Main Menu
HomeAbout BC Car-FreeWhere to Buy BC Car-Free
Table of Contents
Hiking
Backpacking
Cycle Touring
Weekend Getaways
Horseback Riding
Whale Watching
Bird Watching
Salmon Watching
Cave Exploring
River Rafting
Sea Kayaking
Canoeing
Appendix: Getting There
Ramblings
Seasons in the Sun
About the Author
The Critic's Voice
" Grover's 340-page book is a wealth of information for the weekend warrior and outdoor enthusiast alike. "
Scott Birke Sea to Sky VOICE
Sidebar
Image
Devil's Club
No, not a place where off-duty satanists hang out. Devil's club is a member of the ginseng family and as such is said to have curative powers for several afflictions. Commonly associated with the word "ouch!" this thorny understory shrub can otherwise be identified by large limp, maple-shaped leaves and a cluster of red berries. In coastal British Columbia devil's club was traditionally used to provide relief from arthritis and rheumatism. As a wilderness food source, young stems of the devil's club can be cooked as greens while the roots can be peeled, rinsed and chewed raw. Devil's club bark was once mixed with various kinds of berries and boiled to make purplish dye for native basketry.
Illustration by Manami Kimura
Vote Now
Would you be interested in an E-Book Version of BC Car-Free for iPad, iPhone & PC
FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiLinkedinMixxRSS FeedPinterest
09
Feb
2007
argaiv1525
Sea Kayaking E-mail
(5 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Introduction
Kayak camping is the ultimate way to explore the British Columbia coast. Gliding noiselessly along the shore you'll be inspected by curious harbour seals, playful otters and, on rare occasions, even dolphins and orcas may move in close to check you out. Along the beaches you'll encounter foraging bears and wolves and see, close at hand, eagles surveying their domain from craggy snags above.

Originally invented by the Inuit for seal and whale hunting, modern sea kayaks have been lengthened and strengthened, replacing such materials as seal and caribou hides with fibreglass and plastic. Virtually anywhere on the coast of British Columbia is open to these versatile and sturdy craft. There are, however, a number of spots that are particularly suited to bluewater paddling.

Aging backcountry boomers, cursed with hiker's knee may eventually find the demands of backpacking too much. Rather than hanging up the old boots, trading them in for a paddle can be a great way to extend an outback-bent lifestyle.

Pining for the Fjords
The fjords of coastal British Columbia where much of kayaking is undertaken are subject to a predictable weather pattern. Especially during the warm days of summer local winds typically pick up each day during mid-morning. As the land masses warm up the air begins to rise. The resulting vacuum sucks cooler air along the fjord from more open waters such as Georgia Strait. As the day progresses the water and land temperatures equalize and the wind subsides until the advent of evening. The twilight hours bring the rapid cooling of land masses. Water temperatures drop at a much slower rate upsetting the equilibrium once again. Warm air rises off the water throughout the early evening causing cooler air to pour off the mountains and out through the conduit of the inlet. Plying the waters of coastal inlets often demands that kayakers set off at first light planning on a long, seaside siesta at midday, then continuing on throughout the afternoon and early evening.

Back Eddies to the Future
Whenever bucking the tides, particularly in constricted passages where the current is magnified, hug the shoreline where you can often pick up a back eddy or two to propel you on your way. Conversely, to benefit from a following tide move away from the shore to avoid those nasty back eddies.

Stuff It, Buddy
Dry Bags, the plasticized canvas kind favoured by yachters, are ideal for stowing gear in the front and rear compartments of kayaks. They are, however, expensive, Since some water inevitably gets below decks, cutting costs by using just plastic bags can be risky. One solution is to purchase nylon stuff sacks from an outdoor store such as the Mountain Equipment Co-op and line them with heavy-duty, see-through garbage bags. The nylon is enough to protect the plastic from rips and tears which in turn waterproofs all of your camping essentials. Colour code the stuff sacks to help keep things organized.

Bear Proofing
The usual bear proofing precautions, hanging food, making noise and what not, still apply to kayak camping. Though bears can swim well they usually have no need to visit offshore islands. Kayakers can take an extra precaution by camping, whenever feasible, on the abundant islands found along the coast of British Columbia. Incidentally, stowing food in kayak compartments is not bear proof, it's just a great way to get a kayak trashed.

Learning How
Once is certainly not enough for this captivating activity. In order to bring your skills up to the point where you may "do-it-yourself" a certain level of competence must be attained. In fact many kayak rental firms will no longer rent to inexperienced individuals: the liability risks are just too great.

Ecomarine Ocean Kayaking Centre offers lessons at Jericho Beach, English Bay and in the False Creek area adjacent to Granville Island. Though convenient, exceptionally busy sea lanes and a noisy, industrial setting make this latter locale a less than satisfactory place to build the skills necessary to paddle safely. To take lessons in a less urban setting look no further than Deep Cove or Bowen Island.

Check out the excellent video Sea Kayaking: Getting Started which is available from the Vancouver Public Library [Call Number 797.1224 S43a.] While a video is a good place to start there is no substitute for competent instruction. bearpaw

Next >Indian Arm
 

Banner
Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
The graphical images and content hosted at www.car-free.ca are viewable for private use only. All other rights - including, but not limited to, distribution, duplication, and publication by any means - are the exclusive property of Brian Grover and Whisky-Jack Communications. International law provides criminal and civil penalties for those found to be in violation.

Contact the Author for further information.

© 2017 BC Car-Free Outdoor Portal - Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.