Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vienna to London in a Kayak

So apparently two Austrian men paddled from Vienna to London in 1927 in a 14-foot rubber kayak. Here's the British Pathé footage of their arrival in London, paddling up the Thames in front of Parliament and Big Ben, embedded below:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Public Meeting on Island View Beach Management Plan

Another notice for paddlers in the area of Victoria and our wonderful beaches -- the Capital Regional District is hosting two public meetings to help them prepare for a new Management Plan for Island View Beach. If you've ever launched here, or paddled at the nearby islands, you might have an opinion on how to manage the park and campground over the next several years. Anyways, it's interesting to learn about the natural history of the park. Click here to read all about the meetings at the CRD website.

The CRD staff will be doing a presentation on the plan, and asking for feedback. The two locations for the meetings are:
January 29, 2015 | 6 – 9pm
Leonardo Da Vinci Centre, 195 Bay Street, Victoria, BC
February 5, 2015 | 6 – 9pm
Saanich Fairgrounds-Main Hall, 1528 Stellys Cross Road, Saanichton, BC
Public Meeting Format
  • 6 - 6:30pm: Greeting, light refreshments (cookies, fruit, coffee, tea)
  • 6:30 - 8:30pm: Scientific presentation, questions and discussion
  • 8:30 - 9pm: Time to complete response form

Monday, January 26, 2015

RIP Ted Harrison

We'll take a moment to acknowledge that Canadian artist Ted Harrison has passed away. His bright colourful works can be seen not only in galleries and on the pages of many books, but at his website. Many of his landscapes show water scenes along with canoes and kayaks, like this image below borrowed from his website.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Kayaking the Aleutians" Trailer Released

Popping up all over the Internet today is the trailer for Justine Curgenven's new kayaking DVD, Kayaking the Aleutians.
Last year, Justine joined adventure traveler Sarah Outen for part of Sarah's human-powered round-the-world journey. Outen had planned to row from Japan to Vancouver, but weather and currents were pushing her north towards Alaska, so she changed tack and decided to kayak along the Aleutians and invited Justine along for the paddle. If the trailer is any indictaion, they had a heck of a trip.
Justine's many kayaking films need no introduction; if you're one of the few kayakers on the planet who have never seen any of her This is the Sea series of kayaking DVDs, quit reading this blog post and go watch one right now. All of Justine's DVDs can be ordered from her website, and the new Aleutians DVD can be pre-ordered from there as well. It will be released on February 14.

Kayak Equation

I found a great mathematical explanation of kayaking, and borrowed it from Kayak Nu, a Norwegian website on kayaking. It transcends translation:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Victoria area paddlers -- your feedback is needed by the CRD!

The Capital Regional District just sent out a press release which will be of interest for any paddlers on the Gorge Waterway and around the Victoria area. The CRD has been revising its old Regional Growth Strategy, and has now drafted a Regional Sustainability Strategy. If you're a small boat user in the Greater Victoria area, you'll probably have opinions about the CRD's proposed strategy, so check out the press release copied below. And hey -- take a few minutes to fill out their feedback form!

Hello Gorge Waterway Supporter,

The Capital Regional District has recently released its draft Regional Sustainability Strategy, and is soliciting public input about it. This document will replace and update the Regional Growth Strategy. Please go to the link below to add your voice and make your views known. There are links to the full draft strategy and a summary as well.

The RSS Feedback Form is now live. Citizens can provide comment using the form between January 15 and February 15, 2015. The feedback form questions focus on the targets, asking if people feel they are too high, about right, or too low. However, comments on any part of the Draft RSS are welcome.

Thanks for taking time to provide your input.


Kitty Lloyd
Gorge Waterway initiative Coordinator
Parks & Environmental Services Department
Capital Regional District
625 Fisgard St,Victoria, BC V8W 1R7

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How Not To Paddle A War Canoe

Check out this video with numerous examples of how not to paddle a canoe. Unless you like to go swimming. Repeatedly.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Friends in Costa Rica!

Are you caught in January weather that keeps you from getting on the water? Or perhaps you're like me, patching a small but annoying leak in my little inflatable. Alas, the half-full tube in the patching kit has gone hard, so I'm hunting up other options. And looking at my friends' great kayaking news online. One has mastered her roll. And there's great news from our paddling friends Tom and Tanya. They’re currently visiting Costa Rica, where kayaking has been among the many things filling their busy schedules.

As evidence of a vacation being enjoyed, Tom sends this photo of him and Tanya on a sit-on-top kayak. It’s a real change for Tom, who prefers more sporty boats. But hey, when you’re on holiday you try new things.

Tom’s going to send more pictures when they get back to Canada, and we’ll post some on the blog to share.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rick Mercer Gets Rescued

Last week, Rick Mercer, host of the appropriately named Rick Mercer Report, aired a segment where he tried a new rescue suit from Mustang Survival for cold water rescues. Dropped off in cold west coast water, he is plucked from the water by the crew of a Canadian Forces chopper. Although played for laughs, there's a few pointers for immersion strategies should you end up in the drink, and you'll get some idea of what a helicopter rescue might be like. Check out the video below:

And here's some bonus content. In the piece above, Rick plays a short clip of the time he was dunked into ice water to study the effects of cold water immersion and hypothermia. Here's that entire piece:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gee Whiz, another oil spill on the Gorge

The big news over the weekend locally was another fuel oil spill affecting the Gorge waterway. Well, there was terrific news on Gecko Paddler about Robyn and rolling, but that wasn't in the newspaper. You can read at this link  to the Times-Colonist about the latest fuel oil spill.

Photo by Adrian Lam for the Times-Colonist newspaper
Fuel spills are a serious issue for we urban-based kayakers. Spills of various fuels or hydrocarbons can cause real problems for many living things in fresh or salt water. We paddlers are often the people in the right place to spot a fuel spill soon after it happens. If we see oil sheen on water, or spilled fuel on the ground we're supposed to report it.

We wrote about this issue here on Kayak Yak back in 2011, and we're still writing about it. Since that post, members of our paddle group have been diligent about checking household fuel tanks for leaks. If you're in a building -- home, work, or wherever -- heated by some kind of fuel, go check the fuel tank. You don't have to be a technician to recognize an obvious leak.

Here in British Columbia, call the 24-hour Spill Line toll-free at 1-800-663-3456 to report when you see a spill of gasoline, oil, or any other kind of hazardous material. Anywhere in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, call the International Marine Oil Spill Reporting line toll-free at 1-800-OILS-911 to report when you see a spill of any kind of fuel on the water. If you live elsewhere, find out your area's way to report hazardous spills. Write these numbers down and keep them in your dunk bag so you will always have them in your kayaking gear.

And after you check your fuel tank for leaks, reward yourself by reading Gecko Paddler's post on Robyn and her rolls.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Good Thing There's a Motor on This Boat

We've posted vidoes of all sorts of animals chasing boats: orcas, seals, and yes, even a cougar. But here's a new one on us. I won't spoil the surprise and say what animal it is, except to say that it shouldn't come as a surprise as these animals are known for being quick and agile in the water.
Check out the video below. It works best if you hum the Jaws theme out loud as you watch.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Home-made Kayak, 1936 style

Do you have too many wooden coat hangers and are looking for something to do with them? How about a do-it-yourself project like maybe build a kayak with them? This gentleman built his own skin-on-frame kayak from bits and pieces from around his house, including 27 wooden coat hangers. And his paddle is made from a bamboo pole and enamel plates.
Check out the British Pathé clip embedded below.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Through The Keyhole

Aniol Serraolses just went where no kayaker has gone before, namely over the 35 metre Lillooet River Keyhole Falls.
Check out the video below:

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Urban Kayaking

The urban jungle -- the final frontier for whitewater kayakers.
Check out the video below:

Pacific Paddling Symposium 2015 Registation Opens Today at 7:00 AM....and Closed Five Hours Later

See? I told you not to wait if you wanted to register for the 2015 Pacific Paddling Symposium. Registration opened at 7:00 AM...and was filled by noon.
They are taking a waiting list. Email them at for more info.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Vintage Video

Some vintage footage from British Pathé showing kayakers and canoeists running the rapids in the town of Monschau, Germany in 1963. Although sometimes, the rapids run them instead. Check out the embed below:

Monday, January 05, 2015

Pacific Paddling Symposium 2015 Registation Opens This Saturday

Registration for the 3rd Annual Pacific Paddling Symposium opens this Saturday, January 10, at 7:00 AM PST. Space is limited and the Symposium generally fills up faster than you can say "bow rudder turn." No, serioulsy. It sold out in about a day and a half last year. Don't wait.
As their website says, "The Symposium will be hosted at the beautiful seaside village campus of the Lester B. Pearson United World College, set on the wooded shores of the Pacific Ocean. The location provides easy access to diverse paddling environments, from the protected waters of Pedder Bay to the challenging tidal currents of Race Passage."
The symposium takes place May 29-31, and features so many coaches that they had to make a video to fit them all in (see it attached below). Click here for their registration page on Saturday.