Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

River Kayaker Video Rescue

A neat little video is making the rounds today. It shows a river kayaker with his boat jammed in the rocks, and unfortunately, his head is under water. But with the help of his friends, he's pulled out of his kayak and a few steps to shore.
Yes, I said "steps." The incident took place in a rocky rapids, looking about Class 2 or 3, which translates as water that is dropping about 2 feet + over and through rocks that make it challenging enough to be fun for experienced whitewater kayakers. There would be deep pools and shallow places all through those rapids.
You can see the video here on a news site. One of the paddlers had a helmet camera and recorded the quick rescue as it was happening.
It's worth saying again: Be prepared! Practise your rescue techniques. There's nothing like a little practise with your tow ropes or wet exit and re-entry skills to give your body the confidence you need if a small emergency happens -- and safety practise can be one of the things that helps keep an incident from becoming a big emergency. That's what happened this summer when Heather and I were able to help a tired swimmer (read it on Kayak Yak here)! And safety practise can be fun and games, as it was when Mike Jackson taught a towing workshop.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Life Boat Launch

I hope everyone had their seatbelts fastened....
Check out the video:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Kayakers' news from CHEK

Two local stories of note for paddlers on Vancouver Island, reported on CHEK news:

-a paddler from Campbell River is missing. His vehicle has been found on Quadra Island, and his kayak and gear have turned up on another island nearby. You can read this story and see the CHEK video here. This case is a reminder for all of us, especially those who paddle alone, to have a ground crew. It's also a good idea when parking your vehicle to leave a brief note on the front seat telling your paddle plans and when you plan to return.

-a cargo vessel loaded with fossil fuels was drifting off Haida Gwai, but is now under tow. It appears disaster may have been averted, for now. You can read this story here.

Update: as of Saturday night, the tow line had broken and the vessel was drifting again towards the rocky shore. Then the vessel was taken under tow again. On Sunday the 19th, the vessel was being towed for repair. Stay tuned to your news services to hear the next stage in not only this particular vessel's story, but the ongoing story of How Fuel Tankers Affect The Coastline. As small boat users, this is our story too and there are many ways we can participate.

Paddlenorth - a book by author and paddler Jennifer Kingsley

Conservationist and paddler Jennifer Kingsley has a new book being launched this fall, called Paddlenorth. Published by Greystone Books with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, this book tells the story of Kingsley's 54-day paddling adventure on the Back River in Canada's north. This is a terrific choice for a gift to give the paddler you love.

“A perilous journey through an unforgiving landscape. A wild adventure that sweeps you up in its wake. Jennifer Kingsley is a wicked paddler and a beautiful writer.”–Andrew Westoll, author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary
“In the tradition of great exploration literature, Jennifer Kingsley examines both the wilderness she paddles through and the wilderness within. An engrossing story that illuminates the north and the nature of friendship.”—Don Gillmor, author of Mount Pleasant

 Kingsley will be reading from her book at the following free events in Vancouver and Victoria BC in the next few days:

October 19, Vancouver, B.C.

Afternoon in-store signing at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). 130 West Broadway Vancouver, British Columbia V5Y 1P3
Come by to say hello, talk about paddling, check out some muskox fur and meet the author.

October 19, Vancouver, B.C.

Evening presentation at Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street at 25th Ave.
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Free admission.
Join author and naturalist Jennifer Kingsley for stories and a sample of her new book, Paddlenorth. Meet other people who love travel writing. Say hi to Jenny.

October 20, Vancouver, B.C.

Evening presentation at Mountain Equipment Co-0p (MEC). 130 West Broadway Vancouver, British Columbia V5Y 1P3
6:00-7:00 p.m.
Free admission.
Join author and naturalist Jennifer Kingsley for slides, stories and a sample of her new book, Paddlenorth. Meet other paddlers, talk about adventure, get inspired.

October 22, Victoria, B.C.

Evening presentation at the Victoria Public Library, Central Branch, 735 Broughton Street.
Join Jennifer Kingsley, author and naturalist, on her Arctic voyage as she recounts stories, shows photos, reads select passages and answers questions. Come and say hi!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Old-timey Kayak Racing

Here's an old, and short, British Pathé newsreel showing a canoe and kayak racing in Ausburg, Germany from 1957. The first event shown is apparently the Double-scull Canadian Canoe race. Check out the embed below:

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Thanksgiving Pumpkin Paddle Centrepiece

Now this is how to make a centrepiece out of a pumpkin for a paddler's festive gathering! Never saw a stand-up-paddleboard carved out of coconut before this...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Canoe Launch Fail

Because if you can't sink your canoe in three seconds, what's the point?

Check out the video below:

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Kayaker Rescued Off Oak Bay

Last night, a high school-aged foreign exchange student was rescued after her kayak paddle off Oak Bay went awry. According to this report, a couple walking along Willows Beach saw the girl's shoes and kayak dolly along the shore. When the couple returned from their walk, they noticed the items were still there. They alerted authorities, and then jumped in their boat located at a nearby marina. After about an hour of searching, the couple found the girl on rocks located between Willows Beach and Discovery Island. She apparently got caught up in the currents, but was able to steer towards nearby rocks, where she landed. She was cold and embarrassed, but otherwise unhurt.
The report doesn't say exactly where she ended up, but my guess would be that she came ashore in the Chain Islands. A beautiful place to paddle, and we have many times, but the currents can be tricky. I haven't checked what they were doing last night, but with a full moon tonight, I'd imagine that they were running hard. But thankfully, all turned out okay. Hopefully, she'll be a little more careful next time out, or the story may not have the same happy ending.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Next Time, Consider a Kayak

Long-distance runner Reza Baluchi, who has in the past run around the Unites States and bicycled across nearly 60 countries, attempted a new long-distance endeavour last week by attempting to walk the almost 1700 km from Florida to Bermuda. He was going to walk across the ocean in a homemade "hydro pod," propelling it by running and pushing it with his arms. Think of it as a human hamster wheel.
Last Wednesday after only travelling about 130 km, the US Coast Guard checked on him, but let him continue, but by this past Saturday, he had made little further progess and activated his rescue beacon. He was rescued by the Coast Guard, exhausted but apparently otherwise uninjured.
Here's a video of the hydro pod in action:

Here's part of the Coast Guard rescue video:

Friday, October 03, 2014

Pierre Trudeau on Canoe Travel

What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
quoted from his famous 1944 essay
"Exhaustion and Fulfillment: The Ascetic in a Canoe"
which appears on the website

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

When Streets Become Rivers

It rained so hard in parts of France on Monday that a couple of kayakers took their boat to the city streets. The city of Montpellier received 25 cm of rain in a three hour period, about half of what the city normally receives in a year. With streets turned into rivers, a kayak might seem like a sensible way to get around. How successful were they? Check out the video:

A bystander also shot a quick clip: