Vancouver Island circumnavigation

Oldpro

Paddler
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
169
Location
Placitas, New Mexico, USA
Ken Campbell, one of our better-known local paddlers in the Tacoma area has begun a trip around Vancouver Island (the first winter-time trip, he says). You can catch news of the trip at vicircle2008.blockspot.com/

Oldpro
 

ken_vandeburgt

Paddler
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
1,154
Is anyone watching out for this guy? It's minus 5 celcius and getting colder here in Campbell River. 27 Jan 2008. I note there isn't anything on his blog since Wednesday.
 

RichardH

Paddler
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
138
Hope he's okay through his journey. I still think a mountain retreat with a full stock of wine, a book and a fireplace would have been a better vacation :) . I've got big respect for this guy after newfoundland, but the island's a bit of a task in winter. I'm guessing he's just weatherbound for a few days. He was understandably complaining about the cold, and it's just going to get more chilly as he heads north. There's forecast for freezing ocean spray until Wednesday and some big outflow gales this week. I'm wishing him luck, it's an incredibly ambitious trip.

-Rich
 

RichardH

Paddler
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
138
He agrees with ya, Redcedar.. the trip's off by the looks of it :/. Good to see he's safe after the hiatus.

-Rich
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,489
thanks for the update:
i/m sure many of us have been wondering what is going on with him (after ken's query) and are quite relieved at hearing he is ok and well.

just reading between the lines it seems he could make the difficult but rational decisions. He says that he will explain more tomorrow on his website - i/m sure it will make for considered reading at many levels: equipment, skill and judgement.

.
 

jbv

Paddler
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
56
Location
Comox
even in April, it can be nutty.

i began in late March last year, and ended in late April after paddling from Victoria to San Joseph Bay, a day's paddle past Cape Scott. the weather at that time of year is volatile, and the sea state agitated and unstable. after a harrowing day of capes, i realized i was facing serious dangers by myself. at that time of year, the odds start to stack up against you. it's doable and been done, but i personally decided the objective risks were outside my target risk for the trip given the weather. funny thing, the following weeks after i got off the water, one low after another marched onto the NW coast and i missed some horrendous weather so i was glad for my decision.
this bloke would have endured some suffering and very demotivating camp conditions- with little light or heat to provide succor. i'm not surprised he packed it in. good for him to know better, the west side would be ungodly at this time of year, had he made it that far.
 

jbv

Paddler
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
56
Location
Comox
hi Jonathan and Mark.

it's a good excuse to get me up there to paddle with the locals! i will say, the tide races at Baynes Channel has provided some exciting conditions lately...

too bad about that feller, but truthfully, i felt this was a brutal undertaking to begin with. doomed almost. i'm glad he didn't make it to the outside, personally, no matter how good i imagine he is.
 

Comoxpaddler

Paddler
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
502
Location
Comox, BC
Call me oldfashioned; he may be good but he was strangely unprepared. He had inadequate chartage (not even John K's atlases) and didn't know how far he had to paddle to get to Sayward - said on his blog that it could have been 2 or 23 miles. His feet got cold which tells me he did not have a drysuit with socks/bootees and was probably paddling in a wetsuit. Fine for the summer, very questionable for the winter.

I admire courage but only when allied with common sense. Planning and preparation does not make one a wimp. They keep oneself (and others, like the Coastguard), safer.
 

jk

Paddler
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
276
Sounds to me like the best thing that could have happened to him is the sore shoulder he got early on.
 

jmden

Paddler
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
75
Location
Washington State
jk said:
Sounds to me like the best thing that could have happened to him is the sore shoulder he got early on.
Unfortunately, reading his latest post, it seems that he was not prepared as he might have been for the cold weather and wet conditions he encountered. Sleeping bag wasn't warm enough, sounds like he was trying to rely on scavenged wood for heat and cooking--even in summer on the island that can be problematic. He did have a gas stove that he ended up using more than he thought he would, but sounds like a fair amount of energy went into trying to use wood and staying warm. Two things you probably don't want to have to spend much time and energy on figuring out when you're on a trip if you don't have to.

I'm glad he's safe. I can't imagine trying to do what he was trying to do, let alone solo. You would need to be ready to be out for virtually months in order to be able to pick only safe/reasonable times to paddle, especially on the west side. It can be gnarly enough in summer over there as many of us know.
 

inpayne

Paddler
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
158
Location
Victoria BC
Well, that took some balls. But yes, with the lack of charts and inadequate gear it is best that he was stopped at that point. I wouldn't dare pass Cape Scott -- ALONE?! -- this time of year. Particularly this season after the regularly large systems that have passed through.

Though with jbv's early spring trip and this guy's little winter paddle, it's making me feel a little soft after my lonely mid-June to July circling.. The heat wave in mid-July encouraged me to STOP for 3 nights in Tofino. Good beers there, jbv.. ;)
 
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