Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SUP crosses the Strait of Georgia

Latest madcap adventure in the Salish Sea -- a paddler took his stand-up paddleboard across the Strait of Georgia from Steveston to Victoria. There was a terrific photo of Bruce Kirby on the front page of the Victoria Times-Colonist and a great follow-up article on page 3 with another photo. With six weeks of training, Kirby went from a brand-new paddleboarder based in Kimberly BC to doing a challenging four-day ocean expedition sponsored by Mountain Equipment Co-op.
"The trip, supported by Mountain Equipment Co-op, is raising awareness and funds for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s campaign for a national marine conservation area to protect the busy southern Strait of Georgia," wrote Times-Colonist reporter Judith Lavoie.

It's a pity there wasn't a photo of his escort boat crew -- a two-person film crew in a kayak. One of those paddlers was 18-year-old Kalum Ko, on his first time in an ocean kayak. These boat-users were careful, and attentive to the weather... but OMG guys, please keep safety in mind. Also -- experience and training help us have more fun as well as be safe!
Already this summer there are people suffering injuries or dying in summer sports activities on lakes, rivers, and ocean settings. Let's be careful out there. Safety equipment is for everyone. Keep track of the weather and water conditions! Accidents happen, but fewer accidents happen to people who are prepared.
At least Bruce Kirby knew to wrap tinfoil around his toque to make himself a better target for marine radar for the ferries and other vessels. My dad was a marine electronics technologist -- he gave us good advice about being visible on radar, but mostly he said to keep our kayaks out of the way of other boats.

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