When Don Lockwood, the owner of Comox Valley Kayaks, a fine kayaking emporium stuffed with goodies, learned of my plan for a solo circumnavigation of Vancouver Island (I did not imagine I would find anyone willing to join me) he put me in touch with Doug Taylor. We met, gelled, and the trip was on.
We leave on May 4th, weather permitting. Vancouver Island is a fantastic kayaking destination and we both feel extremely lucky to live here and to be able to undertake this expedition. We are not racing around the island. We want to be able to make safe decisions each day and to stay on dry land when that is the sensible thing to do. We also want to take the time to nose into inlets and thoroughly explore some of the more remote parts of the island.
We have lots of safety equipment. Doug and I will be wearing dry suits. We will have incendiary flares, laser flares and GPS. Both of us carry VHF radios. We each have a personal locator beacon which allows us to alert the emergency services in case of disaster, via satellite.
Doug's personal locator beacon is a little electronic wizard called "Spot". Spot will send an email message out twice daily, via satellite. Each message will appear on the blog. Clicking on the link in the latest message will allow you to see where we have got to - maps.google.com will open in all its glory, showing you a satellite image of our last notified location. If we appear to have stayed in the same place for more than a night the possibilities are:
- The weather is foul, we are hunkered down under a tarp waiting for a storm to blow through
- The weather is great, we couldn't resist a day lazing in the sun
- Doug lost Spot on the beach.