2008 19:36:33 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.5127,-128.0307&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, May 25, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.675
Longitude:-128.2824
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/25/2008 16:16:03 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.675,-128.2824&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Saturday, May 24, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.7947
Longitude:-128.3071
Nearest Location: Elephant Crossing, Canada
Distance: 23 km(s)
Time:05/24/2008 10:06:52 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.7947,-128.3071&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, May 23, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.7947
Longitude:-128.3071
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/23/2008 20:36:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.7947,-128.3071&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.871
Longitude:-128.0535
Nearest Location: Shushartie, Canada
Distance: 14 km(s)
Time:05/23/2008 07:50:43 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.871,-128.0535&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, May 22, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.8711
Longitude:-128.0536
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/22/2008 15:57:24 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.8711,-128.0536&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.8729
Longitude:-128.0539
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/21/2008 17:11:13 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.8729,-128.0539&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Left Pt Hardy on Tues May 20th for Cape Scott and Winter Harbour, next likely update point.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.8546
Longitude:-127.8562
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/20/2008 19:29:25 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.8546,-127.8562&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rest days


Now that we have reached Port Hardy, which is about 20-25% of the way around the Island, we are taking a slightly longer break. Our special thanks to Pat and Jackie Kervin (and Kyook) of Odyssey Kayaking for storing our boats to make this possible. Pat also provided valuable advice and local knowledge for our next few paddling days. We will be back on the water on Tuesday. Port Hardy is a great place. A proper coffee house is a major plus. It also has a neat little bookshop and craft shop attached. There is a great marina too.

Our progress up the island has been very steady. After Sayward we hit a couple of less good days from the point of view of the weather. A strong south-easterly led to a decision to stay off the water after only one day back on. Even when the south-easterly was over the ebb, which would have been expected to flatten the water somewhat, the water looked just a fierce so we stayed under cover, ate a lot (which we always seem to do on rest days) and brought our journals up to date.

We were at the Forestry Department campground at Naka Creek, which is a site with a good beach. Even on good beaches the problem of getting back on the water is not inconsiderable. Even if we could lift a fully laden Explorer between the two of us, the strain on the boat would be enormous and the risk of catastrophic damage very real. We have mastered the art of getting heavily laden boats back on the water using drift wood as rollers.

After two nights at Naka Creek we decided that we should get on again. The forecast was a little better than the day before. We were still able to use the ebb, and the SE wind helped too although the last stretch, from Telegraph Cove to Alder Bay, was fairly demanding. Four foot wind waves coming from the starboard stern quarter meant that we were well-practised in bracing and surfing by the time we reached the Alder Bay Resort. Thrilling stuff but we needed to concentrate hard. Not the time to try to admire the scenery. You use most of your senses during a paddle like this, watching the tilt of the horizon and the heading of the bow, listening for breaking waves behind you, feeling for the resistance of the water on your blade and the edging of the boat beneath you, and the pressure of the thigh pads on your legs and the footpegs on your feet.

Fortunately we had had a strengthening lunch of truly fabulous burgers at Telegraph Cove's restaurant. We hit the Cove right at the start of the season so the restaurant, which is often packed, was empty except for us. Just as well - any other guests might have been a bit put off their lunches by two sweaty kayakers, half-stripped of their dry suits (and thus odorous), devouring their food. Thanks to Steve Emery and Louise Defryn of North Island Kayaks for looking after our boats and kit whilst we went in search of sustenance. Unfortunately we saw no orcas. The resident pods are not expected for a few weeks. There are apparently a few transients around but sadly we did not spot any.

Alder Bay Resort is a good stopping point as it too has a good beach for landing and launching. The campsites are right on the water. And, joy of joys, there are hot showers.

Leaving Alder Bay involved an important decision. Our next re-supply point was Port Hardy where Anne and Penny would be meeting us in two days. We knew that the next day of paddling might be quite tough as the start would be against the flood. A knot of current against you slows you by a full knot. We were expecting one or two knots of current. There was also a worry about campsites - there are not many certain ones in the area and we did not want to be paddling into the evening without a clear target. We therefore, with regret, had to decide not spend any time visiting the communities of Alert Bay (mainly First Nations) and Sointula (originally a Finnish pioneers community). It was a wise choice. It was one of our harder days yet we travelled only 12 miles. It seemed to take an age to cross the Nimpkish River estuary.

Luckily we came across a campground that is not featured in the kayaking guidebooks that we have used (there are about four or five in total). Quite a surprise as it is a very well-kept and attractive campsite on a First Nations Reserve, called the Cluxewe resort. However, we probably have found the reason. Clouds of no-see-'ums (midges to the Brits reading this) that managed to find every uncovered and non-DEETed bit of skin.

Our paddle to Port Hardy was a little under 17 miles (by the way, we are using nautical miles which are 1.85 kilometres, or 1.15 Statute miles). It was fantastic. The view across to the BC mainland was over water that at times was as calm as a mill pond, and the mirroring of our kayaks on the water looked really cool. We found a picture perfect white shell beach for our lunch in the sun. If it had not been for the fir trees, and the snow-capped mountains in the background, we might have been in the Caribbean.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Port Hardy

We got here yesterday and are sorting stuff out and having a bit of a relax. We'll be here until Tuesday. We'll post a more complete update in the next couple of days. The trip is going really well. The extra couple of rest days will also allow the currents to be right in the morning for crossing the Nahwitti Bar at the western end of the Goletas Channel, a notorious hotspot.

Our next SPOT message will be on Tuesday afternoon at our next stop, weather permitting.

Friday, May 16, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Making good progress. Next planned resupply stop Port Hardy later in the week.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.7228
Longitude:-127.4876
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/16/2008 15:08:26 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.7228,-127.4876&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, May 15, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Making good progress. Next planned resupply stop Port Hardy later in the week.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.6149
Longitude:-127.177
Nearest Location: Port McNeill, Canada
Distance: 6 km(s)
Time:05/15/2008 16:18:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.6149,-127.177&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Making good progress. Next planned resupply stop Port Hardy later in the week.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.5596
Longitude:-126.9149
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/14/2008 16:07:09 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.5596,-126.9149&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Making good progress. Next planned resupply stop Port Hardy later in the week.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.4774
Longitude:-126.4274
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/13/2008 10:37:56 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.4774,-126.4274&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, May 12, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Making good progress. Next planned resupply stop Port Hardy later in the week.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.4789
Longitude:-126.4274
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/12/2008 16:50:44 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.4789,-126.4274&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sayward


We are having a resupply day here in Sayward.  Penny and Anne have brought up some stuff for us from Courtenay.

We had a good run up from Heriot Bay, staying overnight at Maurelle Island just north of the Octopus Group of Islands, and had the chance to see the current rushing past our campsite.

When we got to Chatham Point lightstation we met Alice Woods, the lightkeeper, and her border collie, Maggie.  Alice kindly let us use her cell hook-up (enormous aerial attachment).  Alice has said that she will inform all of the lightkeepers on the island of our blog so that they may track our progress.

There was a strong ebb during both of the last two days so we got swept along nicely, with speeds of up to 8 knots.

Next update will be from Port Hardy.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

On our way; conditions great. Message update Port Hardy; May long weekend. Google maps link shows latest position.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.3961
Longitude:-125.9596
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/10/2008 14:49:54 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.3961,-125.9596&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Friday, May 9, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

On our way; conditions great. Message update Port Hardy; May long weekend. Google maps link shows latest position.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.3601
Longitude:-125.6531
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/09/2008 15:36:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.3601,-125.6531&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Thursday, May 8, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

On our way; conditions great. Message update Port Hardy; May long weekend. Google maps link shows latest position.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.2882
Longitude:-125.2081
Nearest Location: Owen Bay, Canada
Distance: 3 km(s)
Time:05/08/2008 14:52:20 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.2882,-125.2081&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

OK ESN:0-7391670

On our way; conditions great. Message update Port Hardy; May long weekend. Google maps link shows latest position.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.2884
Longitude:-125.2077
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/08/2008 14:28:14 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.2884,-125.2077&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Journey so far

We've had some excellent paddling up until now. The trip today from Shelter Point to Heriot Bay (thanks Jon and Jackie Watson for a front lawn to camp on, fabulous coffee, good beer and a great early-morning send-off) was a bit more work as we headed into a strong ebb and a fairly brisk northwesterly, but rounding Cape Mudge was thankfully less trouble than we thought.

Lots of wildlife. Large numbers of eagles (some being mobbed by seagulls), herons, scoters (surf, white-winged and black), harlequin ducks, mergansers, and even a lone pair of buffle-heads (the rest have gone north). We also know why seal bay is so-named!

This is our first opportunity to thank our families and friends for the great send off, Comox Paddlers for coming out in force, Janice and Kim from Rhodos for supplying fortifying pre-launch coffee, Gary and Brenda Olenik for the faux champagne, Comox Valley Kayaks, Jill Blacklock and Sharon Crowe for the special equipment, and Sally Alton for the on-water delivery of some fantastic fruit cake. It was wonderful to see Dave Musgrave and Don Lockwood at Kitty Coleman - thanks for the beer (most of the trip will be dry - no room!).

Very special thanks to our long-time paddling buddy Brent Arnold who launched with us and paddled on day 1 and day 2. We hope you can catch up with us for more days on the water during the trip.

We are staying with great friends Jill and Charlie for two nights. We found on our last trip that planned pauses are invigorating and very necessary. So - NO Spot tomorrow.

OK ESN:0-7391670

On our way; conditions great. Message update Port Hardy; May long weekend. Google maps link shows latest position.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:50.1023
Longitude:-125.2124
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/06/2008 12:14:49 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.1023,-125.2124&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, May 5, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

On our way; conditions great. Message update Port Hardy; May long weekend. Google maps link shows latest position.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.9432
Longitude:-125.1863
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/05/2008 17:04:55 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.9432,-125.1863&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Sunday, May 4, 2008

They are off!!




Doug and Jonathan started their adventure in beautiful weather this morning. There were many friends who came out to wish them Bon Voyage. They are joined for the first day by one of their paddling buddies, Brent.

OK ESN:0-7391670

On our way; conditions great. Message update Port Hardy; May long weekend. Google maps link shows latest position.
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.682
Longitude:-124.9843
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:05/04/2008 09:27:24 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.682,-124.9843&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

OK ESN:0-7391670

Check this out!! Departure point, Sunday May 4th at 9 am
ESN:0-7391670
Latitude:49.6816
Longitude:-124.9842
Nearest Location: Courtenay, Canada
Distance: 0 km(s)
Time:04/30/2008 12:00:33 (America/Vancouver)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=49.6816,-124.9842&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1