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A Novice Kayakers Guide to North Vancouver Island


Feb 4, 2010
A couple of months ago I asked you paddlers for advice on how length affects a kayak's performance.
Thanks for all your replies.
So I bought one 14.5 feet long and went paddling around North Vancouver Island.

I’ve made a little report of my kayaking trip.
Take a look when you’ve got a bored moment to fill.

Probably best to download the PDF and view locally on your computer.
Hope it works, it’s the first time I’ve used Google Documents.


https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B4 ... y=COe07aYL
I was able to open it 2 hours ago now the document is unavailable?
Ahahahaha! A totally enjoyable morning read - an entertaining writing style! I would never recommend paddling and drinking - would never do that myself....but will also never enjoy that experience of paddling alone around most of Vancouver Island either! :wink: Maybe sometimes we think too much about what we are going to do, instead of just doing it? Congratulations on your adventure tharg!! :clap:
I spent the night awake and on the phone and internet with a daughter who called at 1 am, stuck in Istanbul (!) with an ear infection that wouldn't let her get on her flight this morning, transferring money to her account, and sorting out travel insurance (glad I had her specifically named on our travel policy or their legal wizards would have found a way to snooker us). Tough time getting back to sleep so I checked WCP and found your post and blog.

Great reading! (so far... not half way through yet). I'll let others comment on the technical and safety aspects of the trip. Superb photos. For some reason I think I'm going to have to finish reading it before attempting a mid-morning nap.
Outstanding read!!!! Love the 'tongue and cheek' style and the subtle humor. I have been around the Brooks twice solo. Once it was "a glass sea" going around (very rare!) and the other time, nightmarish! A fantastic read that I highly recommend simply for its entertainment value.
Bravo! You’ve got Balls in spades! …..Delta Kayaks must be very pleased overall with the report….for someone who hasn’t got a roll, from what you say, your bracing skills must be exceptional considering some of the conditions you were in.
Just read your tremendous story from start to finish without stopping. Trip of a lifetime, I hope, and proof that God watches over drunks and Englishmen. I'm simply in awe. Thanks for sharing.
I agree - a very interesting read. You are honest and humourous, and seemingly fairly lucky. I'm only part-way through so far.
Tom, thanks for posting your highly entertaining trip report and pictures. Your adventures illustrate the elements I love, and sometimes fear/love :yikes: , about kayaking.
Well that's quite a tale Tom. I enjoyed that. By the way, are you nuts? :wink:
My son has three rules for outdoor stuff, with the order somewhat tongue in cheek:

1. Have fun!

2. Look cool!

3. Be safe!

He always announces the beginning of each trip by saying, "Safety third!" I think this is his way of getting that out front each time as a reminder without belaboring the issue.

Tom has taken this to new heights (depths?), and I am of two minds about his account:

The left brain says he is freaking nuts and bloody dangerous, and I don't want anyone I cherish to readi it if they are going to be on the water.

The right brain says everyone should have such joie de vivre and sass when out there ... which I think is rule one.

I don't think Tom is ignorant of rule three. Rather, he knows more about it now than most of us. I'd guess you could say he had a "crash" course ...

Oh, yeah, he totally fails on rule two! :| :D
WOW! A kayaker that loves beer as much as i do :big_thumb

I've been reading steadly here ever since i joined up a few days ago and this is by far my favorite! Not to say i didn't enjoy reading others experience's which i did, its the devil be damned and what comes will come that i really enjoyed. That was one hell of a ballzy trip for a novice!
Loved your style of writing Tom...your adventure kept me totally engrossed from beginning to end. I confess to be much more conservative in paddling so I lived vicariously through your account of the trip and enjoyed every minute.
Tom! As an owner of a Delta 14.5 myself, and a Wifey who also paddles, it is inspiring! The next time I put my ass in my boat, I will close my eyes (hopefully not fall asleep!) and dream vicariously of your fantastic and luck filled trip. Near the end of your story, you mentioned Jim had a few pics of you... maybe sitting on a log, pipe in hand, beer in the other, as any authors back cover would show. Would be nice to put a face with that adventure.
Great read. Muchos Gracias
Hello everybody
It seems I entertained you with my report. Nice.
It was an entertaining trip.
I can still see those 3 Orcas, accelerating straight at me, such power.
I think that was my most indelible memory of the trip (apart from the WAVES!)

You'll be glad to know the Hemorrhoids have disappeared.
I have subsequently survived a 7 day hiking trip, living once again solely on dried MEC food, without any Hemorrhoidic nastiness. So I am afraid the cause seems to have been rocking tide to side on the plank like kayak seat. But maybe I'm toughened up now from my previously cosseted existence of padded swivel computer seats. What an awful existence that was.

I'm still planning a motorcycle trip down to Central America this winter.
Looks a lot more dangerous than kayaking.
I'd rather camp with bears than humans.

Then maybe a kayaking lap around the Queen Charlotte's next summer.
I'll post another 'report' after that.
If I'm still alive.


PS. I never got those photos of myself in a kayak, but I'm the guy between the two bikini girls in the report. Ah memories...