Saturday, May 14, 2011

2011 Vancouver Island Paddlefest - Day One

It's not like I want to whine about the weather in every blog post I write, but this spring sucks. Seriously. The growing season is about four weeks behind normal, temperatures are also below normal and rain was due in today, the first of four or five days of it. Yay.
Today was also the first day of the 2011 Vancouver Island Paddlefest in Ladysmith. Louise and I headed up island watching the clouds which looked like they were going to start dumping on us at any moment.
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Almost immediately on our arrival, we bumped into Mark from Delta Kayaks. After years of whining and cajoling he finally came through and got us each a Delta Kayak baseball cap, and we'd just like to take this opportunity to publicly...thank wearing?
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That's a Delta Kayaks t-shirt! Aw, man! Now we have to start whining again! How many years is this gonna take?

Louise wasted no time in taking a Delta Sixteen for a whirl.
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She loves this boat, and she seemed quite fond of this new green colour, too.

After that, we headed up the beach and tried the Boreal Design Epsilon. Louise went out in the C200, while I was in the larger C300.
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We both liked these boats, and quickly noticed how, well, quickly these boats can accelerate. They look as if they could be a lot of fun and we have them on our lists of boats to thoroughly test when the day comes for new boats. You know, when our lottery retirement plan kicks in.

Next, I took a Current Design Solstice GT out for a spin.
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Like all Current Design boats, it's a well-made and kitted-out craft. Out of the three boats I tired, I liked this one the least, but they were all very close in comparison.

Finally, we tried a couple of Wilderness Systems boats.
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Louise took a Tsunami 165, while I was in was in a Tempest 180.

After that we changed into our street duds, and checked out some of the kayaking goodies on offer. First up, we found the Wind Paddle sail. This looked really cool.
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I particularly like how it comes with its own wind.

Next we checked out some custom-built kayaks from 8 Dragon Kayaks.
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These boats are gorgeous and pictures don't do them justice at all.

While we were exploring on the land, a fleet was assembling on the water....
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...for the official opening of the BC Marine Trails Network. When completed, the trail will comprise 22,000 km of BC coastline.
Michael Pardy led the flotilla in to shore....
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...where he ceremonially asked Stz’uminus First Nation Chief John Elliot for permission to visit their ancestral lands.
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With that, the Trail was declared open, and celebratory rolls were performed.
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Finally it was time to leave. After all, people were waiting for us at home.
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Trip Length: 1.47 km
YTD: 72.37 km
More pictures are here.
And check out some local media coverage by the Ladysmith Chronicle.


  1. Aw, great photos once again! I love the Epsilon Louise is trying. Those boats have beautiful detailing at the gunwhales.
    And your pictures of the flotilla are inspiring. Oh yeah!

  2. Your post is so colourful. Very interesting photographs. They show how community orientated small boating can be. It's also great to see the small sail on one of the kayaks. Did anyone use them in the crossing?

  3. Not that I noticed, Doreen. I think most of them were using old fashioned muscle power.
    Thanks for the comment!