Sunday, February 02, 2014

Kayak Painter

It turns out that author Andrew Scott has written other west coast books as well as the Secret Coastlines stories and his encyclopedia -- he's the author of Painter, Paddler: the Art and Adventures of Stewart Marshall.

This is more than a terrific armchair kayaking read. It's also an art book showcasing many paintings and other artworks by Marshall. This artist has paddled all along the BC coast and the Alaskan panhandle, and designed his own kayaks. The third kayak he made is no little rec boat --  it's seven metres long and a metre wide. (That's about 39 inches wide, if you're still a feet & inches thinker.) Marshall "wanted the extra size for two main reasons" wrote Scott: "to cary full sheets of watercolour paper and to have enough space to stretch out completely and sleep."

Scott pointed out that "an advantage of being able to sleep in the kayak is that it reduces conflicts with bears." Bears are an uncomfortable thought! He went on to quote from an interview with Marshall:

I've had quite a few uncomfortable run-ins with grizzlies up the inlets. That's their beach you're always landing on. I like the option of being able to stay just offshore instead of having unwelcome visitors at five or six in the morning or just as you're about to nod off to sleep. I've had enough of that.
The book kept me fascinated for days! Now I feel like a kayaking wimp. We've had raccoons come through our campsite at Horne Lake, and when on Quadra Island I camped in bear and cougar territory but didn't see any. Neither did Louise and John when on their kayaking tour there. And the only time I've slept in my kayak was on Quadra -- but the inflatable was being put to use as a lounge chair at that time, not as transport.

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