Friday, July 25, 2008

Vancouver Island Record Attempt

Well folks I am delighted to announce that I have been given the opportunity to have a go at the record for circumnavigating Vancouver Island by sea kayak. Firstly I want to thank my wife Gina for giving me a pass and my Mum who is flying over from the UK to help look after Shea Bella for the three weeks I will be away.
You can find out more about the expedition by following the links on my expedition website The plans is to start my expedition immediately after the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium on September 22nd 2008.
Thanks once again to Dom Miles of IceTea web design who looks after all my websites. Dom and his family live in Devon, England but will soon be here in California for a holiday and I can't wait to see them and show them the beautiful county of Marin.
I also want to thank Valley Sea Kayaks for their support. I will be using a Rapier 20 for the expedition

I will be travelling fast and light and hope to knock out 50 miles a day. In theory that means I could complete the 700 mile journey around the island in two weeks but the weather may have other ideas! I will be starting at Port Hardy, up on the north east corner, the idea being to wait for a good weather forecast before starting the 'clock' and knocking off the crux moves around the most northwesterly point, Cape Scott and the notorious Books Peninsular before any bad weather arrives.
September and October are traditionally are good months for weather up there. The land is cooling off so the big thermal winds of the summer will be easing off and hopefully I will complete the circle before the winter storms arrive. I hope to use a Spot messenger: so you will be able to track my progress.
More details will follow soon.

Kelowna Kayak Symposium

Kelowna is described as Canada's best kept secret. Deep in the Okanagan Valley known for its fabulous wine, Kelowna has a wonderful climate and the 90 mile long lake is stunning. Kelowna Kayak and Outdoor is a full service kayak store and the owner Ray Chelini and his staff are extremely knowledgeable and professional. I first met Ray and his family at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium in 2007 and I loved his enthusiasm for the sport and for Valley Sea Kayaks. He has quickly become one of the my best customers and I supply him with Valley kayaks, Lettmann and Mitchell paddles and Barz sunglasses. As a former member of the Venezuelan national kayak racing team he recognizes good quality when he sees it!
Ray and his wife Jacqui were wonderful hosts to Rob Avery and myself and it was well worth the 2400mile round trip to enjoy their hospitality. It was also great to meet Greg Alderson, author of "Sea Kayak -Around Vancouver Island" as well as several other publications including his latest release:
Doug gave me loads of information to help me plan my forthcoming expedition to circumnavigate Vancouver Island (more of that in a later post).

It was also great to meet Nick Castro, owner/instructor of Active Sea Kayaking: His sense of humour had me in stitches and I couldn't think of a better guy to go for a paddle with.
I also want to thank the folk from the Kelowna area who came to see my slide show. Hopefully next year I will have some more stories to tell you about Vancouver Island. Kelowna is a very special place and the prefect location to enjoy Lake Okanagan.