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: http://activeseakayaking.ca/ 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.