I recently was out paddling in Kyuquot area. When I turned on my new lithium battery powered radio to get the weather information it was found that the battery was dead. Oops. Not a mission critical problem though, particularly as I was paddling with someone whose radio was operable. I've never had a reason to communicate with my VHF radio prior to this trip. We accidently separated after we made the long crossing to the Bunsbys. I went inside of the islands to where the landing was for the planned campsite thinking my paddle partner knew that this was our destination. Due to miscommunication, She didn't follow me in and kept paddling outside the archipelgo. Apparently, not everyone reads charts well, particularly in areas where there are many islands (I'll suggest this is a common problem). So now we had to figure out how to get back together. I whacked my forehead while saying words not repeatable here, particularly when I thought how easy it would be if my radio was working. I consoled myself by saying we didn't have a comms plan anyway. So lessons learned are: to check the radio before you leave home; and, have a comms plan such as be on the radio 5 minutes to till 5 minutes after the hour on channel 'x'. A radio check where you actually talk to each other on the radio might be a good idea too. Bringing extra batteries should not be necessary but would have been a good idea in this instance. It took about an hour of frantic paddling amongst the islands to find my paddling partner. Fortunately she had the sense to pull up on an island and stay there. I barely saw her red paddle waving in the distance and finally figured out that the screeching bird was actually her blowing a whistle.