Photo by Doug Taylor

The Trip

During the months of June and July 2010 I hope to circumnavigate the entire archipelago of Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) in British Columbia, Canada.

I will set off from the Village of Queen Charlotte and paddle counter-clockwise around Graham Island. After returning to the Village of Queen Charlotte via Skidegate Channel I will paddle around Moresby Island, travelling clockwise.

I am paddling solo. This will mean that I must rely on my own seamanship to ensure that the decision to paddle each day is a safe one.

The total distance is about 500 nautical miles. I have allowed up to 60 days door to door. I do not expect to be away this long but need to ensure that I have enough spare time to cope with multiple days of being "weathered in".

If you want to check the weather I am facing in Haida Gwaii, click on "Haida Gwaii marine weather forecast" in the Links section on the right.

When Doug Taylor and I paddled around Vancouver Island in 2008 we were able to make blog entries of text and photographs using laptop PCs that our wives brought to re-supply stops en route. On this trip I will only be able to do blog entries at the start and end of the trip, and once (possibly twice) during the body of the journey. However, friends wanting to see where I have reached will be able to visit this blog to check the daily SPOT message (see the box below).

Safety equipment will include two VHF radios, two SPOT satellite messengers, personal locator beacon, GPS, parachute flares, laser flare, body tether (to prevent separation from the boat in case of capsize), bear spray and bear bangers.


If the daily SPOT messages cease it does not necessarily mean I am having serious problems other than issues with SPOT. In any case, I have a comprehensive communications plan in place so if the OK messages stop PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COAST GUARD!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

My equipment

I am busily preparing my kit. Much of it is the same as I took when I paddled around Vancouver Island with Doug Taylor. I am not sponsored by any manufacturers but fellow paddlers are often interested in what equipment other kayakers use.

I like to have back-up kit which is why some items (VHF radio, camera, GPS) are duplicated.

I have:

Sea Kayaking UK Explorer HV designed by Nigel Dennis
Werner Ikelos paddle
Werner Corryvrecken paddle (spare)
Kokatat MsFit PFD
Kokatat Expedition drysuit
Snap Dragon Ocean Tour EXP re-inforced spray skirt
Bare 6mm Neoprene Ice Boots
O'Neill 1.5mm DL Psycho gloves

Suunto Core wrist-top computer
SPOT satellite messenger
ACR ResQFix personal locator beacon
Uniden Voyager VHF radio
Standard Horizon HX270S VHF radio
Canon D10 waterproof camera
Pentax W30 waterproof camera
Garmin 76C mapping GPS
Garmin eTrex GPS


  1. This trip looks great Jonathan. The SKILS course was certainly worth it now!

  2. Everyone at the office will be missing you but know that you will have one fantastic trip with many memories. Take care.