Switching from small lakes to ocean

sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
88
Location
Kootenays BC
I've never paddled in anything larger than Okanagan lake and the biggest waves I have encountered are around 2 feet.

However I may be accepting a job along the coast soon.

My kayak isn't the issue, a 17'5" sof that I over built.
It's the operator.
I would probably be considered as an advanced Novice in my region where Pelicans are the norm.
I am just learning to roll with some advice from Mick.

Is there anything else I should be studying before making the move?
Or should I sigh up for lessons first?

Does anyone offer Greenland style lessons around the Gibsons area?

I am a quick learner, but find the hands on approach easiest.
 

Kayak Jim

Paddler
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
286
Location
Comox Valley BC
Having moved from the Great Lakes five years ago I'd say you should study tides... and the currents and changing shorelines that result.
 

YYJ Paddler

Paddler
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Victoria, BC
Welcome @sofstu from a newcomer :).

Okanagan Lake is in no way a small lake. It is a lake that at times, due to the large reach and gusty conditions, can get pretty tough to handle.

It may sound basic, but knowing how to do a basic unassisted re-entry (and assisted if you paddle with others) is really important. Not just taking one class, but practicing it regularly. The lakes are a great place to practice! Even with a roll, sometimes it might fail and you need to re-enter.

Mike Gilbert offers greenland courses if you want to improve your strokes: https://www.paddlecanada.com/schools/bc-kayak-centre/. I've heard that James Manke is a greenland and rolling guru: https://qajaq.ca/.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,363
you're going to be at the SW end of Howe Sound which is a dramatic area, with quite a few campsites now, but big unrelenting winds and waves - at times. The water is also cold. The difference with ocean paddling from lake paddling is that you often don't have that other shore to paddle or get blown to plus the wind and waves are bigger and do not stop.
So follow the weather and align your paddling with how intelligently and technically prepared you are. It's quite simple tho' - just have options.
 

sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
88
Location
Kootenays BC
Thank you Jim, YYJ, and Mick.

YYJ, I will definitely be booking 1 or more lessons.
James's courses are more than affordable.

With this heat I have started just going for a relaxing paddle in the evening, then heading to a nice little beach an hour before nightfall to try some rolls.
I of course blow some and use it as an excuse to try a self rescue.
Thank goodness for youtube

Thank you for the info Mick,
It's probably been 40 years since I was last in that area.
The job will probably be a campsite attendant.
Not as much pay as I am used to ( professional driver ) but I am looking forward to spending time in the great outdoors.
 

sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
88
Location
Kootenays BC
I got offered the same job in Manning Park first and accepted it.
Closer to home and something I am more familiar with.

However I will still head to the coast or island for these lessons asap.
I feel drawn to the ocean.

If anyone is heading to Manning for a summer camping trip please let me know.
I should still have some paddle time most days.
 

sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
88
Location
Kootenays BC
Things are sure changing quickly,
I have just been hired to drive bus on Hornby Island.
So I will be paddling on the ocean after all :)

Thankfully Manning Park didn't exactly offer me a fair wage.
 

sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
88
Location
Kootenays BC
My kayak and myself are no longer Salt Water Virgins :)

Or as I told a friend, the Beluga ( my kayaks nickname ) has invaded the Hornby Island.



Nothing tough, just a little paddle around Whaling Station Bay and through some small swells.

The boat handles wonderful of course.

I did notice if sure rides high in the salt water compared to what I am used to.

You may see me around throughout the summer.
I got a job here with a fair amount of time off.
 

sofstu

Paddler
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
88
Location
Kootenays BC
Just a quick update,

I have spent the last 10 weeks or so paddling exclusively in the ocean around Hornby Island.
Encountered some 2+ foot swells
Relatively strong currents.
Seals, sea otters, one idiot in a power boat whom almost ran me down.

I had no issues I couldn't handle.

I would still like some lessons and a paddle partner, and know they will both come in time.

I think most of my initial hesitation was just the unknown.
I had never paddled with anything bigger than me.
Plus some movie you may have heard about scared the cr@p out of me while growing up.
I believe it was called Jaws.

I am most likely spending the next 5 weeks or so on the island and haven't packed the kayak up yet.
It is starting to leak just a little, so I will be going over the stitches and giving it another coat of clear soon.
All in all I am extremely happy with the reliability of my first skin on frame.

My plans are to work in the Far North for the winter ( like always ) and return next spring to do it all over again.
However I will be adding a 30' or so sailboat to my collection with the hopes of traveling further, bringing along my kayak so I can explore more places.
 
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