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!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The paddle begins

After a very frustrating three days it finally looks as thought the weather will allow me to start paddling tomorrow. The last three days have been very windy and so I have had to sit tight in the Village of Queen Charlotte.

On the bright side I met with local kayaker Fraser Earl today and he has given me an absolute ton of information about most of the coast of Haida Gwaii; campsites that do not appear in any of the books and additional information about the gnarlier sections of the west coast of Graham. Speaking with him has really got me fired up to go and I am really excited about the near-certain start tomorrow. Obviously it will depend on the marine forecast tomorrow morning but I am confident.

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