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6 ‘Alternate Energy’
8 NEW KAYAKS
10 How Fast is Your Kayak?
11 Preventing Theft
CONSTABLE LARRY BURDEN
12 For Fun and Fitness
13 Myth Come Alive
16 Kayakers Having a Ball
18 The Future is Unfolding
21 Living Off the Grid
22 The Paddling Photographer
24 GREAT GEAR
The Future of Paddling
What does the Future of Paddling look like? Here’s what I see.
As those in the vast ‘baby boom’ generation are getting older, they (ok, ‘we’...)
are turning to lower impact activities like kayaking and canoeing. Men and women
equally. This suggests years of sustained growth ahead for paddling.
And it’s not just the boomers. People of all ages enjoy the experience of humanpowered
travel—feeling their own energy move them. They like the exercise, the
feeling of buoyancy and balance, the exposure to nature, the sense of freedom and
independence, access to wilderness, peace and quiet.
It’s a kind of moving meditation.
And where better than the ocean to find the ‘oceanic’ experience that poets and
mystics talk about?
By opening to the wild, we get back in touch with the great pulse of things.
...Orcas blowing just off shore, eagles swooping into salmon-rich seas....
And maybe, if enough people experience the wilderness, the ocean, and our fluid
natures, we will choose to preserve these generative places and restore the life they
But there’s more to paddling than that, of course. There’s plenty of excitement out
There are challenges of winds and waves, tidal rapids, and surf zones. There’s a
host of paddling skills to learn, and careers to explore in guiding, instruction, designing,
building. The whole Ecotourism economy is there, the leading edge of the world’s
The first step is picking up a paddle.
Welcome to the future.
As we were busy preparing this issue of WaveLength, terrorists struck New York
and Washington, and optimism for the future was shaken. Our deepest sympathies
to all who suffered—and our fervent hope that no more innocent people get hurt.
Clearly we must re-dedicate ourselves to a less violent future.
WaveLength is a member of TAPS, the Trade Association of Paddlesports. Ph: 360-855-9434.
40 Paddling a Pacific Paradise
42 WINTER GETAWAYS
44 REAL ESTATE/BUSINESS
26 Back to the Future
27 Orca Pass Holiday
29 Web Paddling
30 Mysteries Below
34 Coastal Cooks
Anacapa Island, California
by Chuck Graham
36 Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?
When asked why I like
paddling, I always come
back to the simple act of dipping
my paddle in the water and propelling
myself forward by my
I love the balance of the double-bladed
paddle, the energy of the stroke, the control
and finesse of the blade. Breath by
breath by breath... stroke by stroke by
stroke... powered by a desire to explore distant
islands and experience the wonders of
the sea. What could be better?
But these days there’s a lot more to paddling
than this, and much of it has nothing
to do with a paddle. You can now sail kayaks,
pedal them, even add a propeller! And
every year there are ingenious new inventions
coming onto the market, expanding
the world of paddling.
Trying out my downwind Spirit Sail,
which flexes to spill gusts of wind.
Photo: Laurie MacBride
Easy Rider has a host of modular
multihull options and sail rigs
To give a break to tired arms while paddling
a long distance, or for those with
mobility deficits, a sail can be a real boon.
And if you’ve got a sailboat background,
like I have, then you’ve no doubt pondered
how you could hoist a sail and tap into the
power of the wind.
In fact, kayak sailing has been around for
a long time. Dr. Lindemann helped to put
kayak sailing on the ‘map’ when he sailed
his Klepper across the Atlantic Ocean in
I have experimented with a variety of rigs,
from a primitive square sail/sponson combination,
to a jury-rigged tarp & paddle
square sail (which drove a raft of eight of
us along in gale force winds in Clayoquot
Sound), to a sloop-rigged double kayak with
a jib, and even a futuristic trimaran with
centerboard—capable of sailing to windward.
In the end I bought an inexpensive V-sail
from Primex which was good for
downwinding and didn’t require a hole in
my deck. More recently I bought a Spirit
Sail which has some good features, notably
a hands free, ‘no strings attached’ approach,
and I’ve enjoyed zooming across
the bay with it. Now Laurie and I can go
sailing together and I expect, on a long passage,
the sails will be a major assist when
the wind is right.
It seems like the idea is catching on. As
we were working on this issue, we noticed
sails popping up everywhere, from
Chesapeake Light Craft’s new SailRig, to the
multitude of sailing options available
through Easy Rider, including a variety of
ways to create multi-hulls.
Recently we stumbled upon a really
unique sailrig, a wingsail, which has both
downwind and upwind sailing capabilities
(and a driving force more than double the
power of a conventional sail rig, according
The improbable wingsail makes
upwind sailing possible.
6 WaveLength October/November 2001
Photo: Courtesy Easy Rider
Photo: Courtesy WingSails
to the designer). This clever creation is constructed
of two sailcloth panels sandwiching
a light internal structure which maintains
thickness, giving the wingsail its
asymmetical aeordynamic shape, without
destabilizing the boat. The patented rig is
quick to erect and easy to stow. The designer
welcomes enquiries from manufacturers.
From square rigs, to spinnakers, to V-sails,
to sloop rigs, wingsails, even parasail kites...
sailing is definitely firmly ensconced in the
present and the future of paddling. It’s easy
and inexpensive to convert your paddlecraft
into a sailboat and add a whole new dimension
to your paddling pleasure.
However, there are risks involved and we
strongly recommend you get proper instruction,
start in light airs and summer conditions,
proceeding only when experienced.
And be sure to wear your lifejacket!
Wind isn’t the only ‘alternate energy’
source out there. Pedal power is another
way to go.
My first experience with pedal power was
many years ago trying a one-of-a-kind pedal
boat built by oceanographer Greg
Holloway. Seated in a recumbent posture,
legs pumping away, I was amazed at the
speed I attained. Greg, in fact, used his
pedalcraft to commute between islands to
More recently I had a chance to try out a
new recreational pedal kayak marketed by
Hobie Kayaks (known for the famous Hobie
Cat sailing catamaran). I was at first surprised,
then impressed, by the unique drive
system, a pair of flexible rubber flippers or
fins, which move back and forth below your
October/November 2001 WaveLength
Sailing is for everyone
with Easy Rider’s
2 lb. spinnaker.
Hobie offers your arms a break and
a workout for your legs.
boat as you pedal, the trailing edges of the
fins pushing the water back and you forward.
For price, simplicity, and clever engineering,
it’s hard to beat.
The Hobie Mirage is an open cockpit
boat with a slot into which the drive system
fits. Because your feet are occupied,
you steer with a small lever on the side of
the boat. I found I was able to kick up quite
a bow wake as I pedaled along. This is definitely
the answer for paddlers who feel they
are neglecting their legs—and it might entice
even more cyclists onto the water!
I’ve also seen a variety of water-bike devices
employing various drive systems,
which I haven’t yet tried. Beyond these there
are other new and intriguing alternate propulsion
devices available, such as electricpowered
propeller systems like the LPW
system (see Great Gear, page 24-25). For
those with limited limb function, or perhaps
those who like to fish from a kayak, this is a
useful development. ❏
© Alan Wilson, Editor
Send $20 ppd. for 21/4 hr video
“The Wonderful World
of Easy Rider”including
112 page brochure package
on Sailing, Outrigger & Catamaran
Outfitting and Accessories.
This video makes you an
educated buyer. It shows
the various models in living
color and action, and gives a
complete overview for anyone
planning to purchase a
Photo: Alan Wilson
Deadline for our upcoming
‘Misadventures in Paddling’
—is October 19th.
New kayaks are coming onto the market all
the time. Here are some of the latest crop. The Current Designs Andromeda, by Derek
Hutchinson, is in the tradition of British
boats: sleek and fast, yet stable, with a classic
‘Swede’ form hull, a round chine hull
and shallow ‘V’ keel. 17’3” and 20.5’ wide.
New for 2002—The Feathercraft Air Line
Folding Sit-on-Top kayaks. Introducing four
new models for the recreational travelling
paddler. A fabric skin with inflatable urethane
air chambers combines with an aluminum
framework to make the kayak rigid and light.
John Lockwood of Pygmy Boats designed the
Arctic Tern 14 for Michael Powers of the Tsunami
Rangers who wanted a smaller,
maneuverable kayak he could take into the
rock gardens and sea caves. Although the
boat was designed with advanced paddlers
in mind, it’s also suitable for teens and smaller
adults. Lower wetted surface makes it easier
to keep pace with larger boats. And at thirty
pounds & 14 feet, she is easy to car top. 360-
Outfitted with a skeg.
The Sirocco is Current Designs first
rotomolded British style kayak. Based on
the popular composite kayak, Gulfstream,
this Hutchinson design will appeal to a
broad market who crave performance yet
want a boat that’s user friendly. Length: 16'
10". Hull Shape: Swede Form/Medium
Chine with a shallow V. Beam: 23.25".
Weight: 60 lbs. Skeg: Retractable.
The Current Designs Speedster is a racing
surf-ski, designed by American double-gold
medallist, Greg Barton. Vacuum bag laminated
using high quality resins along with
a laminate of kevlar, s-glass and core materials.
An adjustable footboard system allows
easy and positive adjustment for any
paddler from 5’5” to 6’4”. The Speedster is
19’ 11” in length, 18” wide and weighs
32lbs. Canada: 250-479-0106. USA: 507-
flippers that operate like a penguin’s fins.
Molded-in rod holders, hatches, tackle box
tray. Storage compartments for dive tank,
cooler or bait tank. See MirageDrive in action
at www.hobiekayaks.com. For the
Hobie Mirage Outback dealer in your area,
call 1-800-HOBIE 49, or check out Hobie’s
Dealer Finder at the website.
Nimbus Kayaks has recently introduced the
Aria, a solo outrigger canoe. At 22'6" long
and 13.75" wide, it is sleek and fast, suitable
for club use and general paddling.
Work is currently in progress on a larger
volume ama more suitable for surfing and
racing. Available October 2001. 604-467-
Chesapeake Light Craft’s Chesapeake 14 is
a hard-chine sea kayak which is stable and
sporty but designed for paddlers under 130
lbs. It’s easy to build, fun for day paddling
and has enough capacity for carrying gear
on longer trips. It provides big-boat performance
for small adults and is an excellent
boat for kids. 410-267-0137.
Boréal Designs of Quebec, Canada has two
new models, the Pakesso, a new light touring
composite sea kayak at 14’6" and 22-
1/2", designed for smaller paddler. The
Nanook, a new expedition seakayak at
17’8" x 24-1/4" has been designed for the
bigger paddler, who is looking for an efficient,
light weight and roomy kayak. 418-
8 WaveLength October/November 2001
Build your own heirloom wooden kayak
from a kit by new Canadian kit boat company,
West Coast Wooden Kits Ltd. Four
designs available fall 2001, including an 18’
sea kayak, a 14’ row boat, a 16’ canoe and
8’ dinghy. All designs from O’Hurley’s
Wooden Boats. Ph: 250-245-5199.
The AquaDynamic Sea Cadet is an ideal
touring kayak for a young person. The pod
cockpit provides the safety advantages of a
sit-on-top kayak, allowing the child to climb
back in after capsizing. These kayaks are
maneuverable, durable and so light, kids
carry their own boats. Roomy hatch compartments
store all their gear. $899 Cdn in
fiberglass. AquaDynamic Watercraft Inc.
No Strings Attached! ©
Weighs only 1.5 lbs.
Easy to raise, lower & stow.
October/November 2001 WaveLength
The Necky Elaho is a great low volume touring/play
boat with a multi-chined rockered
hull, so very maneuverable. A snug-fitting
kayak with day hatch, three bulkheads and
drop skeg. Available in polymer, fiberglass
or Kevlar construction. Length: 15’10”.
Width: 22”. Weight: 63 lbs. Price: Polymer
$1,899 Cdn. Fiberglass $3,299 Cdn. Kevlar:
At 24.5" wide, the Necky Eskia multichined
hull offers plenty of initial stability
and good tracking, making it comfortable
for mid-sized to large paddlers. Innovative
flush hatches keep the deck clean and lend
the kayak a very integrated look. Length:
16’4”. Width: 24.5”. Weight: 64 lbs. Price:
The Necky Sky II tandem’s compact size
makes it easy to “grab and go”. The open
cockpit makes jumping in and out a snap,
and keeps children or pets close at hand.
And ideal platform for bird watching, photography
and fishing. It also stores neatly
on the deck of larger boats or atop RVs.
Length: 12’7” Width: 28” Weight: 59lbs
Price:$949 Cdn. Necky: 604-850-1206.
sail available soon!
For kayaks or canoes
Simple bolt or
T 250-830-0405 • F 250-830-0415 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.spiritsails.com
The new Chilco by Seaward Kayaks is an
18’-5’, performance touring kayak. Available
in fiberglass or Kevlar the shallow,
multi-chined, low-rocker hull enhances
speed, edging and tracking. Standard features
include two full-sized recessed
hatches, a 6" (low) backrest, solid brace
pivoting rudder control foot pedals and recessed
Seaward’s 17-foot-5-inch Aurora is the first
light touring model of their new series
called “Discovery Kayaks” for beginner to
intermediate paddlers. Loaded or empty,
this kayak retains a great balance of initial
and secondary stability. Manufactured with
the same care and attention to detail as all
Seaward models, Discovery Kayaks are
ideal for paddlers who are on a limited
budget, but still want the performance of a
composite kayak. 1-800-595-9755.
Dry Bag Systems and
Waterproof Outdoor Gear
AG Outdoor Superstores
Boundary Bay Water Sports
Ecomarine Kayak Centers
Ocean River Sports
Western Canoeing & Kayaking
Check our website for a complete
list of dealers and products
Venture Quest Enterprises, Inc.
How Fast is Your Kayak?
While shopping for a new kayak, or
just viewing new models which appear
from year to year, I often wonder about
the speed of various boats. Some kayaks look
very sleek and fast, but how fast are they?
In reading through kayak reviews, I occasionally
encounter reports of their cruising
and sprint speeds, in addition to their
physical dimensions. Assimilating and
analyzing this data has led me to a number
of conclusions. It would appear that with
few exceptions, just about all kayaks are
capable of cruising at a speed of about 3.5
to 4 knots. It is the sprint pace and to a
lesser extent, the exercise pace, which really
seem to differ based on the varying dimensions
of the boats.
Product information and historical
sources nearly always contain beam and
length metrics, but rarely enough additional
information to satisfy the requirements of
more sophisticated computer algorithms.
For example, Zimmerly (2000) in QAYAQ:
Kayaks of Alaska and Siberia, reports beam
and length metrics for many native Alaskan
and Siberian kayaks. But just how speedy
is the 19’ 1” one hole Aleut baidarka collected
on Akun Island in the Aleutians in
1845 with a 17.1” beam?
At such times I have often wondered if
there were some easier way to judge the
maximum speed of a given kayak, without
having to plug in a lot of numbers into a
computer program such as the KAPER or
Taylor standard series programs, which re-
quire scores of esoteric dimensions in order
to estimate foot pounds of force required
to propel a specific hull configuration. The
personal challenge I decided to accept was
to find a way to obtain a good estimate of
sprint speed using a simple method which
requires no more than a calculator or paper
Knowing that hull speed is related to the
width and length of a boat, and running a
regression line on this information to forecast
the maximum speeds for a number of
kayaks with empirical data, I’ve come up
with a simple method. It may not be as accurate
as the more sophisticated computer
programs, but it can be used by anyone to
get an estimate which is definitely in the
ball park, i.e., perhaps 90% accurate.
Divide the beam (width) of the kayak in
inches by the length in inches, and then
extrapolate using the table below.
W/L SPRINT SPEED
.153 5.0 kts.
.131 5.5 kts.
.110 6.0 kts.
.100 6.5 kts.
.078 7.0 kts.
For greater precision, the regression
model is: Maximum speed in kts = 9.15 -
Applying this formula to the Aleut kayak
of 1845, the W/L ratio is .074 which yields
a sprint speed above 7 kts. according to the
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table, or about 7.1 kts. using the formula.
Clearly, this narrow 17” native craft was
much faster, and far less stable than the
average 22”-24” beam touring kayak of today.
(One might speculate that the extra
speed provided by such a craft was needed
to escape a charging Walrus or wounded
caribou, or to extend hunting area.)
Applying the regression formula to a few
modern kayaks for comparison purposes
yields an estimated speed of 7.1 knots for
the Blade surf ski. The Blade (w/l = .074)
has nearly identical dimensions to the Aleut
kayak of 1845, and is a tenth of an inch
narrower and one inch shorter than its ancient
Aleut cousin, whose design evolved
over thousands of years. The Nelo FW 2000
(w/l = .079) hails from a family of lightweight
composite racing kayaks with a 17. 4” beam
and 18.4’ length and compares favorably
with the Blade and Aleut, for speed at about
My own touring kayak, a Current Designs
Extreme high volume (w/l = .096), with a
21.75” beam and 18.75’ length, should top
out at about 6.5 kts, while the Valley
Anasecuda (w/l = .099) achieves a similar
speed of 6.4 kts by creating a narrower
20.5” beam to offset the shorter, more
maneuverable 17.2’ length.
Not so fast, but far more stable, is the
Cabo (w/l = .153) by Ocean Kayak, with a
30” beam and 16.3’ length. This craft tops
out at about 4.9 kts.
It is important to note that the regression
formula was based on limited empirical
data obtained for kayaks propelled with a
double bladed paddle. The model is not
intended to predict the speed of kayaks
which are powered in non-traditional manners
such as with electric motors, sails, or
such new innovations as the pedal driven
mechanical penguin wings which power
the new Hobie kayaks. The regression
model is best used to predict relative sprint
speeds of various kayaks, i.e., which boats
are faster or slower than others. As paddlers
vary in strength and technique, the maximum
speed you achieve in any given kayak
may be faster or slower than that predicted
by the model. ❏
Robert Wederich is employed by the Quantitative
Economics and Statistics Group of Ernst &
Young LLP, and enjoys kayaking, camping,
SCUBA diving and photography with his family
when time permits. (Disclaimer: The author
performed this study independent of his work
with E&Y, and he alone is responsible for the
10 WaveLength October/November 2001
Kayaking is one of the fastest growing
water sports in the world and when
something becomes popular, thieves become
Manufacturers are supposed to put a hull
identification number (HIN) on their craft
to identify one boat from another, and most
do. The HIN is a twelve character string
comprised of letters and numbers. The first
three characters are specific to your boat’s
manufacturer and is issued to that manufacturer
by the Coast Guard. The next five
characters are the production serial number
and the last four characters deal with the
date of manufacturer, e.g. ABC12345A001.
When you look at the way some manufacturers
attach the HIN, it is obvious that
they are only doing so because it is a legal
requirement and not out of concern for their
customers. Don’t take my word for it—
check your own boat and see if it even has
a HIN. Depending on the manufacturer, you
will find the HIN scratched in with an engraving
pen, or on an attached plate. Some
do a pretty good job but in some cases you
will not find a HIN at all, even on some very
The HIN is not some needless government
intrusion into the boat manufacturing
process. It is the serial number for your
boat and can tell tell which manufacturer
made the boat, when it was made and in
some cases the model of the craft. The HIN
is really important if your canoe or kayak is
stolen. Without a permanent identifier on
the craft there is very little the police can
do for you. They have to have a means of
identifying it as stolen and proving who is
the rightful owner. Telling the police your
yellow polyethylene sea kayak was stolen
and you would recognize it anywhere is of
little use to them, especially in a different
jurisdiction. They need the HIN and you
should know it.
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from our singles and doubles...
Arluks, Teslas, Solstices, Kyooks, Amaruks, Lookshas
• Camping • Showers • Hot Tub • Sales • Instruction
PO Box 40, Mayne Island
BC, Canada V0N 2J0
Tel/Fax: 250 539-2667
October/November 2001 WaveLength
How can you protect yourself from having
your kayak stolen? You can lock it to
the roof rack, you can carry it into the
house, or tie it to your guard dog. But I have
found the best way to keep someone from
stealing something is to make it less marketable.
You don’t have to drill holes in it
or spray graffiti all over it to make your
kayak or canoe less marketable to a thief.
All you have to do is add extra identification
to your gear, and advertise to the world
that your gear has been marked for identification
and to keep their hands off!
The HIN is not some
intrusion into the boating
manufacturing process. The
HIN is really important if
your canoe or kayak
We suggest you participate in the “Hands
Off Marine Identification” program, a simple
but effective crime prevention program
organized through your local paddling club
in conjunction with your local police. People
bring their boats to a Hands Off event
and volunteers place multiple identifiers on
the boats via engraving pens, permanent
markers and tiny microdots. A warning decal
is placed on the boat, all of the details
are recorded in triplicate and a photograph
is taken of the boat. The police keep a copy
of the form and the boat owner gets two
copies for insurance purposes. The program
is so effective that many insurance companies
are giving discounts on premiums for
participating in the program.
Cst. Larry Burden
The microdots included in the Hands Off
program, trade named “Data Dots”, all have
the same code number on them and are
specific to that Hands Off event. When
magnified with a portable 30x viewing
scope, the Data Dot code number can be
read and the code number traced to that
event. The glue used to place the Data Dots
on the boats has an ultraviolet tracer in it
and can be found when illuminated with a
black light. The glue is highly resistant to
common solvents so it can’t be easily wiped
away. Paddlers are also encouraged to place
extra identification on their accessories
such as paddles etc. You can purchase your
own bottle of Data Dots in many paddling
or marine supply stores.
So please do yourself a big favor and
mark your gear with your name and driver’s
license number (not your social insurance
number). Write down your HIN, along
with the make, model and colour of you
boat and keep it in a safe place, so if you
do become a victim of a theft, you can give
the police some useful information that may
lead to the recovery of your gear. In the
meantime, consider hosting a Hands Off
event, and encourage manufacturers to do
a better job placing HIN’s and other types
of identification on their products. Let’s
keep paddling for the honest folk and make
the sport less attractive to the thieves. ❏
© Constable Larry Burden is recognized as one
of the leading authorities in boat theft in North
America and was the recipient of the 2001
“Investigator Of The Year” award from the
International Association of Marine Investigators.
He is the creator of the Hands Off Marine
ID program, and a Constable with the
Chilliwack RCMP: 604-792-4611.
Coastal Kayak Leadership Training Course
(2 sessions, tentative dates) April 19-28 and May 3-12, 2002
Malaspina University-College offers an intensive 10-day ocean kayak course
providing participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead groups of
kayakers in coastal waters. The course takes place on the west coast of Vancouver
Island and includes basic training followed by an expedition into unprotected
coastal waters. Also offered: 6-day, Wilderness First Aid/Emergency Response
for Kayakers, Leaders. Tentative date: mid-April 2002
For more information contact Learning Connections
(250) 755-8775 or email: email@example.com
900 Fifth St.
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5
For Fun and
Every Tuesday evening in the summer, upwards
of 100 paddlers gather in the protected
waters of North Vancouver’s Deep
Cove, to participate in the rapidly developing
ritual of communal water thrashing
which some call racing. Anything goes, so
long as it is paddle-powered. From the hottest
elite paddlers to Japanese tourists who
have got wind of something wild and weird
happening and rent a plastic boat, they all
flock to the waiting rows of kayaks, chattering
like birds preparing for the great migration.
Calm waters mean the race boats and
surf-skis usually carry the day. But for most
of those on the water, it’s not about winning
or even placing. It’s about having a
Tuesday evening is race night at Deep Cove. Photo and story courtesy of Necky Kayaks.
joyous thrash across the beautiful fiord with
friends, doing a personal best and feeling
good about one’s body. Later in the Raven
Pub, which serves as unofficial clubhouse,
a packed hall watches video of the race shot
from the safety boat. The course is seldom
the same two weeks in a row. Often it includes
a swim and a running section which
sometimes leaves people crashing around in
the forest of a small island long after the winners
are back at the clubhouse.
All across North America, from New York
to San Francisco and Hawaii, the gregarious
among us are now congregating on beaches
then charging en masse around a set course.
For the hardcore, special boats are built and
the events are milestones on a personal road
to physical fitness. For the rest of us, the
events are neat social happenings, a coming
together of otherwise solitary aquatic creatures
for a moment of group madness that is
eminently satisfying. ❏
Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre:
12 WaveLength October/November 2001
Last summer I signed on as a paddler on
a dragon boat thinking it would be an
easy Saturday afternoon paddle. I came
away with a new respect for the sport.
Dragon boating evolved from an ancient
Chinese tradition dating back more than
2400 years to ensure bountiful crops. It was
enriched by the legend around Chinese
poet Qu Yuan, the popular political dissident,
who lived in central China 327-248
BC. He threw himself in the Mi Luo River
when his homeland was invaded. People
raced out with their boats to save him but
arrived too late.
Dragon boat racing is a re-enactment of
those vain rescue attempts and was traditionally
held on the fifth day of the fifth
month according to the Chinese lunar calendar
(which equates approximately to the
western world’s summer solstice).
Today, dragon boat race festivals are celebrated
globally in cities and towns spanning
over 40 countries. Almost every major
city in Canada has a dragon boat race
during the summer that welcomes paddlers,
whether beginners or veterans.
A dragon boat in motion is a stunning
sight. Propelled by twenty paddlers cutting
October/November 2001 WaveLength
Dragon boating requirs teamwork, as Elle discovered.
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Four designs for Fall 2001:
18’ sea kayak, 14’ row boat, 16’ canoe, 8’ dinghy
Sea Kayak Guides
Alliance of of BC BC
The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC is
a non-profit society which upholds high
standards for professional sea kayak
guides and operators in BC. Through ongoing
professional development and
certification, the Alliance strives to ensure
safe practices on an industry-wide basis.
October 25-27: Pender Island
For info: Adventure@oceanriver.com
or contact Ocean River Sports, Victoria
LEAD GUIDE EXAM
October 16-18: Tofino
For dates of Assistant Guides
Exams, contact the Alliance.
MEMBERS AT LARGE:
To become a member of the Alliance, mail
this form and a cheque to the address below.
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the water simultaneously
to the beat of a
drum, the boat glides
through the water at
speeds that can reach
over 4 metres (13 feet)
per second. As a
paddler, it is exhilarating. As a spectator, it
is mythical literature come alive.
The boats, similar to the great canoes of
First Nations peoples of North America’s
Northwest Coast, are multicoloured, slender
and range between 30 to 100 feet in
length. A spectacular carved dragon head
is at the bow and tail at the stern, with
dragon scales patterned all along the hull.
The mythical dragons of Asia are considered
to be good, and are venerated, unlike
the demonic and evil dragons portrayed in
Western folk culture that breathe fire, have
wings and are something to be slain.
Historically, dragon boats (which are not
war canoes) have been raced for thousands
of years in Southern China and throughout
the inland, island and coastal regions of
South East Asia.
In North America, most teams have 22
people: 20 paddlers sitting in pairs facing
forward, one steerperson astern (who guides
the boat from the steering station using a
sweep oar) and one bow-seated drummer
(who commands the crew while beating out
It’s a fast and exciting sport,
where style and rhythm is more
important than power. It can also
be a great team-building exercise.
the paddling stroke
rhythm). The first row
of paddlers (2
paddlers) are referred
to as ‘Strokers’ as they
are responsible for setting
the stroke rate for
the rest of the team; Rows 4 to 7 (8 paddlers)
are the ‘Engine Room’ (as they are generally
the bigger, stronger paddlers); and Rows
8-10 (6 paddlers) are called the ‘Back Six’.
Paddlers use single-ended paddles (similar
to canoe paddles). The object is to move
the slim dragon boat down a straight line
course in the best time.
The growth of dragon boating has been
extraordinary. It is a fast and exciting sport,
where style and rhythm is more important
than power. It can also be a great teambuilding
exercise, bringing together management
and staff of one business or agency
in friendly competition against others.
Paddlers work for team pride and charitable
causes with entry fees going towards
There is a unique dualism to the dragon
boat racing phenomena. On one side is the
sports aspect—demanding, challenging and
for some, highly competitive; the other is
its role as the cross-cultural symbol for camaraderie,
co-operation, friendship, goodwill
and good times.
14 WaveLength October/November 2001
It was in the mid-1970s that dragon boat
racing began to evolve into a global competitive
watersport, with the first world competitions
held in 1976 in Hong Kong. A
world sport governing body, the International
Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF), now
develops racing rules that incorporate international
standards with the preservation
and promotion of the cultural tradition of
dragon boat racing. The first IDBF World
Dragon Boat Championships were held in
1995 in China; the recent 2001 Championships
were held this summer in Philadelphia,
Almost everyone can participate in
dragon boating, from a young person to
someone in their 70s or older. But, after last
summer on a dragon boat team, I have advice
to newcomers: Don’t miss those practices!
Let me explain.
No slouch in paddling, I was confident
of my abilities. The team practices were
scheduled for when I was on a six-day wilderness
sea kayaking holiday in British Columbia’s
Johnstone Strait/Inside Passage.
I did not place much importance on missing
the practices—after all, I would be paddling
a kayak five hours a day on my trip.
I was wrong.
On the day of the race, besides the general
bother to my teammates as I tried to
decipher the strange lingo of ‘engine
rooms’, ‘strokers’, and the like, I quickly
discovered that paddling as a team was very
different from solo kayaking.
Teamwork was key and the member roles
October/November 2001 WaveLength
of ‘manager’ and ‘staff’ melted with concentrated
paddling efforts. Paddlers became
peers working side by side to power our
40-foot dragon boat past the finish line.
I was surprised at how much collective
stamina, concentration and co-operation
was required—rather than brute athletic
strength—to power the dragon boat. The
intensity of the teamwork kept me totally
focused on thrusting that paddle in and out
of the water in synchronization with the
paddlers in front and beside me.
And in the last thirty seconds of the race,
the pounding rhythm of the drum accompanied
by shouting commands from the
drummer, fuelled that final adrenaline rush
that pushed me to expend every bit of my
energy to keep on paddling.
It was heart-throbbing raw adventure. ❏
© Elle Andra-Warner is a freelance writer/
photographer now living in Canada’s
North West Territories.
610 Oyster Bay Drive, Ladysmith, BC
Oct. 1st - 31st Oct. 1st - 31st • Demo & Rental Fleet
• Used & New Gear
• Diving Equipment
• Other Outdoor Gear
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To be announced Oct. 29-30
Kayakers Having a Ball
How do you get adrenaline surging in a group of paddlers when
there isn’t a wave or rapid in sight? You throw them a ball,
hang a couple of mesh goals a paddle-length above the water, and
jump in the game as an exciting young sport unfolds.
A game of ‘Canoe Polo’ starts with each team against their goal
line, waiting for the referee to toss a water polo ball to the centre.
As he throws, each team’s chosen speedster sprints for the yellow,
floating ball. They meet with a kevlar-crunching collision to decide
the first possession of the 20-minute game.
One team falls into zone defense with a single ‘chaser’ trying to
knock the offense off the ball. As the offense closes in with hockeylike
positioning, a goalie raises a paddle to guard the 1.5 metre
net, and defending players bulldoze the offense from the six-metre
zone. Playing the ball by hand or paddle, the offense deftly passes
to an open player, who unleashes a blistering shot—unless, of
course, a defender capsizes him first.
Canoe Polo, called Kayak Polo in the USA, has gained a following
in BC since a wave of top international players recently settled
in the Vancouver area. Three years ago BC didn’t have a team to
enter in Canada’s annual championships in Edmonton, but in 2001,
BC won gold in both the men’s and women’s division. It was the
first time in the tournament’s eight-year history that top honours
weren’t taken by a team based in Edmonton.
The game’s Canadian debut came on a winter night in Edmonton,
when a group of whitewater kayakers brought a water polo
ball into a swimming pool. “It was like murder ball,” remembers
Rob Kerestes. “Anyone sane was out of the pool in under a minute.
But eventually we got a copy of the rules and a group of us, who
CANOE & KAYAK
PRIMEX of California Box 505 Benicia, CA 94510
Toll Free 1 800 422 2482
Ph: 707-746-6855 Fax: 707 746 0493
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Tristan Crees (center), an Aussi-born Vancouverite, plays
on Canada's national team and coaches for the Dragons.
had still never faced serious competition, travelled to England for
the first world championships.” The year was 1994, and Canada
finished a predictable last among 18 nations.
Since then, Canada’s game has dramatically improved, but not
enough to threaten the world’s elite teams. In top-ranked nations
like England, Australia and Germany, the sport has a longer history
of evolution and popularity. According to the British Canoe Union,
the earliest version of Canoe Polo was played in Hunter’s Quay,
Scotland in 1880, by men sitting on barrels, with double-bladed pad-
16 WaveLength October/November 2001
BC’s men’s team BC’s women’s team
dles. By the 1930s Germans were playing in
boats the length of sea kayaks and shooting
on soccer-sized nets. Well into the seventies
the Australian game was played in open, twoperson
canoes: the stern paddler steered
while ball-handling came from the bow. It’s
an image still conjured when Canadians first
hear of a sport called ‘Canoe’ Polo (a name
that stems from the British notion that kayaks
are a sub-class of canoes).
In the late eighties, polo gear was standardized.
Regulation kayaks are fast, quick
to turn, and easy to roll, echoing the design
of a diamond-shaped slalom boat. Polo
kayaks can’t exceed three metres and have
blunt, padded ends (a safety feature appreciated
by anyone who’s been speared by a
sharp-nosed river kayak). Paddles must be
of an adequate thickness (again, sharp paddles
can be taped for safety). PFDs and helmets
with face protection are essential.
Though Albertan clubs maintain a large
fleet, real polo boats have always been
scarce in BC. Vancouver’s club, the Dragons,
recently purchased six new polo kayaks,
“so we’ll have boats for anyone who
wants to play,” says Sam Mottram, a former
Team South Africa captain, now Canada’s
most formidable player. With coaching from
Mottram and expert players with Irish and
Australian origins, the Dragons have developed
an impressive pool of players. The
impact of weekly practices at Simon Fraser
University is “unbelievable,” says Mottram.
“In the last year things have picked up by
three hundred percent.” Several Dragons
brought home hardware from the 2001
October/November 2001 WaveLength
The Victoria Devils Canoe Polo Club
practices with the University of Victoria’s
whitewater kayak club on Friday nights in
the MacKinnon Pool. Practicing in
whitewater boats with nets made of plastic
piping, the Devils also produced medalwinners
from novice players, and welcome
This summer in Sooke, Scott Taylor of
Rush Adventures proved that “if you build
it, they will come.” In May he built two
floating goals, then advertised Friday-night
scrimmages. Upwards of fifteen players
were turning out by August. Sooke’s polo
players are a hardy, ocean-paddling variety,
who say they’ll wear drytops and play
outdoors all winter. “We’ll set up floodlights
and keep playing after dark,” said Taylor.
Another club comprised largely of junior
players practices in Chilliwack.
Whether playing in warm pools or the cold
ocean, in polo boats or plastic river runners,
west coast paddlers are gravitating to
kayaking’s latest incarnation. Total newcomers
are attending tournaments and forming
teams. Canoe Polo’s rising wave holds a future
of steady growth: league tounaments,
youth development teams, and a stronger
national squad can be expected. Few
paddlers can resist the appeal of a team sport
that fosters an arsenal of skills, from throwing
to stern-squirt turns and hand rolls. All
you need to start are two nets and a ball. ❏
© Tim Harvey—a native west coaster—is an
avid kayaker, kayak guide, polo player and
writing student at the University of Victoria.
North Island Kayak Rentals & Tours
Serving British Columbia’s
Northern Vancouver Island
and the Central Coast
For Information or Brochure:
Toll Free 877-949-7707
The Future is Unfolding
Folding kayak technology
began to develop over a
hundred years ago. The concept
of building boats which could be
disassembled easily was born
before the spread of the automobile.
Boats had to be light, pack
small, yet they had to be rugged
and provide excellent performance
on the water. And these requirements
have been met in
many different ways.
The way the frame is laid out
and constructed affects how
light the boat is and, more significantly,
how small and easily
it will pack and reassemble.
Folding boat frame construction
The author playing in the new Triton “Ladoga-1” roundbilged
folding sea kayak.
challenges have provoked an astonishing wealth of ingenious engineering,
both in man-made materials and in wood.
Wood was the ideal frame material, although some folding canoes
built in Chicago in the late 19th century had iron frame components.
Ash wood quickly established itself as the best compromise
of weight, resilience and strength in most applications. Wood
is still the appropriate material to meet many folding boat design
challenges, especially when combined with modern adhesives and
coatings. Aesthetic considerations
alone would be sufficient
to guarantee wood a future even
in new boat models. Klepper,
Nautiraid, Pouch, Seavivor and
Whalecraft uphold a strong tradition
of construction in natural
materials while ever exploring
new methods and materials.
However, aluminium and
various plastics have truly come
into their own in the last 20 years
or so. The main advantage of
man-made materials is reduced
weight, but the user also benefits
from reduced boat prices, resulting
from improved manufacturing
Feathercraft and Folbot have
used both molded and sawn
plastic transverse frame members, which are built with great, reproducible
accuracy. Both firms use aluminium tubing for longitudinal
frame members. Triton (of St. Petersburg, Russia) equips transverse
frame members of bent aluminium tubing with special plastic
fittings to join them rigidly to aluminium longitudinal frame
members. The Sigma line of boats by Kayak Labs (regrettably inactive
these days) introduced large diameter, relatively thin-walled
aluminium tubes to achieve rigidity, great strength and ease of assembly
without sacrificing low weight.
Longitudinal frame members of composite materials represent
another innovation, overcoming concerns of oxidation and galvanic
reactions between different metal alloys in folding boat frames.
Watch for the introduction to the American market of the Japanese
Fujita folding boats (www.foldingcraft.com). Developments with
man-made materials are ever ongoing.
The skin must be of the lightest possible weight, while neither
contracting nor expanding as a result of changes in temperature
and humidity. Today’s skins have surpassed the mere function of
“keeping the water out of the frame”. According to traditional wisdom,
frames must not rely on the skin for strength and stiffness.
Modern fabrics and coating materials have made it possible to integrate
the skin fully into folding boat engineering. In a balanced
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18 WaveLength October/November 2001
system, the skin reliably provides the tension
that keeps the frame members in constant
Decks were traditionally built of canvas
(which, once the canvas is wetted, becomes
nearly watertight due to the consequent
swelling of the cotton fibers). While canvas
is still in wide use for decks, folding
boat manufacturers have been introducing
a variety of man-made fabrics and waterproofing
systems to deck construction. Reduced
weight results, but also an almost
complete elimination of rot and shrinkage
problems, which once dogged natural fabrics.
The hull must provide sufficient abrasion
resistance where it touches the longitudinal
frame members (oyster shells on the
outside, sand on the inside). It also has to
be puncture-resistant (that rusty reinforcing
bar sticking out of the muddy harbor bottom).
Hulls were originally laminated of two
or more layers of canvas, coated and interleaved
with layers of natural rubber. Single
layer polyester or nylon substrate fabrics
have since taken over as much more durable
and stronger hull materials. Manufacturers
coat and impregnate them with synthetic
rubber (Hypalon, for example), vinyl
(PVC) or, more recently, polyurethanes. As
well as being rot-proof, the newer skin
materials are also almost completely unaffected
by UV degradation and aging.
Commercially built folding boat skins
have tended to be relatively heavy. In fact,
manufacturers have little choice but to overbuild
to enable them to withstand inevitable
abuse without complaint. Feathercraft
has recently reduced skin weight through
the introduction of an excellent, highly
abrasion-resistant polyurethane coating on
a tough fabric substrate. Triton, in contrast,
uses a relatively light, low-cost PVC coated
skin, but applies narrow, tough PVC strips
to reinforce specifically the run of the longitudinal
frame members against external
abrasion. The substrate fabric is punctureresistant
enough, when combined with its
ability to flex between frame members, to
safeguard a very tough yet light skin by this
alternative approach. There’s more ways
than one to skin a boat!
Maintenance has been reduced to insignificance
with the introduction of modern
materials and methods. The challenge of
producing at low cost is also being met by
modern manufacturers. New folding boats
are available in a price range of about
$1,200 to $6,000 (US) depending on the
different refinements required.
Is there anything left to improve? We can
categorize the problems and directions of
development in solving them in modern
folding boats as follows:
October/November 2001 WaveLength
Only 78 southern resident Orca whales
remain in Georgia Strait and Puget Sound.
Pollution, the collapse of salmon
runs, and human disturbance are
all taking a toll. Canadian scientists
have already declared the whales
“threatened”—just one step away
from “endangered”. In the US,
citizen groups are petitioning to
have the Orcas listed under the
Endangered Species Act.
THE TIME IS SHORT
In a study earlier this year, scientists said there is an 81%
chance of total extinction within the next few generations.
Even one major oil spill would raise these odds to 94%.
Canadian and US citizens’ groups are working together
to urge our governments to establish the
ORCA PASS INTERNATIONAL STEWARDSHIP AREA
to protect marine life in the transboundary waters between
the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands.
The Orcas need our help.
Georgia Strait Alliance
Photo by Alexandra Morton
PROPOSED ORCA PASS
INTERNATIONAL STEWARDSHIP AREA
People for Puget Sound
Increasingly the expertise of marine engineers
and naval architects is finding its way
into the realm of folding boats. They reinterpret
the existing body of knowledge of building
big ships and other larger craft in its application
to paddle craft, including skin-onframe
construction—even including the exploration
of round-bilged hull shapes in contrast
to the traditional chine hulls.
Modern designers are analyzing traditional
hull shapes and degrees of flexibility
which have evolved over centuries for hunting
in an attempt to reach a better scientific
understanding of the various design
THANK YOU for your patronage!
See you next year.*
features and their intelligent application to
new (folding) skin-on-frame concepts.
Modern synthetic materials have dramatically
increased the ruggedness of folding
boats and will continue to do so. The ease
of repair and maintenance of individual
components is obvious. Combine these two
features and you have the potential for great
longevity, which translates into a worthwhile
investment for the buyer.
Some manufacturers have discovered the
trick of inserting strips of closed cell foam
between the longitudinal frame members
ODYSSEY KAYAKING LTD.
or call 250-902-0565
*10 NEW TRIPS COMING NEXT YEAR
and the skin, thus reducing the necessary
skin weight by spreading and cushioning
impact loads and hence abrasion —
Pakboats goes so far as to laminate the entire
bottom panel of their hull skins with
such foam to make their boats fit for extremely
rugged expedition use. The Norwegian
Ally boats display a similar approach.
The use of different weights of skin fabrics
and coatings in different areas of the boat,
as well as the introduction of asymmetric
coating weights inside and out, leave plenty
of scope for further development.
Portability is still an important feature to
many users of folding boats. The need to
keep to a minimum the required storage
space for a boat plays an important role for
apartment dwellers—in fact many people
would be unable to keep a boat if it were
not for the fact that the folding variety allows
storage in closets, behind doors and
There are some recent innovations worth
noting: Feathercraft first introduced the
back-packable K-Light and has now gone
on to replace it with the Kahuna—similar
weight (Feathercraft’s new skin made this
possible) and packed dimensions, but a
longer, more serious kayak. Klepper
launched the Alu-Lite in the same vein.
Folding canoe builder Pakboats presented
the Puffin a little while ago, a small decked
canoe also capable of relatively serious
Increasingly, boats are required to live in
the trunks of cars, ready to be put together
and launched whenever opportunity
presents itself—and knocked down just as
quickly for the drive home, too. Innovative
frame compression systems (or, if you’d
rather: skin tensioning systems), the intelligent
use of inflatable sponsons, and the introduction
of reliable and water resistant
deck openings and closures have already
improved folding boat assembly and disassembly
processes greatly. Klepper, through
the use of highly refined frame fittings, has
always had a reputation for being easy on
the user in this respect. Nautiraid is exemplary
in the use of modular subassemblies,
which reduce the number of parts that the
paddler has to connect. There is surely further
scope for innovation on this front also.
Yes, there is plenty left to explore and
improve and I, for one, am looking forward
to an exciting future in the continued revival
of folding boats—not least driven forward
by a dedicated “underground” of
home builders. ❏
© You can reach Ralph Hoehn at
20 WaveLength October/November 2001
Living Off the Grid
It is morning at Okeover
Arm. Waking up at the head
of ‘my inlet’ is still like a miracle
I grew up in an industrial
town in Germany, and the
view outside my window at
dawn today is like the fantasy
German’s have about Canada’s
last frontier. The amazing
part is that the mist rising over
the water is not on some pamphlet
in a travel agency. It is a
reality, a setting complete with
osprey calls, smell of seaweed
and my ability to paddle into
it at any given moment.
As Cindy is grinding coffee in the old
handpowered grinder, I am at the computer,
answering email. The capacity to communicate
with the world, while living in
the forest two miles beyond the last power
and telephone pole, is part of the infrastructure
making it possible to ‘get away’ with
I remember last summer, at low tide, we
were digging the trench to replace our pre-
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October/November 2001 WaveLength
Jurgen in his backwoods workshop.
vious phone system—a ‘souped up’ version
of a cordless phone with the base a mile
away at the oyster plant—and make room
for a hardwired connection capable of carrying
Planting the 1000 yards of ‘direct burial
cable’ was to be our ticket to live and work
at our shore, without having to ever cope
again with regular rush hours traffic. The
morning rush now consists of a stroll across
“Put a boat in your baggage and paddle the world!”
When you’re going
to take the plunge, remember
Brooks offers a wide selection
of paddling accessories to
meet every paddlers need.
Brooks Wetsuits Ltd.
Toll Free 1-888-986-3441
Fax: (604) 986-3443
the yard, crossing over my hydro dam with its impressive three feet
of water in behind, and ascending into the workshop, where the
smell of cedar and flowing shapes await me.
The shop, an assembly of lightweight machinery from my days
as a finish carpenter, is my ever dusty domain. Given my ‘off the
grid’ situation, the roof has large clear plastic panels to provide
natural light. Even though the inverter, humming in its corner close
to the battery bank, is quite capable of converting enough power
from the stored DC energy in the batteries to light up the shop, I
am keeping my consumption down.
I have been blessed with a creek on my land. There is enough
runoff to supply my power needs for seven or eight months, before
it dries up in the summer. That is when the whole operation starts
to rely on solar and the occasional, yikes, gasoline generator backup.
The kayaks fortunately do not require much power tool activity,
once I have my old growth snags milled into boards and cut into
quarter inch strips. I attempt to do most of my pre-machining in the
rainy season, when the brook is causing the mini-hydro plant to
whirl, and the little tablesaw is munching through the cedar as if it
was butter. The two routers which shape each planklet into a cove
and bead strip, are also modest power consumers. After stockpiling
enough strips for a summer, the rest of the kayak is a result of
sharp handtools, fresh sheets of sandpaper, rolls and rolls of masking
tape (the secret weapon of the cabinet maker), as well as bungies,
glue, and elbow grease. Somewhere in there is a good helping of
patience, a commodity which I acquired only by sheer determination.
© Jurgen and Cindy Koppen run Toquenatch Creek Cedar Kayaks. Jurgen
immigrated to Canada in 1976 and came to BC 1993. He started to build
wood kayaks last year. Ph: 604-483-7762. Web: www.cedar-strip.com.
Join us for a paddle soon at...
Beautiful Maple Bay
Great Rental Rates — Friendly Staff
Ph. 250 746-0151
Wilderness Kayaking is
located in beautiful Maple
Bay. We are in our 10th
year of business and we
continue to offer quality
courses, great rental rates,
sales, and tours to many
local Gulf Island and West
Coast padding destinations.
Join us for one of our
early evening paddles
or enrol in our next
course and discover
the adventurer in you!
There have been many recent advancements in the world of
photography, many aimed at individuals with active lifestyles.
This directly benefits the paddling photographer. There are new
compact digital cameras with an output closing in on that of film.
High quality, compact, super-zooms eliminate the need to carry a
bag full of lenses and image-stabilized lenses allow you to leave
the tripod at home.
Digital imaging technology has been by
far the greatest change to photography
since the introduction of the 35mm SLR.
Digital cameras free the photographer
from film, are typically smaller, and give
immediate feedback. If you don’t like the composition
or if the exposure is wrong, just erase the image and try
again. For the paddler, this translates to extra space in the boat. A
memory card used in many of the new digitals will most likely
survive a quick dip in the drink—film most certainly will not.
Canon offers one of the most portable digital cameras available
with the PowerShot S300 ELPH. It’s the smallest camera in its class,
at 8.5 ounces, and about the same size as a deck of cards. Although
small, the S300 offers a 3X optical zoom, 2.1 mega-pixel
resolution, and stores images on an 8MG compact flash memory
card. Once downloaded the images can be enlarged 8 x 10 in.
with qualities rivaling film. In addition, Canon offers the optional
WP-DC100 waterproof housing which allows the S300 to operate
to a depth of 100 feet. www.usa.canon.com (S300 list $699, WP-
DC100 list $240—all prices US$).
The Canon CP-10 Printer is a nice accessory to have after the
trip. Fully compatible with the S300 the CP-10 connects directly to
it. All print modes are controlled through the LCD screen on the
S300 camera. Just connect the camera to the printer with a dedicated
cable and in less than 60 seconds you have a sharp clear
credit card size photo. The CP-10 is a dye sublimation printer so
the images are sharper and the tones smoother than the typical ink
jet (CP-10 list $399).
While digital technology is making tremendous strides, film still
has the edge on image quality. Film is capable of recording more
information than the chips currently used in today’s digitals. This is
SALES • RENTALS • INSTRUCTION
TOURING KAYAKS: • Formula • Perception • Necky
GEAR: Aquabound, Harmony paddles. Extrasport & Serratus
PFDs. Brooks & Whites’ wet wear. North Water safety gear.
MIDDLETONS’ 2095 Flynn Place, SPECIALTY N. Vancouver, BOATS B.C.
(604) 240-0503 www.middletonsboats.com
Clearance prices on Formula & Perception Kayaks!
22 WaveLength October/November 2001
if you are shooting
in harsh, high
contrast light or if you
intend to have your
images enlarged. So,
for those of us still using film, Pentax has
introduced two new cameras to their water-resistant
IQZoom series, the 95WR and
105WR. These cameras build on the 90WR
platform that was one of Pentax’s best selling
cameras. These cameras have the highest
weatherproof rating available. The
95WR is equipped with a 38-95mm, f4.5-
10.5 zoom and built-in flash. The 105WR
has a 38-105mm,
built-in flash with
and a switchable
While they won’t
take pictures underwater, they can take rain,
mud, sand, and the inevitable dunk.
www.pentax.com (95WR list $292, 120SW
Since we’re back to carrying film, we
need to protect it. One of the more innovative
new products is the Sima Sports Pouch.
This bright yellow, inflatable, waterproof
pouch will float if it goes overboard. In addition
to keeping the pouch afloat, the internal
air chambers protect film and sensitive
gear from small drops and bumps. The
Sima Sports Pouch is available in a photo
kit and a digital kit. The photo pouch contains
a 6-pack of Fuji Film and a cleaning
kit while the digital pouch contains a set of
4 rechargeable NiMH AA batteries and a
cleaning kit (photo pouch list $50, digital
pouch list $60).
For the space-conscious kayaker carrying
an SLR, the newly introduced superzooms
can reduce the need for carrying
three or four lenses down to two or even
just one. Sigma’s 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX is one
of my favorite lenses and one of three new
EX Series lenses introduced last year. It combines
a fast F2.8-4.0 aperture with an ultra
wide-angle zoom range of 17-35mm. The
front and rear lens groups incorporate
spherical elements to correct spherical aberration.
The lens also utilizes an internal
focusing mechanism to maintain optical
quality and eliminate rotation of the front
barrel, a very useful feature when using a
polarizing filter. The materials used in this
new lens are also lead and arsenic-free.
www.sigmaphoto.com (list $843).
In the all-in-one category is the new
Tamron AF28-200mm f/3.8-5.6 Aspherical
October/November 2001 WaveLength
Pigeon Guillemot, Newport, Oregon.
Fuji Provia 100, Sigma 50-500mm EX, F6 @ 1/125.
XR (IF) This macro zoom is billed as the
world’s most compact, lightweight lens in
its class. With an overall length of 3.0", a
maximum diameter of 2.8", and a weight
of 12.5 oz. it’s difficult to make an argument
against it. With a
new optical configuration
and the use of the
extra refractive index
glass (XR), image quality
is maintained throughout
the entire zoom range:
htm (list $544).
The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 I.S.
USM is one of the newest lenses in the IS
line-up. Canon first pioneered the use of
image stabilization for use in their
camcorders. That same technology has
been transferred to still photography in their
IS lenses. While the new Image Stabilized
lenses will not totally eliminate the need
for a tripod, it does make shooting from an
unstable platform, such as a kayak, much
more achievable. With image stabilization,
auto focus, auto aperture, full aperture metering,
and Canon’s unparalleled optical
Netcage salmon farming pollutes
the environment and threatens
the survival of wild salmon.
Georgia Strait Alliance: 250-753-3459
Photo: Wild BC spring salmon by Alexandra Morton ©
Alert Bay, BC
the friendliest little island in Johnstone Strait
See tall totems, visit world famous
First Nations U’Mista museum, enjoy
historic landmarks, browse gift shops,
stroll boardwalks and nature trails.
Is Is it it wild or farmed?
Photo: D.L. Anderson
quality, the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 I.S.
USM is on the leading edge of 35mm lens
design (list $1200).
Serious photographers use tripods. Fast
film and image-stabilized lenses can help
compensate for camera motion but there
still is no substitute for a good sturdy tripod.
One of the best compact models,
Bogen/Manfrotto 3001, has recently been
reengineered. The Bogen/Manfrotto
3001PRO is lightweight, compact, and
sturdy. It weighs 3.8lbs, has a closed length
of just 21" and is capable of holding 11lbs.
The new three-faced center column and
built in low angle adapter makes this a very
versatile tripod, one that can be used for
the boat, as well as your primary tripod,
www.bogenphoto.com (list $183).
© David L. Anderson is a freelance photographer
living in Scappoose, Oregon, who says
he’s learned by trial and error what works and
what doesn’t in taking pictutes from a kayak.
The “Partial Eclipse”
Brooks covers the
front of the cockpit
you against spray,
splash and sun. Implosion bar directs water away
from you. Perfect for hot sunny summer paddling.
Black. Two sizes, one of which will fit your boat.
$40 suggested retail. Check out the all new
Brooks Paddle Gear: ww.brookspaddlegear.com.
1067 Churchill Cr. North Vancouver, BC V7P 1P9
and PMB 49-1160 Yew Avenue, Blaine, WA
The Skymaster Weather
Meter is a pocket-sized
weather station that
humidity and air pressure,
has an audio
storm alarm, and is
powered by a replaceable
The unit is water resistant,
floats and is
threaded for a tripod
retail: $160 US. Contact
Aqua Quest Aqua Roo & Mini Roo Waterproof
Waistbags. Store your passport, money, ID and
keys in these 100% waterproof waist pouches
while kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, cycling,
jogging, at the beach or pool, etc. Lightweight
nylon coated material with cambrelle mesh back
for comfort is fully submersible without leakage.
Incorporates patented double fold & ziplock closure
system. Ph: 604-970-2890. Fax: 604-275-
5272. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web:
consists of a
and two crossbeams.
Simple fastenings combine the kayak and
SailRig into a stiff, fast sailing craft, with potential
speed above 8 knots, and good windward ability.
Easily adapted to wood, glass, or poly boats.
$775US. Sail only $299. Plans only: $69. Ph: 410-
267-0137 fax: 301-858-6335. Email: info@
clcboats.com. Web: www.clcboats.com
In the last 20
years of kayaking,
I have seen at
least 20 different
deck bags. There
each one of them from design to construction.
At last—a perfect deck bag—perfect in shape,
material, construction and especially over all
design. Good show!! Thanks!” (From a satisfied
Northwater customer.) Ph: 604-264-0827. Web:
www.north water.com (Ed.—Win one! p.35)
Thermo X (13oz)
in short or long
great first layer
under dry tops,
Some of the
many benefits include moisture management, insulation,
durability, odor resistance and sun protection
when worn on its own. Specially designed
paddle zones under the arms eliminate chafing.
For more information and a complete dealer listing
check out www.oneill.com.
24 WaveLength October/November 2001
JetBLADE is a portable, collapsible paddle wheel
device that transforms your canoe into a paddle
boat in minutes. Fits any canoe. Approximately
seven pounds. Operated with either feet or
hands. Attaches with no tools or modifications.
Parts assemble easily with spring buttons. 10
Harvard Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M6R 1C6. 416-
JET-9399 or 1-866-JET-4445.
AquaDynamic Retractable Thigh Braces. Experienced
paddlers know the value of a tightly
outfitted kayak for control, however this must be
weighed against comfort and ease of entry/exit.
AquaDynamic retractable thigh braces add the
security needed to improve performance in rough
water and in execution of the eskimo roll, yet
move aside to allow the paddler to enter or exit
the boat easily. AquaDynamic Watercraft Inc.
blord@AquaDynamic.com. Ph: 1-866-278-
Go a little further. Sneak a little closer. Troll for
trout. Rescue a friend. Retractable from the cockpit.
Retains functional rudder. Call for more details
today. LPW Kayak & Power Systems. Guy &
Rocky Light. 8000 E. Clearview Dr., Carson City,
NV 89701. Ph: 775-882-2535 Fax: 775-882-
2760. Email: email@example.com
Native offers the first true Sports Sunglass to exclusively
feature polarized lens technology.
Lenses are impact resistant, block 100% harmful
UV light. Lifetime warranty. Total comfort in
less than an ounce. Suggested retail $119 Cdn.
Call 1-888-925-8686 for a dealer near you or
check out www.nativeyewear.com
October/November 2001 WaveLength
The Roleez Sports Caddy can carry your gear
through sand, mud or snow, over rocks, curbs,
stairs, bumps, grass or turf. Patented balloon
wheels are tough yet pliable, and don’t sink or
plow in tough terrain. The Caddy can carry up to
200 lbs with ease. 1-800-369-1390.
NRS SeaTour Jacket. Waterproof
and breathable at an incredible
price. You won’t find a better
value in an anorak style
touring jacket. Utilizes
WaveTex fabric for the
perfect combination of
comfort and durability.
Underarm zippers offer
ventilation, while neoprene
on neck and wrists
seals out spray. Reflective tape on shoulders improves
safety in low visibility. Innovative rolldown
hood with visor stows in its own pocket.
Shock-cord waist and taped seams keep you dry
and comfortable. S-XXL, yellow. $129.95US. ❏
From the Rainforest
Back To the Future
Sea kayaking is, as paddler John Deakins
wrote, “a culture in the making”. But
what sort of culture are we creating?
Kayaking tends to attract individualists,
and we see ourselves as unique, the only
ones having these experiences. But there
are lots of kayakers, boaters, and others out
there. And we need to develop a sense of
etiquette with respect to both the people
and the land.
This spring I had a spooky experience. I
time-travelled twenty years into the past,
to the time when I had just begun ocean
kayaking. Our group was visiting a section
of the coast not often paddled. There were
few other paddlers around. No whale
watchers, no water taxis, no fish farm
barges. Very little traffic at all, except a few
As we camped on the beaches, debates
began which sounded familiar to me.
“What is the possible harm of leaving just
one apple core?” “Why not have a bigger
fire—look at all this wood!” Why do we
have to be so fussy about where we take a
crap—no one’s around!”
I clearly remember having these debates
with friends back in the eighties. People
then could not imagine a world which
would be crowded with kayakers. Today,
as I hike up and down beaches scoured
clean of any burnable scraps of firewood, I
think back to those debates. As legions of
mice scurry over my bivvy bag each night,
I ponder the sheer number of visitors to wild
areas, and the inevitable crumbs of food as
well as the thoughtless ditching of leftovers
which have resulted in a multiplying mouse
Five years ago I swore that if I couldn’t
drink the water out of local creeks, I
wouldn’t paddle anymore. I scoffed at people
who insisted on boiling or treating the
water before drinking. Now I’ve witnessed
enough questionable, even shoddy, practices
disposing of human waste that I’m
leery of sipping water from pristine-looking
Is there a solution to all these woes? There
certainly is. When you find a little cove that
looks as if no one else has ever been there,
assume that someone has, and try to leave
it looking the same way for the next group
to enjoy. We need to perfect a Leave No
Trace (LNT) ethic for visiting wild places.
The big three: shit, fires, and garbage.
We need to get much better at disposing
of human waste in ways that don’t harm
the environment. The big issue is keeping
it away from sources of fresh water. Your
best bet is to use an outhouse, if one is provided.
I fear we will be seeing more of these
appear in formerly wild places, yet I can
see the need at certain high-use campsites.
Where no outhouse exists, I think it’s best
to bury the waste down near the low tide
line, where it will spend as much time as
possible underwater. Others suggest packing
everything out. And when you pee, do
so directly into the salt water—especially
during dry summers, to avoid odours.
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As for fires, they are no longer considered
essential to the camping experience.
You’ll cook more quickly and cleanly over
most any portable stove these days. As night
falls, try gathering around a candle lantern
to watch the sunset fade and the stars come
out one by one. If you must have a fire,
keep it small. The idea is to burn it right
down to white ash.
There are two reasons people are failing
to do this: 1) they start with wet wood (dry
cedar may look wet on the outside, but if
it’s light, it’s dry inside!), and 2) they try to
burn pieces that are too big.
If you create a fire pit on the beach, don’t
ring it with rocks—they just get charred and
ugly (Ed. some rocks explode when they
get hot). Leave no trace of your fire-pit when
you leave. But don’t just bury a fire in beach
sand! If someone before you has already
left a fire pit, then use it. Don’t build another
nearby to suit your particular needs.
Garbage is pretty simple. You pack it in,
you pack it out. Try to leave as much packaging
as possible at home. You can burn
paper and compost in the field, but don’t
burn plastic, as it releases toxic chemicals.
One of the attributes we seek while voyaging
in Nature is solitude, to escape from
the madding crowd. We tend to seek out
privacy when camping, and I’ve seen people
get quite annoyed when others arrive
at “their” camp-spot for the night. Better to
set up your camp so that late arrivals can
easily find a place to settle in for the night.
My hope for the future is that people will
use kayaking as a platform for reflection,
as a tool for exploration. I hope that people
have life-changing experiences, that
they come to re-assess their place in the
world, and their relationship with Nature.
One of the main strengths of paddling is
its ability to connect us with the past. This
will only become more important in the
future. By leaving behind the conveniences
and distractions of post-industrial society,
we have an opportunity to value the truly
important things in life, such as food,
warmth, shelter, companionship, peace,
and beauty. We are then empowered to
distinguish between these vital “needs”,
and manufactured consumer “wants”. ❏
© Dan Lewis and Bonny
Adventures in Clayoquot
26 WaveLength October/November 2001
Photo Mark Hobson
Orca Pass Holiday
This year we didn’t travel north to the
Broughton Archipelago for our summer
holiday as we have done the past three summers.
Having just moved to a new home,
we wanted to spend time in the garden, so
our usual month-long expedition was out
of the question.
We ended up spending ten days on the
water in August, cruising in our little kayakladen
mothership around the Gulf Islands.
What a pleasant rediscovery it was of the
many beauties to be found close to home.
In that time we were able to visit some
favourite spots and a couple of new places.
Laurie also had the chance to take some
photos for her work on the ‘Orca Pass’
transboundary initiative (see right).
‘Orca Pass’ (so-named because orca
whales are resident in these waters) is a
cooperative project of some twenty Canadian
and US non-profit organizations. It was
inspired by the special ecological values
of the area and the need to preserve them.
We toured much of the Orca Pass area
on the Canadian side this year and hope to
visit the San Juans in the near future. The
island groups are really one contiguous
chain of islands in a shared inland sea—
home to the Coast Salish peoples for 10,000
years—commonly called the Salish Sea.
Our first stop was James Bay on Prevost
Island, where we spent two nights recovering
from the inevitable crush of last minute
work before leaving for holiday.
Located near Saltspring, James Bay was
acquired by the government a few years ago
as part of a future national park. Facing
northwest, it’s a good spot in a south easterly,
and a big bay with room for a couple
of dozen boats (although we only saw four
at anchor). There’s also a spacious camping
area for paddlers in the long grass of an
abandoned apple orchard and great shore
walks in the 90 acre park.
Our first day there, we launched our kayaks
and paddled out around the tip of
October/November 2001 WaveLength
...... Boundary of ‘Orca Pass’
The waters between the Canadian Gulf
Islands and the US San Juan Islands are
a beautiful area of rich marine life, sensitive
habitat, and cultural significance. But as the
human population grows, the marine environment
faces threats from over-development,
pollution, fishing pressures and heavy marine
As a result, populations of groundfish have
plummeted in the region along with many
birds. Orca whales are officially at risk, faced
with fewer salmon stocks and relentless
exposure to toxic
chemicals from land runoff
Parks Canada has called
southern Georgia Strait ‘the most
at-risk natural environment in
Canada’, and the situation is no better on
the US side of the border.
Seven years ago a panel of marine scientists
appointed by BC and Washington called
for the immediate establishment of marine
protected areas (MPAs) in the region. MPAs
are a proven tool to restore depleted species
and protect biodiversity. But subsequent government
efforts to establish MPAs here have
gone nowhere despite the fact that the loss of
marine biodiversity continues unabated.
Recognizing that decisive action is urgently
needed, a dozen environmental groups from
both sides of the border joined forces two
years ago in a campaign to create MPAs in
the region. The effort, led by the Georgia Strait
Alliance and People for Puget Sound, has
grown to include whale researchers, kayak
Prevost, making our way to Hawkins Islet.
Hawkins is a recreation reserve with a
pocket shell beach on a picturesque setting,
situated directly across from Active
Pass, the main route into Georgia Strait. The
only downside was finding an active shellfish
farm anchored in the shallows off
Hawkins’ neighbouring islet. The whole
paddle was 3-4 miles in total, during which
we saw eagles, cormorants, and seals.
Next we headed south to Sidney Spit, on
Sidney Island, an amazingly long sand spit
serving as a natural breakwater behind
which BC Parks has situated numerous
mooring buoys. But watch the shallow
depths and pick your tides if your boat
draws much water. Paddlers, of course, have
none of these worries and will find lots of
room to camp in a large, level, grassy area
by the old dock, part way into the lagoon.
On a previous trip Laurie and I had
walked out to the end of the spit, and back
around the lagoon, but this time we paddled
into the lagoon at high tide, finding its
operators, community groups and even the
two local governments—the Islands Trust and
San Juan County.
The groups have mapped out what they
are calling the ‘Orca Pass International Stewardship
Area’, a name given in recognition
of the region’s true ‘transboundary citizens’—
the Orca whales that transit the area.
Within Orca Pass, they’re using GIS mapping,
scientific data and other information to
identify resources and habitats at risk
and areas that require special protection.
They want to see Orca
Pass become a ‘stewardship
area’, in which a strong ethic of
coastal stewardship prevails and
forms a common theme for human
activities. Over the coming
months they will be proposing a
number of ‘no-take’ MPAs and other special
protection zones within Orca Pass, to
serve as sanctuaries for restoration of declining
For Orca Pass to become a reality, it’s going
to require a groundswell of public support
that governments will be unable to ignore.
If the groups are successful, Orca Pass
could become the first transboundary MPA
in North America, perhaps the world—and
the jewel in the crown for paddlers and lowimpact
eco-tourism operators in the region.
To find out more or to get involved: Georgia
Strait Alliance, 250-381-8321
(www.georgiastrait.org) or People for Puget
Sound, 206-382-7007 (www.puget
PAGE’S RESORT MARINA
Silva Bay—Gabriola Island
Cottages, Campground, Fuel, Moorage,
Laundromat, Showers, Diveshop,
Artwork, Charts, Books and
near Drumbeg provincial park
and the Flat Top Islands.
Hawkins Islet and its large midden
semi-enclosed, shallow waters still and
peaceful, its fine sandy shores fringed with
reeds, and populated by great blue herons
At the far end of the lagoon we landed
on a low rocky islet covered with gnarled
Garry oaks, twisting, red-bodied arbutus,
and open grassy spaces.
We spent a couple of nights at the Spit
before crossing to the town of Sidney on
southern Vancouver Island. We tied up at
Port Sidney Marina which has lots of dock
space, including customs for US boaters arriving
in Canada, plus showers for us!
While at Port Sidney, we visited the Marine
Ecology Station run by our friend and
former Georgia Strait Alliance board member,
Dr. Bill Austin, who demonstrated the
Station’s remote controlled submersible vehicle,
Seymour. The Station is well worth a visit.
Paddle Sports Professionals
Photo: Alan Wilson
(Marine Ecology Station: 250-655-1555.
Despite bleak weather and foreboding
forecasts, we set off next for Chatham Island
which lies in a group with Discovery
Island, just off Oak Bay. Although there is
limited anchorage and the islands are
plagued with winds and turbulent currents,
we dropped anchor and spent a night here.
The environment reminded me of the
Queen Charlottes for its wild beauty, even
though it’s situated close to Victoria. We had
a delightful private paddle in the intricate
shallow waterways, encountering numerous
seals, including a baby flopping about
Boat Passage at Winter Cove.
in the kelp and bleating for its mom.
Chatham is First Nations territory, but
nearby Discovery Island Marine Park has
excellent camping for paddlers.
The final highlight of our trip was our
favourite one: Cabbage Island. A long-time
Marine Park, Cabbage lies just off Saturna
Island, cradled in the arms of Tumbo Island.
We left our boat anchored at Winter Cove
on Saturna and paddled to Cabbage, carefully
timing the current in Boat Passage, a
narrow channel into Georgia Strait which
can run up to 7 knots. It was breathlessly
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Low tides are lush at Cabbage Island.
Canadian Recreational Recreational Canoe
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For dates and prices, call us at 250-381-4233
or check out our courses on the web at:
28 WaveLength October/November 2001
Photo: Alan Wilson
calm as we paddled the 4.5 miles there,
past reefs covered in harbour seals, and
through a sea boiling with thousands of little
fish we couldn’t identify.
Cabbage has fine sand, and warm waters
on a hot day, which makes it popular.
Strangely, although all the mooring buoys
were in use by boaters, there wasn’t a single
kayak camper despite several nice
A vast intertidal plain stretches between
Cabbage and Tumbo Islands and we
practiced our marine life identification as
we drifted in the shallows, staring down at
all manner of shellfish and marine creatures...
including my first sighting of a giant
moonsnail on the move, riding along
on its enormous foot, looking for all the
world like an immense garden snail, complete
with horns outstretched.
It’s good to know that citizens on both
sides of the border are working hard to protect
life in Orca Pass, and that if we all work
together, it will remain very much as it is
today for future generations to come. ❏
© Alan Wilson, Editor
Photo: Laurie MacBride
Books Order at WaveLengthMagazine.com
Amazon Extreme by Colin Angus, Stoddart Publishing, 2001.
ISBN 0-7737-3301-9, hardcover, B&W, 204 pp. $29.95 Cdn.
This is the awe inspiring tale of Colin Angus, Ben Kozel and
Scott Borthwick, who traveled the Amazon River by raft in
1999. They are the first people to locate the source of the
Amazon and then travel its entire length to the Atlantic.
During their 5 month expedition they covered 7000 kilometers of dangerous
waters and rugged terrain. Colin Angus is currently paddling down the
Yenisey River in Mongolia and Siberia.
The Last River: the Tragic Race for Shangra-La by Todd Balf,
Three Rivers Press, 2000. ISBN 0-609-80801-X, paperback,
B&W, 281 pp. $13 US, $20 Cdn.
This is the fascinating account of the ill-fated Walker-McEwan
1998 whitewater kayaking expedition into Tibet to run the
Yarlung Tsangpo—”the Everest of Rivers”. For Walker and
McEwan, the journey through the 140 mile Tsangpo Gorge,
with its 2000 foot cliffs 60 feet apart, was the culmination of a 25-year
dream. For the others, it was a chance at the greatest adventure and
challenge of their lives, until tragedy struck.
A Paddlers’ Guide to Everglades National Park by Johnny
Molloy, University Press of Florida, 2000. ISBN 0-8130-
1787-4, softcover, B&W, 202 pp. $16.95 US.
Johnny Molloy presents detailed information about 53 paddling
routes in Everglades National Park, including mileage,
paddling time, hazards, campsites and physical & cultural
landmarks. He also includes tips for trip planning, average
temperature & rainfall and 22 maps.
Spirited Waters by Jennifer Hahn, Mountaineers Books 2001.
ISBN 0-89996-744-4, hardcover, B&W, 211pp. $24.95 US
This is the inspiring narrative of Jennifer Hahn’s solo kayaking
adventure from Ketchican, Alaska to Bellingham, Washington.
It took her seventy days during two springs and two
summers to complete the 750 mile journey. She paddled
through tide rips and gale force winds, encountered wolves
and bears, faced her fears, and lived by her wits and abilities. This
fascinating story is punctuated by hand-drawn charts, botanical drawings
and even recipes.
Marine Mammals of the Pacific Northwest, Harbour Publishing,
2001. ISBN 1-55017-254-9, waterproof paper, color.
This handy, one-page folded, waterproof guide depicts all the
marine mammals from the waters off Oregon, Washington, BC
and the southern coast of Alaska. It includes photos and
drawing as well as common visible behaviors, habitat, identification
tips and marine mammal watching guidelines.
Wood and Canvas Kayak Building by George Putz, International
Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, 1990. ISBN 0-
07-155939-6, softcover, B&W, 124 pp. $18.95 US.
This concise, well-illustrated book offers all the information
and plans to build two elegant open-water kayaks—
simply, easily and economically. George Putz guides even
the most inexperienced woodworker through the process
of building a 17 or 18 1/2 foot Inuit-inspired sea kayak using no more than
$250 of readily available tools and materials. He incorporates modern
adhesives to reduce the number of fasteners and the degree of precision
required to build the frame. He also includes information on modifications,
maintenance and paddle building.
Savvy Paddler by Doug Alderson, Ragged Mountain Press,
2001. ISBN 0-07-136203-7, softcover, 126 pp. $15.95 US
This entertaining book consists of more than 500 excellent
tips for better kayaking from veteran kayaker, Doug Alderson.
Doug includes information on everything from learning to
paddle to planning a multi-day trip. These tips will make
your paddling easier, safer, cheaper and more enjoyable. ❏
October/November 2001 WaveLength
year ago I wrote my first article for WaveLength introducing
the “Paddling Partners Page”.
I want to thank the almost 300 paddlers who have made submissions
either looking for, or offering to be, a paddling partner.
WaveLength has had submissions from around the world—from
Australia and New Zealand, from the Northwest Territories to Prince
Edward Island, from Florida to Alaska, from Wales, Scotland and
England to continental Europe, to Argentina, Turkey, Israel, Hong
Kong and Indonesia.
Due to this very positive response and the number of partners
involved, we have upgraded this page to make it more friendly for
New submissions are now posted immediately. We have also
created more room for you to describe your paddling area, and
have added two new categories, one for province or state, and one
for country. Until now, users had to scroll the list of 300 names to
try and find a partner in their paddling area of choice. These two
new categories will allow users of this page to request only those
names that are in the country or state/province of their choice.
You can get to the Paddling Partners page from a link on the
Home Page at www.WaveLengthMagazine.com
Here at WaveLength we are continuing to look to the future,
providing a website that is both informative and entertaining for
the global paddling community. If you have ideas for new features
for the site, we would be more than happy to hear about them. You
can email your thoughts to me at webmaster@wavelengthmagazine.
© Ted Leather is the WaveLength Webmaster and operates
Clayrose Internet Creations, an internet services company
specializing in website design and management.
Now available in Victoria
From the Archipelago
The early morning was serenely awash
in damp shades of summer gray. My
hydrophone dangled over the side of my
boat out of sight in the cold dark water,
ready to carry underwater sounds into my
world. Dark roast coffee steamed from the
mug held close to my chest for warmth.
This has not been a warm summer. The
sun has made only rare and brief appearances,
but I have grown to love the soft
touch of fog droplets. Similarly, I have decided
green tomatoes are delicious, no
longer waiting for them to go red, because
more often than not they simply mold before
Like last summer, this year has been good
for toads, slugs and salmon, and as I waited
for any hint of whales over the hydrophone,
salmon were jumping everywhere around
me—the spirited free-form leaps of the little
pink salmon, the smooth arcs of coho,
the bronzy explosions of chinook salmon,
the sliding skips of chum and sockeye
This was supposed to be an “off” year for
pink salmon. The big runs of pink salmon
in the mainland between Kingcome and
Knight Inlets are on the even years, but there
Sea Kayak Association of BC
Trips, training, monthly meetings,
newsletters, paddling contacts
Box 751, Stn. A,
Vancouver, BC V6C 2N6
was a surprise showing this year. “Must be
from the Glendale River,” remarked neighbour,
DFO patrolman Glen Niedrauer. The
pinks were fat and bright, indicating a good
two years of feeding out in the open ocean.
I canned up several loads of pink salmon,
because they are the healthiest species of
salmon to eat. Their short life span and habit
of feeding low on the food chain, on larval
organisms floating among the plankton, reduces
the chance of bio-accumulation of
the toxins so prevalent in farm salmon. The
abundant pink salmon also benefit the fishing
communities of this coast. In addition,
they are simply delicious.
Lost in the spectacle of the returning
salmon, I missed the first few “tink, tink,
tink” of orca echolocation, but as they penetrated
my reverie, my heart leapt. It took
twenty minutes of dedicated scanning to
spot the distinctive rise, pause and sink of
the whales’ fins. Three big males. I looked
around, but no others appeared. “Must be
the A36 brothers”, I thought. This small pod
of whales has only three males left and so
is doomed to extinction. However, the three
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The activity we see is only the ‘surface’ of whale behaviour.
brothers seemed to be enjoying the summer.
Most often seen in the company of
large groups of As and Is, they were taking
the day for themselves.
When they entered Fife Sound they split.
Two went up along the Broughton Island
shoreline and the third took the Eden Island
side. Interspersed with the crisp sonar
clicks came the lovely sweeping
Weeoooup, so characteristic to the A36’s
and all their kin. For a long time I took this
call to mean “I’m over here and doing fine,”
an acoustic reaching-out to each other,
keeping the family together. But a paper I
read recently by Dr. Peter Tyak of the highly
respected Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute,
has given me a new perspective on
this and other calls made by the orca.
Dr. Tyak hypothesizes that if whale “A”
knows in intimate detail what whale “B”
has said, whale “A” can examine the sound
she receives and in doing so “see” schools
of fish that might lie between the two
whales. This set an enormous “Ah, hah” off
in my brain. One of the mysteries about
orca is why each family of fish-eaters (residents)
bothers to use a unique dialect. Dr
Tyak’s hypothesis suggests an answer to this
question. Orca and other dolphins are
known to pay close attention to minute
changes in both the frequency and timing
of their calls. If a young whale has learned
exactly how a sound should be broadcast,
it can “read” the holes punched in it by
objects and thus detect fish. A mother whale
would be most interested in providing this
swath of acoustic illumination to her offspring,
not whales from another family. This
would explain why each family uses its own
dialect. However, this is still only a theory
and there are likely many other factors are
30 WaveLength October/November 2001
Photo: Alexandra Morton
When the A36 brothers entered Tribune
Channel they promptly fell asleep
and swam close together, producing
long rhythmic breaths. This was such
normal behaviour it gave me hope that
the persistent impact of the underwater
acoustic harassment devices that
had been used by the salmon farmers was drawing to an end.
When the whales came in a few days later they behaved in a
similar manner, but at the east end of Fife they appeared to have a
serious argument. One brother crossed to the Gilford Island shore
and foraged intently, while a second brother made a wide arc out
to the Burdwood Islands. The third brother, however, stopped at
the end of Fife and slammed his tail repeatedly on the surface.
Calls triangulated between the brothers and forward progress was
halted. After an hour and a half, they decided to swim back the
way they had come. I wondered why, until I spoke with a
sportfisherman later who told me there had been a second family
of whales that had not wanted to come into Fife and had turned
and gone back out. This family may not have been convinced the
pain-causing sound devices from the fish farms had been silenced.
At least one of the brothers had apparently been intent on escorting
that family and had convinced the other two that social needs
should outweigh a long quiet nap down Tribune Channel.
The abundance of pink salmon this year was matched by other
fish species as well. Thousands of rhinoceros auklets dotted Fife
Sound all summer. This species of bird is a surface marker of big
masses of small fish. Usually they congregate out in Queen Charlotte
Strait, feeding on the herring that are swept against the Archipelago
with every flood tide. Whenever I saw a flock actively feeding,
surrounded by screaming gulls, I snuck in to take a peek. I
could always find a tight little ball of fish in the center of the activity
being eaten from below by the diving auklets and snatched from
above by the swarming gulls. The fish were about 5cm long and
made very snakey movements. There were none of the scales twinkling
in the dark water that I find whenever herring are being eaten
by birds. As I approached the school, I took a dip with my net and
found so many fish in it I couldn’t lift it up. I quickly backed it
down until I had only a few, then I slipped them into a bucket. The
little fish were slim and slivery, their dorsal fins ran down the entire
length of their backs—they were sand lance.
I have never seen sand lance in the Archipelago before this spring.
That doesn’t mean they were never here, because fish are so hard
to see, but they certainly have not been here in the past decade in
such high numbers for so long. I make it a habit of checking whatever
dolphins and birds bring to the surface and have never seen
these fish before.
With arrival of so many sand lance I expected a humpback whale
to come in and feed on them, but none materialized. I wondered
why until I spoke with a commercial troller who had been fishing
at the west end of Queen Charlotte Strait. There, fishing for salmon
he had hooked many oil-rich pilchard or sardines. I know from
previous experience that humpback whales love pilchard. The oil
in those fish help sustain the essential warm blanket of fatty blubber
on the whales. Clearly the table was well set to the west.
In mid August a mysterious phenomena reappeared. Beginning
in 1986 I have occasionally heard a very distinctive sound from
the hydrophone, which operates 24 hours a day in my house. When
I first heard it I thought it was a humpback whale leaping. Then
when I couldn’t see anything on the surface, I began to wonder if it
was something dragging along the seafloor. It sounds a little like
Darth Vader breathing in the Star Wars movies. After 1986 the “sea
monster” was silent for almost a decade, but when I heard it again
I recognized it immediately. Now over the years I hear it periodically.
It is often heard in the fall, particularly as the sun begins to
October/November 2001 WaveLength
If you hope to enjoy the wilderness
of this coast in the future, you are
going to have to fight for her.
set. I have come across it here and
there through the Archipelago. Once
it must have been directly beneath the
boat and very loud. I now believe this
sound is a call of some type because
it has a distinctive repetitive rhythm.
It sounds like a very large animal,
whatever it is, because it is so low frequency. There are likely many
life forms in the ocean that we have never seen, or have seen but
never heard. Some day I hope to borrow a remote-controlled submersible
to try and have a look at this caller from the deep.
The sealice infection I identified this spring has shown up in
many other species of salmonids including searun cutthroat trout,
young chinook salmon, young coho and chums. Several people
have brought me young salmon they have found lying in the bottoms
of their boats in the morning. No one has seen this before and
some believe the excessive jumping is due to the fish trying to rid
themselves of the sealice. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans
refuses to take this event seriously and have even placed me under
investigation for taking the lice-infested pink smolts two weeks prior
to receiving my scientific permit. The international community of
scientists, however, has a completely different take on these sealice.
They tell me they felt certain this would happen here, as it has
everywhere else there are salmon farms. They say most of the fish I
caught had so many lice they were not going to survive and that
unless the salmon farmers are forced to reduce their sealice before
the wild salmon juveniles come out of the rivers each year, we will
lose our wild stocks just as they have in Norway, Scotland and
Ireland. They have been very helpful in guiding me through proper
I have seen many kayakers enjoying the beauty of this Archipelago.
Small pods of you appear through wisps of fog, among the
diamond-capped waves of the afternoon westerlies, and your brilliant
little vessels line some white beaches like butterflies at rest. To
you I would like to say that if you hope to enjoy the wilderness of
this coast in the future, you are going to have to fight for her. Oil
wells are on the way and the fish farmers want to expand throughout
the entire coast in ever increasing densities. The governments
of Canada, British Columbia and many municipalities have failed
to recognize that wilderness will become the most precious and
valuable commodity on earth in the near future. In my years of
talking with bureaucrats and politicians I have learned one thing—
it is up to us, the citizens, to keep life on earth. ❏
© Alexandra Morton is a marine
mammal scientist and writer in
the Broughton Archipelago.
WaveLength held a 10th Anniversary gathering,
August 11-12 on Gabriola Island for
staff, columnists, distributors and those
who’ve played a role over the years. Lots of
laughter ensued as we shared stories of
memorable past events—like the time we
cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 70 people
at Blackberry Point! Sunday morning we
held a strategic planning session to help us
grow into the second decade.
The American Canoe Association is offering
$15,000 in free hull insurance coverage
to clubs participating in the association’s
Paddle America program. The insurance
covers losses due to theft or damage,
including damage while boats are in transit.
800-929-5162 or www.acanet.org
Beter Bray, 44, is believed to be the first
person to paddle from Newfoundland to
Ireland, across the North Atlantic. He left
Canada on June 23, and arrived in Ireland
in early September in a 7.3 metre kayak
with a waterproof cabin.
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Berry Wijdeven, WaveLength’s cartoonist,
had one of his ‘Raindrops’ cartoons published
in a July issue of Canada’s national
magazine, Maclean’s, proving once again,
he says, that dubious drawing skills do not
necessarily preclude a career in cartooning!
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science
Centre, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
are calling on the public to participate in
the BC Cetacean Sightings Network by reporting
all whale, dolphin, and porpoise
sightings in BC Waters. More than 17 species
of whales, dolphins, and porpoises can
be seen off the BC coast. Sightings can be
contributed via mail, fax or on-line at
www.wildwhales.org. For those that work
on the water in a professional capacity, a
logbook to record sightings can also be
obtained from the Aquarium, and returned
when completed. Sightings will then be
entered into a database that will be used
for future analysis of key questions pertaining
to the cetaceans of British Columbia.
For information: Angela Nielsen 604-659-
3516 or Nancy Fowler 604-666-0646.
A humpback whale found dead near Glacier
Bay in July was likely hit by a cruise
ship, according to an expert hired by the
US Park Service. An autopsy Sunday indicated
the whale was pregnant and suffered
a severe head injury. Park Service officials
are interviewing crews to pinpoint which
ship may have hit the whale.
There appears to be a growing body of evidence
that whale-watching tours are con-
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tributing to Orca population decline. Studies
of outboard motor noise on whale behaviour
seem to indicate that the 100 metre
limit for approach may be far too small.
There is also some evidence that paddlers
could have impacts on Orca behaviour.
Mark Spalding, a professor at UCSD with
extensive experience in whale watching
issues worldwide, says “There is no question
there are short-term impacts on whales
of whale watching, including behavioral
changes, dives, breathing, and flight. And
until we have proven that there is no long-
Submit your funny photos for our
upcoming ‘Misadventures in
Paddling’ (Humour) issue (contest
deadline: Nov. 1st). Submitters
whose photos are selected will
receive a free year’s subscription, and
their pictures will be published in
WaveLength and/or on our website.
Guide Jim Demler after a Tsunami
in Clayoquot Sound
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32 WaveLength October/November 2001
term impact, we should exercise caution. Orca do exhibit behavioral
changes when chased by boats. It is only common sense not to
pursue, or encircle, the whales.”
‘Cockroaches of the sea’, that’s how the Japanese government describes
minke whales. Fisheries Agency counselor Masayuki
Komatsu made the comment in an interview with Australian Broadcasting
Corp. as he denounced efforts to curb Japan’s whaling industry.
For the second year in a row, meanwhile, the International
Whaling Commission rejected pleas to create new whale sanctuaries
in the South Pacific and South Atlantic. Japan came under fire
for “vote buying”—essentially bribing impoverished Caribbean nations
with aid money so they will vote against protections for our
vanishing whales. Japan slaughters hundreds of whales every year
in defiance of international law. Japanese whalers claim they kill
whales for “scientific research,” but the whale meat ends up on
dinner plates in Tokyo’s finest restaurants.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are recognized
by scientists around the world
as an important tool in conserving marine
biological diversity and developing
sustainable fisheries. However, despite
commitments of Canadian, American,
and Mexican governments to establish MPAs, progress is slow and
the health of our oceans remains in jeopardy. In response, the Living
Oceans Society, a BC conservation group, is hosting the MPA
Power Tools Conference October 19-21 in White Rock, BC. The
goal is to empower individuals from the west coast of North America
to become part of the movement to establish MPAs. The conference
features speakers from Canada, the USA, and Mexico. Scientists
and GIS experts will share innovative tools available to identify
MPAs, First Nations leaders will teach ways to work on MPA
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initiatives while respecting native culture and legal issues, and commercial
fishermen will outline ways to work collaboratively on MPA
projects. Groups from around North America will discuss their MPA
projects, providing the opportunity for building partnerships and
sharing ideas. For details or to register: www.livingoceans.org or
A massive fish kill at a salmon farm in Bedwell Sound has alarmed
First Nations’ leadership. The weight of a reported 25 foot deep
layer of dead fish, lying at the bottom of a huge net pen, damaged
the structure of the net cage. The fish had died from an algae bloom,
which may have been caused by waste from the farm itself. Fungus
covered carcasses floating to the surface created an unbearable
stench at the site. The Ahousaht people had earlier protested when
the fish farm company wanted to move their net cages there, but
government allowed this site to go ahead, ignoring protests.
The BC salmon aquaculture industry is being investigated by a Citizens’
Inquiry beginning October 1. The Leggatt Inquiry into Salmon
Farming in BC is headed by former BC Supreme Court justice Stuart
Leggatt. Public hearings are taking place in several communities to
October 12. The federal Fisheries department is refusing to participate.
Written public submissions are encouraged. The report is due
out mid-November. Ph: 604-721-1536. www.leggattinquiry.com.
The world’s coral reefs may be dead within 50 years because of
global warming. Microscopic algae that support the coral polyps
cannot live in the warmer water, and the polyps, the tiny creatures
who actually create the reefs, die off within weeks. Scientists agree
the world’s oceans are now warming at a rate of between one and
two degrees Celsius every 100 years due to the increased amounts
of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But even if we stopped
pumping out greenhouse gases tomorrow, it would still be too late
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to save the reefs, given a 50-year time lag
between carbon dioxide emissions and the
effect on ocean temperature. The implications
stretch far beyond the death of the
colorful coral structures themselves. The
weird and wonderful eels and fish which
inhabit the nooks and crannies will become
homeless, and many species will die out.
Humans will also suffer directly as the dead
reefs are eroded and shorelines that have
been protected for the last 10,000 years face
the wrath of the oceans without their natural
defenses. The only cause for optimism
is that new coral reefs could start to emerge
in colder waters such as the north Atlantic
Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
A recent discovery of deep-sea coral off
Nova Scotia’s coast is fuelling a debate over
the importance of such areas as fish habitat.
A diving expedition went 500 metres
down this summer and found a thriving,
centuries-old thicket of cold-water coral,
never before seen. Anna Metaxas, the lead
scientist on the expedition says, “What we
hope to be able to do is provide some idea
of how these systems work to help policy
makers to make decisions about how much
an area should be protected.” But environmental
activists say science is taking too
long, and researchers already know that the
home coral provides for juvenile groundfish
is threatened by certain fishing practices.
The Ecology Action Centre in Nova Scotia
says the government is aware that trawlers
with weighted nets are scouring the ocean
floor, destroying everything in their path,
including coral. The group is taking the Department
of Fisheries and Oceans to court
over its decision to re-open Georges Bank
off Nova Scotia to dragger boats again this
Johnson Outdoors Inc. announced in late
August that it will consolidate the manufacturing
of Necky Kayaks (winner of Manufacturer
of the Year in 2001) into its Ocean
Kayak facilities based in Ferndale, Washington.
The Necky brand will continue
along with its sales, marketing and new
product development functions. Patrick
O’Brien, President and CEO, emphasized,
“We are pleased that the Necky brand will
continue to maintain its own infrastructure
in support of marketing, sales and new
product development. There is a lot of heritage
surrounding this brand and we greatly
respect that. This move was made to leverage
our manufacturing and logistics management.”
Johnson Outdoors Inc. is a global
company engaged in the design, manufacture
and marketing of many well-known
branded outdoor recreation products. Visit
Johnson Outdoors online at
Former fisheries scientist, David Hoar and
his physician wife Noreen Rudd, have
spent twenty years exploring the coast of
BC and Alaska. Ten years ago they started
compiling recipes on computer so they
didn’t have to drag dozens of cookbooks
along on their trips.
They didn’t plan to write a book, but people
they met were always asking questions
and the cookbook seemed like the best way
of putting the information together. Although
written with the boating community
in mind, it’s equally valuable for campers
and seafood lovers alike.
Cooks Afloat! is dedicated to those who
are committed to the preservation of our
coastal fishery, reflecting David and
Noreen’s philosophy of treading lightly on
the earth. It’s a mini-fieldguide to coastal
edibles such as berries, wild onion, sea asparagus,
beach peas and shellfish. Recipes
entice you to taste the treats of nature, as
long as caution is taken not to overharvest.
The provisions list includes spices and liqueurs
to add that gourmet taste with least
effort. Noreen has learned, for example, that
Pernod makes crab just a bit more exotic.
Although they now have a galley, the
authors used to travel by inflatable and did
lots of canoeing in Ontario. They’ve baked
on campfires and Coleman stoves using
two pie plates (one deep dish and another
slightly smaller) put together like a
clamshell. They recall canoeing around
Bowron Lakes relying on their own prepackaged
WaveLength’s Diane Coussens attended the
Outdoor Retailers Summer Market in Salt
Lake City this August and reports it was a
wonderful event. She enjoyed several days
of rubbing shoulders with the manufacturers
and retailers of the outdoor industry. This
years show included more exhibitors and
brands than ever before. Total attendance
was 18,792 with 948 exhibiting companies
and 3,284 retail stores represented by 6,261
buyers, up in every capacity from last year.
The show kicked off with the Open Air
Demo held at Little Dell Lake where retailers
had the opportunity to try out the latest
outdoor products of 50 companies. While
admitting she might be biased, Diane reports
that she found the Paddlesports area
of the event the most fun and friendly.
Throughout each day there were demonstrations
by some of the worlds’ best
paddlers in the pool. Manufacturers were
enthusiastic in showing all the new devel-
Deborah Leach with Noreen
Rudd and David Hoar
“We made 12 days of food and packed
all the food for each day in a separate
ziplock so that we would not run out. We
even packed snack food in the daily allotment
so that the treats were spread out over
the days. Then we packed 2 extra days of
food in case of unforeseen delays in our
travels.” Needless to say, with that sort of
organization, they didn’t go hungry.
Now they plan to get kayaks for their
boat, the Pacific Voyager. David has already
figured out which kayaks they want to buy,
but he encourages people to get ‘out there’
however they can—whether in a kayak,
opments development in kayaks, paddles,
clothing and accessories. At press time,
Diane has just returned from the TAPS’ West
Coast Kayak Symposium in Port Townsend
which she reports as another big success,
although the mood was dampened by the
recent terrorist attacks. “Paddlefests”, she
says, “help build camaraderie and excellence
in the industry. They are a great opportunities
to learn about new developments,
try new products, meet new people
and bump into old friends.”
Trailpeak.com has recently launched a
trails database for kayaking, cycling, hiking,
and skiing. They have 10 kayak routes,
including 2 from Baja. They allow anyone
to upload pictures, descriptions, route stats,
GPS data, and often create 3D maps. All
maps and listings are free. Contact Kurt
Turchan at 604-689-9667. ❏
34 WaveLength October/November 2001
Noreen and David on Pacific Voyager
canoe or an inflatable—to discover what
the coast has to offer. He points out that
small boats teach you how to handle yourself
on water so you can “move up to your
dream boat when the rocks get too hard to
Their model suggests that mothership
kayaking is likely in the future of many
coastal paddlers who may well want more
creature comforts as they age, but still want
to explore the shallows in silence from their
SUMMERTIME WILD PEA—
1 cup sea asparagus
1 cup shelled beach peas
1 orange, peeled and chipped
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp sugar.
Sea asparagus, known as American
glasswort or Pacific samphire (Salicornia
pacifica), is a succulent, salty-tasting plant
with leafless jointed stems. The blue green
plant grows around tide flats and salt
Beach pea (Lathyrus japonicus or
littoralis) is a perennial herb that grows on
sandy beaches. The leaves are rounded and
japonicus has tendrils. American vetch has
similar seed pods—but is toxic.
In early summer, gather only the tender
upper stems of sea asparagus, wash thoroughly
to remove salt. Cover with water,
bring to a boil and drain immediately. Add
a small amount of fresh water. Steam until
tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
Steam the beach peas for 5 minutes.
Toss beach peas with asparagus and let
cool. Arrange on plates and top with orange
and nuts. Toss dressing ingredients
together and pour over salad. Serves 2.
October/November 2001 WaveLength
First—check with the government agency
responsible for shellfish testing and closures
due to red tide/paralytic shellfish poisoning.
Choose oysters that have a cupped shell
on one side so they will sit fairly level on
the BBQ or a grate over campfire coals.
Cook until the shells open (usually 15-20
minutes). Use an old leather glove (or tongs)
to handle hot shells. Discard the top shell
and add your favourite seafood barbecue
sauce to each oyster. Continue cooking until
the sauce is bubbly and the oysters start to
shrink. Rotate them frequently and add
sauce to prevent drying. Use toothpicks to
pop oysters in your mouth or place on a
JENNY’S OATMEAL SCONES
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/3 cup buttermilk (stir 1 tsp vinegar into
1/3 cup sweet milk and let stand for 5 minutes)
In a mixing bowl, toss together the flour,
baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
Stir in the margarine with a fork to form
pea-sized chunks. Stir in oatmeal and raisins
until well mixed. Add buttermilk gradually,
stirring with a fork, just until the dough
starts to follow the fork around the bowl.
(You may not need quite all the buttermilk.)
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Knead the dough in the bowl a couple of
At home or in your galley, turn out onto
a lightly floured baking sheet and pat into
a 7-inch circle. Score into eight wedges.
Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until golden
brown on the bottom.
At camp—Press dough into clamshell pie
plates or Outback oven pan. Score into 8
wedges. Bake for 20-25 minutes. ❏
Cooks Afloat! Gourmet Cooking on the
Move by Noreen Rudd, M.D. and David
Hoar, Ph.D. 2001, Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219 Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0
ISBN 1-55017-260-3 www.harbour
© Deb Leach, her computer
and kayak live in Victoria, BC.
on Sea Kayaking.
Kayaker: Derek Hutchinson
Over 60 minutes of MPEG1 video & dozens of
historical photos. Microsoft operating system
compatible. MasterCard/Visa accepted.
Available at Epub-Adventures.com
(Also, custom-made Toksook paddles.)
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Know Your Neighbours
Animal, Vegetable Or Mineral? Bryan Nichols
The Essence of Corals
Sea kayaking is no longer a sport restricted
to chilly water. In palm tree studded regions
throughout the world, locals that had
never heard of a sea kayak ten years ago are
now growing accustomed to them. As commercial
guiding companies flourish and
more adventurers unfold kayaks worldwide,
the future of tropical paddling looks good.
Or does it? Tropical paddling rests on a
shakey foundation. After all, we don’t paddle
warm waters because of the palm trees.
For the most part, the scenery above water
in the tropics pales in comparison to the
glacier studded peaks and coastal rainforests
most of us enjoy up here. Much of the
allure of tropical paddling is in the water
itself—the alluring warmth, the colorful
fishes, the swaying soft corals and the eye
Tropical water is known for its clarity.
Cruising over sand and coral patches clearly
visible ten meters below you is a wonderful
way to travel, different than the pea soup
green we often paddle in up north. Extensive
shallows behind reef crests, circular
atolls of emerald amidst the blue of deep
water—these warm seas entice us in brochures
and on television, enhanced by polarizing
lenses, software and our imaginations.
What most visitors don’t realize though,
is that clear water means sterile water. Many
tropical areas have a whole lot of sandy
bottom and not much else—there aren’t
enough nutrients for life to flourish. What
makes a big difference is coral—or rather,
the stony, reef building corals, animals that
cheat the sterile waters by acting as plants
by day and getting food from the sun.
Corals are a type of cnidarian, simple
animals that use tentacles and stinging cells
to capture their food. Though beaches with
palm trees might typify the tropics for winter
weary brochure surfers, it is often the
corals that create the islands and beaches
for the palms to grow on. Stony corals are
a remarkable combination of animal (an
anemone-like predator that feeds mostly at
night), vegetable (single celled algae that
use the sun to make food) and mineral (a
limestone home precipitated from minerals
in sea water). When they are healthy,
colonies can grow rock faster than the
ocean can erode it, reaching outward into
deep water and leaving shallow flats called
lagoons or back reefs behind them. With
the “help” of hurricane season to pile up
rock, they quite literally build and main-
tain islands. Many of our favorite destinations
would be nothing but open ocean if
it wasn’t for healthy coral reefs.
Isn’t nature wonderful—using symbiotic
animal/plants to create tropical paradises
for us. Of course, reef building corals don’t
grow just anywhere. They need warmth,
clear water to let the sun shine in, a firm
bottom to attach to and a decent amount
of current carrying food. When they get
these things, they can produce spectacular
ecosystems rich in complexity, biodiversity
and color. When they don’t, reef growth will
slow or stop and the ocean will quickly
began to erode the land.
BAD HOMO SAPIENS
Life has evolved to be fairly resilient but
we are certainly taxing the planet’s reefs.
The biggest problems have been pollution,
siltation (often from deforestation), direct
damage from anchors and careless swimmers,
loss of habitats that support reefs (like
mangroves and seagrass beds), coastal development
and poor fishing techniques (particularly
dynamite and cyanide fishing).
Even more alarming, large scale bleachings
and die offs have been recorded in recent
years, especially in the tropical Pacific.
Many scientists believe that global climate
change is to blame and things will get worse
before they get better, particularly in light
of the US backing away from the Kyoto protocol
on greenhouse emissions (Ed.—
Canada has agreed to ratify Kyoto in 2002,
but support is needed from the provinces,
so Canadians should press their provincial
government to act.)
What does this mean for the increasing
legions of tropical paddlers? We’ll have to
choose our destinations carefully. What was
a fantastic undersea garden of color and
light just a year or two ago might now be a
blasted, silted or bleached pile of rubble.
Hopefully we won’t have to visit with a “last
chance to see” mentality, spinning tales of
how wonderful coral reefs used to be to
the next generation of paddlers.
Here are four tips that all of us can try to
help preserve the world’s coral reefs.
1) Visit and support countries that are actively
involved in protecting their reefs—
spending vacation dollars on sustainable,
responsible ecotourism is a fun way to help
and avoid that cooped-up winter feeling.
2) While paddling or snorkeling in the
tropics, learn what living coral looks like
and don’t touch it, kick it with your fins,
walk on it or buy pretty chunks of it for your
aquarium. Reefs can easily be “loved” to
death by careless snorkelers, waders and
boaters. Siltation is also an issue—inexperienced
snorkelers often stir up clouds of
silt that suffocate nearby corals.
3) Back at home, do your part to live more
efficiently—even though governments may
try to avoid their responsibilities, we can
burn less fuel ourselves.
4) Get involved—if you’re the active type
there are numerous organizations working
to save coral reefs and minimize global climate
change. Contact them and ask how
you can help.
Not being the doomsday sort, I’ll end this
on a more positive note. The idea is that
we drag our winter weary butts down south
this season to get away from the icy
seawater and southeasterly drizzle, and see
how many of these corals we can identify.
There are plenty of different types including
fire corals, soft corals (which often are
mistaken for plants) and black corals. Stony
(reef building) corals are the most ecologically
important and (apart from the first two)
this Checklist features them, giving you a
chance to get acquainted with the living
architects of your vacation destination.
If you’re new to sea kayaking or the tropics,
there are plenty of tour companies that
can take you out paddling along some amazing
reefs. When you do, you’ll simply have
to pop on the mask and snorkel and go for a
swim. Here are twelve corals to look for if
you’re in the ever-popular Caribbean. ❏
© Biologist and guide Bryan
Nichols would like to thank
a variety of constructive
corals for providing him with
so many great places to live,
work, paddle and dive while
avoiding northern winters.
The best field guide to Caribbean corals
is Paul Humann’s Reef Corals, part
of the excellent full color series that includes
Fish, Creatures and Behavior
For an enthusiastic and sobering account
of the wonder and state of coral
reefs today, read Osha Davidson’s The
Enchanted Braid—Coming to Terms with
Nature on the Coral Reef.
See page 44 for our annual
‘Winter Getaways’ Directory
36 WaveLength October/November 2001
October/November 2001 WaveLength
Checklist #21—Caribbean Corals
FIRE CORALS Millepora sp.
Though they have stony skeletons,
these aren’t true corals at all—they are
colonial hydrozoans, like the Portuguese
man of war. The name and the
relatives are clues—don’t touch or your
tender northern skin will get stung.
Nothing serious, some pain and a welt. Personally I wish there
was more fire coral to remind careless visitors to stay off all living
corals. Whether in branch or blade form, these colonies are
always mustard yellow and can be abundant in shallow water
on either side of the reef.
“SOFT” CORALS various
Shallow reef flats and back reefs are often
described as gardens of soft corals.
Sea rods, whips, plumes and fans all use
a horny material to build their colonies
and this flexibility allows them to bend
and sway with the current or surge. Their
beautiful colors and shapes will catch your eye whether you are
above them in a kayak or snorkeling down amongst them.
FINGER CORALS Porites sp.
Finger corals are rugged compared to most
other stony corals—they can survive behind
the reef crest as well as in the deeper blue
waters in front of it. One of the few to regularly
feed by day, their extended tentacles give them a whitish,
fuzzy appearance. Aptly named, the colonies grow like chubby
fingers, forming dense, deceptively soft-looking beds. Shallow
colonies offer a close up look, but don’t touch and don’t silt
them—it’s a tough enough life on the back reef.
MUSTARD HILL CORAL
If you have enough English blood, the
lumpy greenish colonies of this coral will
remind you of a tasty plate of mushy
peas. As repulsive as that sounds to the
rest of us, mustard hill is actually a pretty coral and very common
in shallow waters. In drab back reefs the bright green color
is often spotted by kayakers, waders or shallow snorkelers as
their first live coral.
BRAIN CORALS various
There are about five species in the Caribbean
that look rather like colorful bits
of brain on the bottom. When healthy,
several form huge, cerebral looking
coral heads that make good reminders
of how old (if not wise) coral colonies can be.
ROSE CORAL Manicina aereolata
Rose corals are one of the few stony
corals that will grow unattached—
mature colonies break free of a stalk
and can be quite common in turtle
grass beds. Their bleached and beautiful
skeletons often wash up on shore.
BOULDER STAR CORAL Montastrea sp.
Various species of Montastrea (the exact number
is still debated) are among the most important
reef builders in the Caribbean, forming shallow
boulders, mounds and pillars as well as layers
of plates in deeper waters.
GREAT STAR CORAL
Great star coral colonies look remarkably
like a platter of pitted olives sliced
in half. The large, individual polyps
offer a good look at what corals actually
are, especially on a night snorkel
when their tentacles are out feeding. One variety or stage has an
amazing pinkish tinge that refuses to show up on regular film.
ELKHORN CORAL Acropora palmata
These branching brownish colonies frame zillions of pictures—
northerners will realize they look more like moose antlers. This
species is a significant reef builder, growing quickly in shallow
zones and regularly getting tossed up on reef crests by storms.
Even kayakers have to beware of hitting it—the jagged fingers of
stone often reach right to the surface.
Big colonies of staghorn coral look like
piles of antlers scattered on the bottom,
with yellowish live ones mixed in with
older, bleached dead ones. Their convenient
size and attractive form has tempted
many to add them to the home aquarium. Just say no to this
illegal and destructive trade.
THINLEAF LETTUCE CORAL
This tan-colored lettuce coral forms
huge colonies along the Central American
coast—elaborate buttresses that
reach to the surface near the surf zones
of barrier reefs. On calm days paddle
over it and hop in. Inside the narrow
“leaves” are oodles of colorful little fishes, hiding from the larger
predators that roam through the deep channels between colonies.
BLUE CRUST CORAL Porites branneri
For a final, rare treat, keep your eyes open
for the gorgeous purple-blue color of blue
crust coral and a similar rare violet phase
of finger coral. Both grow in very shallow
water, often behind reef crests or in the
shallow centers of patch reefs, a visual delight for kayakers
© Bryan Nichols 2001. No reproduction without permission of the author.
Images: Bryan Nichols
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Paddling a Pacific Paradise
Foamy waves lapped on the hot
sandy beach as our party of ten
launched a fleet of double and single
kayaks into the gentle surf at
Playa Samara, on Costa Rica’s
Nicoya Peninsula. The warm, salty
water was slightly murky with the
current, nevertheless we could easily
see colourful fish as they
skimmed along the rocky shelf a
few feet below our hulls. Above us,
the “Costa Rican air force” glided
in perfect v-formation—the outstretched
wings of the ever-present
brown pelicans living true to their
One member of our party,
Andrew, a surfer from California,
drifted southwards from our group. Intent
on the activity below, he wasn’t paying attention
to what was happening on the surface.
Not that it would have helped much.
None of us could have predicted the tenfoot
wave that curled up out of nowhere,
across a shallow reef, yawning like a monster,
picking up Andrew’s boat in its gaping,
frothy jaws and taking him for a ride.
Andrew faced his foe bravely, surfing the
slope backwards until he reached the
trough, where he was promptly swallowed
whole. The monster passed, leaving Andrew
sputtering, his belongings scattered, but
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Preparing to enter Bejuco Mangrove Estuary.
otherwise unscathed. It was the rogue wave
of the day, a one and only appearance that
left us all much more alert and appreciative
of both nature’s beauty and strength.
Such is sea-kayaking on Costa Rica’s
northwest coast. Here, a thirty-kilometer
strip of coastline between Punta Barco
Quebrado and Punta Coyote boasts an incredible
variety of paddling experiences
ranging from tranquil, wildlife-rich mangrove
estuaries and protected bays, to
adrenaline pumping kayak-surfing opportunities.
The ocean averages 26°C, the
beaches are white, soft and sandy. What’s
more, this area of Costa Rica is not
“foreignized” like many of the better-known
destinations in this tourism-driven country.
“I came [to the area] for the surf
but stayed because the monkeys
outnumber the people”, says Tad
Cantrel, owner of Popo’s Adventures,
based near Playa Carillo, a
tranquil, palm tree-lined beach
just south of Playa Samara. “Here
you get the real feeling of Costa
Born in the British Virgin Islands,
Tad lived in Europe and the United
States before heading to Costa
Rica for a short-term stint as a rafting
guide. That was ten years ago.
Now Tad, his Tica wife Susana and
their four kids live in this tiny corner
of pacific paradise operating
a successful sea-kayaking business.
“This place is so beautiful, the social
knit is incredible—it is a perfect place for
kids to grow up,” says Tad.
An easy 4.5 hour drive on paved roads
from San Jose International Airport or a 40
minute flight makes Carillo an excellent
jumping-off point for touring this section
of the Nicoya Peninsula. The town is small
but offers a modest campground, a few
guest houses and a couple of restaurants
serving up such tico specialties as fresh fish,
casadsos (rice, beans, fried plantains, salad
and meat of your choice), gallo pinto (a typical
breakfast of fried rice, beans, cilantro
and onions), freshly squeezed tropical
juices and of course, cold beer.
From Carillo you can immediately begin
40 WaveLength October/November 2001
Photos: Kathryn Gardner
exploring by water or head overland (a 4X4
vehicle is required since all subsidiary roads
are dirt and often entail river crossings) to
nearby estuaries or rivers.
Nearby, the town of Samara is well serviced
by hotels, restaurants, and guest
houses—the majority of which are owned
and operated by locals—giving the area a
decidedly “tico” feel. There is even a disco
or two for those craving upbeat nightlife.
Back in the bay off Samara, we managed
to get Andrew and his gear safely stowed
back into his kayak and continued on our
way—this time taking a wide and wary
berth around the hidden reef and frothy
monsters, and out towards the open ocean.
The sun had risen higher in the sky, bathing
us in searing heat, and sunlight glanced
off the small whitecaps in blinding flashes.
I mused at the flashes, wondering how a
particular wave was making vertical leaps
into the air, when I realized that the flashes
also possessed a tail and wide flat wings.
Manta rays! Hurling themselves into the air,
four, five six times without a pause—a feat
that left us mere mortals in awe and envy
of their skill.
Not to be outdone by vertical leaps, a
school of flying fish decided to get into the
game. Soaring inches above the waves, the
fish flew some 20 feet in the air before hitting
the surface with tiny splashes. Ripples
on the surface indicated more action, as
schools of smaller fish writhed and wriggled
to avoid the jaws of some unseen predator.
We journeyed southwards around Punta
Indio, a jut of land boasting craggy cliffs
and treacherous reefs on its rocky shores.
Waves pounded the rocks with unrelenting
force and as we gazed at the shoreline,
awed by beauty and danger, our guide
pointed out his favorite surfing wave.
“Not much room for error,” he intoned
“but a hell of a ride.” His grin widened as
he recalled a particularly good day on the
waves. These swells were a little beyond
the skills of our party so we paddled on
towards Playa Carillo.
Rumour has it that the perfect line of coconut
palms was planted to mark a drop
zone for drug runners, although the only
thing dropping there now is the occasional
sun-baked tourist seeking shade beneath
While his guides loaded up the gear, Tad
drew a map in the sand, describing a quiet
back road leading to hidden coves with tide
pools and a waterfall. If we were lucky, we
might even spot a troop of mantled-howler
monkeys along the way. Sure enough, after
walking only 10 minutes I happened to
glance up and found myself face to face
with a wide-eyed nursling clinging to its
mother’s back. Baby howlers cling to their
mothers until they are five to six months
October/November 2001 WaveLength
On the beach near Playa Carillo
old and can move independently. “Who
here is in the zoo?” I pondered as our
groups checked each other out.
Streamers of aerial roots parted like
beaded curtains as we silently slipped
through the still waters of the Bejuco Mangrove
Estuary early one morning. Located
approximately 14 km by sea or 27 km by
land south of Carillo, Bejuco is a littleknown
wilderness gem hidden on the
Nicoya. The thick canopy of red and black
mangroves towered above the tangle of exposed
roots, leaping across the muddy basin,
creating a tranquil sanctuary that belied
the pounding surf a short distance away.
Grackles and squirrel cuckoos twittered
and squawked as they hopped from branch
to branch, while large boat-billed herons
quietly honked their disapproval of our
passage. A tiny green kingfisher flashed iridescent
green as it alighted from its perch,
but the pièce de resistance was the tiny
softball-sized nest, balanced in a bowshaped
branch overhanging the channel
about three feet from the water. We could
see the tiny point of a beak angled up out
of the nest, mirrored by a tiny tail. Hummingbird.
“There are nests all around here if you
know where to look,” explained Tad, whose
knowledge of the area’s flora and fauna is
exceeded only by his enthusiasm to share
it. One time, he found a nest containing
three chickpea size eggs, abandoned by the
mother hummer for reasons unknown.
All too soon the falling tide began draining
the water out of the one-way estuary
and it was time to retrace our way back to
the viney curtains that marked our entry.
The sunlight was blinding on Coyote Beach
after the dim estuary and we sought out a
shady spot to enjoy a light picnic lunch and
contemplate the waves. The breakers were
a little daunting today, even for a swim, so
we decided that paddling off the beach was
best left for another day and headed for the
tranquility of Rio Ora instead.
The river is rusty coloured, slow moving
and teeming with wildlife. Herons and
raptors, lizards and iguanas, monkeys and
butterflies were all waiting to be spotted
amongst lush foliage.
Between Bejuco and Rio Ora, however,
lies Bar Barranquila and no visit to the
southwest Nicoya would be complete with-
out a stop at the “Monkey Bar”. Located high on a hill near Punta
Islita, this rustic watering hole commands a view that stretches south
to Cabo Blanco, the southernmost tip of the peninsula. The bar is
nicknamed for the ubiquitous howler monkeys that frequent the
mango trees surrounding the establishment. There is not much of a
selection, but the drinks are cold and the bar is a favorite of locals
and visitors alike.
All too soon our time on the Nicoya drew to an end. There was
so much more to explore: rugged coastline, secluded beaches and
tide pools, waves waiting to be surfed and wildlife to spot that we
were already making plans to return before we finished our final
© Kathryn Gardner is a freelance writer and outdoor leader currently
living in Nelson, BC. Popo’s Adventures offers day and
overnight tours for all ages and levels of experience.
IF YOU GO
Popo’s Adventures: www.poposcostarica.com, Carillo, Nicoya Peninsula,
Costa Rica. Phone: 506-656-0086 Fax: 506-656-0092. Email:
email@example.com. Playa Carillo Tourism Information:
Travel by bus from San Jose to Carillo. Tracopa Alfaro Bus Lines—San Jose
office located at Calle 14 y 16 Ave 13, San José. Phone: +506 222-2666
Fax: +506 255-2981. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Driving directions: from San Jose follow the Interamericana Highway North,
until the turnoff for the Tempisque Ferry (ferry to Nicoya). After crossing the
Gulf of Nicoya, drive directly to Nicoya and from there turn south to Samara.
Airlines: Travelair: www.travelair-costarica.com. Email: email@example.com.
Phone: 506-220-3052 Fax: 506-220-0413. Sansa:
www.flysansa.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 506-221-9414 Fax:
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New Zealand. Guided 1-5 day catered or uncatered tours, paddle & walk
combos, Freedom rentals with all nessasary equipment supplied. Take the
time to visit. More Details @ www.seakayaknewzealand.com. Phone 64-3-
5466936 fax 64-3-5466954
KAYAKING MEXICO’S SIAN KAAN BIOSPHERE—Enjoy island camping and great fresh food.
All levels including beginner. Learn to roll in 75° F tropical water. No wet suits, just good times!
Contact Jim Holzman PO Box 853 Grand Marais MN 55604 or firstname.lastname@example.org
42 WaveLength October/November 2001
CHILE/ PATAGONIA—Sea kayak in the spectacular
Andean fjords of Pumalin Park (where
snow-capped mountains plunge into the sea) and
the worldwide famous Chiloé archipelago. Primeval
temperate rain forest, hot springs, 50' support
vessel, ocean front lodge with Altue Sea
Kayaking, Chile’s oldest outfitter. Great adventure
spiced with local culture. Email: altue
@seakayak chile.com. Web: www.seakayak
chile.com. Ph: (56 2) 2321103.
HONDURAS—Escape on a wondrous Caribbean
adventure at West Peak Inn. Visit the remote
communities of a tropical wilderness isle.
Paddle the clear warm seas of coral shoals and
mangrove marshes, hike the fresh water creeks,
snorkel and scuba the unspoiled coral colonies
of colorful fish, kayak the coves and outlaying
cayes of the beautiful lush island of Guanaja.
Tel: 831-439-6984. Web: www.westpeak
COSTA RICA—December to April winter
getaways to a Costa Rican paradise with Gulf
Island Kayaking, Galiano Island, BC. 14 years
experience in Costa Rica. Ph/fax 250-539-2442.
Email: email@example.com. Web:www.sea
—Costa Rica is perfect for nature lovers and outdoor
adventure enthusiasts. Spectacular scenery,
amazing wildlife, friendly people & excellent
guides. Eclectic 8 & 12 day itineraries Jan 2002
with Island Escapades. Enjoy Kayaking, Sailing,
Hiking, Snorkeling. Email: escapades@
saltspring.com. Web: www.islandescapades. com.
Ph: 1-888-kayak-67 (529-2567) or 250-537-2537.
BELIZE—Paddle and explore the pristine southern
cayes with Global Adventures. Snorkel in
calm, reef-filled waters and relax on warm, sandy
beaches. Rainforest explorations. Experience the
October/November 2001 WaveLength
beautiful, preserved wilderness of Belize. Explore
Mayan ruins & limestone caves, canoe down jungle
rivers. All trips fully outfitted, with experienced
guides. 5 to 12 day trips, Dec. to May. Cuba: multisport
10 day trip departures Dec. through Apr. 1-
800-781-2269. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web: www.global adventures.ca
MEXICO—Join Canyons & Coastlines for a kayak
adventure exploring the estuaries and scenic
coastlines surrounding Puerto Penasco, Mexico.
Snorkel and swim with surreal marine life. In the
afternoons, kayak surfing offers thrills and spills.
Instructor will teach you enough paddling technique
to have fun and you do the rest! Ph: 602-
258-6318. Email: email@example.com.
—Tofino Expeditions runs week-long Baja sea
kayaking trips from November through April. Paddle
the Sierra Giganta Coast, Magdalena Bay and
the islands of Bahia Loreto. Full service trips with
a focus on natural history interpretation and great
camp cuisine. Free catalogue: 800-677-0877
—Paddlers Wanted for Baja Kayak Adventures
with Kayak Port Townsend. Eighth season offering
7-11 day, guided tours in Baja’s Sea of Cortez.
Remote, uncrowded desert islands are waiting
for you to explore by kayak, foot, fins or mt.bike.
Yoga too! Fully licensed, permitted Mexican corporation.
Cooperative catering. 800-853-2252 or
—The Villas de Loreto Difference. Kick off your
shoes & make yourself at home. With the resort’s
intimate size and friendly staff, you’ll feel like
family. New at Villas, a restaurant where dining
is as casual as you are. The activities are Kayaking,
Diving, Fishing, Cycling and Whale Watching.
Ph: 011-52-113-50586. www.villasdeloreto.com
for Baja Adventures!
1-800-853 BAJA (2252) 360-385-6240
—Paddling South operates great tours year round
in the tranquil town of Loreto. The first sea kayak
and adventure travel company in the area, Paddling
South offers guests the best of culturally and
eco-responsible tourism. Join challenging mountain
biking, historical pack trips and spectacular
paddling in Baja: 800-398-6200.
—Explore Baja’s beautiful desert islands in the Sea of
Cortez with Nahanni Wilderness Adventures. Local
guide/interpreters. Based at Villas de Loreto. Trips:
Nov., March, Christmas. 888-897-5223. adventures@
—Cdn$690-1035, 6-10 day trips for fit independent
adventurers who like exercise, beachlife, and
lots of freedom on their holidays. Paddle mostly
single kayaks. You bring your own camping gear
and a few group meals.12th year in Mexico. Nov-
Apr, from Loreto. Gabriola Cycle & Kayak: 250-
247-8277 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.gck.ca
—Sea kayaking and whale watching in Baja with
Sea & Adventures/Mar Y Aventuras. Trips 3-10
days starting at $395. Kayak, snorkel, hike and
fish the remote islands and coastlines in the Sea
of Cortez and the Pacific bay of Magdalena.
White sand beaches, turquoise waters, towering
cliffs, unique desert flora and abundant sea life.
From USA and Canada: 800-355-7140. Email:
email@example.com. Web: www.kayakbaja.com
OTHERS—Saltspring Kayaking: www.saltspring
Kayaking Costa Rica
Treat yourself to a
week in paradise!
to Costa Rica—
December to April
HOME & OFFICE. Modern 1500 sq. ft. house
on well treed half acre on Gabriola Island, BC.
South-facing passive solar design, with wood
and electrical heat. 3 bedrooms and office with
separate entrance (could be playroom or
workshop). 1.5 bathrooms. Bright, spacious,
open plan kitchen/dining area. Hardwood floor.
Also patio, storeroom, garden and 8,000 gallon
concrete cistern for excellent water supply.
Close to ferry, shopping, school and kayak
launch. Easy access to Vancouver by air. Only
$119,900 Cdn. Call 800-799-5602 or 250-247-
8670. Photos & floorplans at www.Wave
ARTISTIC ENTRYWAY WELCOMES YOU
to deluxe 3425 sq. ft. executive family home.
This architect designed Victorian heritage style
is located an easy 25 minutes from Vancouver
(no bridges!), in the finest and oldest
neighbourhood of New Westminster, BC.
Surrounded by green space, just steps from
Queens Park, tennis courts, hockey arena,
children's petting zoo, workout circuit.
Incredible landscaping, totally private back
yard with fish pond, waterfall and garden
boxes. Nanny accommodation or separate
400 sq. ft. private office. Hot tub. Hot water
heat, hardwood floors, crown mouldings,
vaulted ceilings, heated double garage with
lane access. Minutes from the Fraser River and
close to many whitewater opportunities in the
the Fraser Valley. Reduced to $599,000 Cdn.
Contact 800-535-1737. Pics at www.Wave
List your house, property or
business and reach potential
customers world wide.
DENMAN ISLAND LIFESTYLE! 10 acre property, mostly treed, very private, in ‘downtown
Denman’ area and close to an excellent all tide kayak launch site in protected Baynes Sound.
Property has a country style 2 storey 4+ bedroom home with huge river rock fireplace, open floor
plan, attached office, expansive sun decks, large pond and hot tub. There is also a small cottage.
A serviced summer RV site and a 24’ by 20’ shop are used by the owner with house and cottage
rental income of $1200/month from excellent yearly lease tenants. House, cottage and RV site
private from each other. Owner operates a woodworking shop and seasonal kayak rental business
during summer months. Price $239,000. Kayaking equipment negotiable separately. Contact
Allan Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Immaculate, elegant, 73’ heritage vessel, former Thomas Crosby IV, a Mission
Ship built in 1922 for the daily rigours of the Pacific coast. Powered by a 6L.3
Gardner diesel. Built of 2” Port Orford cedar, carvel-planked over bent oak
frames. Teak house. Fir decks. Gumwood stem. Current owner wishes this
vessel to remain in BC waters. Contact John West: 250 382-9298, Victoria, BC.
Price: $225,000 Cdn. Photos and text at www.WaveLengthMagazine.com
DREAMING of affordable RETIREMENT in a
pristine setting? ‘Garden Homes’ on Gabriola
Island is all that and more. State of the art
seniors’ suites designed with your comfort in
mind, lovely common areas and a supportive
community of friends are just a few of the
reasons for living here. Enjoy the quiet island
lifestyle. Stroll to nearby shops, doctor,
pharmacy, etc. Come by and visit us at 500
Argyle Lane or call Sandra Hill of Island West
Realty at 250-247-8711 (877-247-8711) for
information. We look forward to meeting you.
FOR SALE BY OWNER. Berrypoint Rd.,
Gabriola Island. 2300 sq. ft. Bright, spacious,
3 bedr., 2 bath, open plan liv rm.din
rm.-kitchen; sunroom, family rm, large
home office. New windows, roof, siding and
interior finishing over past 5 years. Heated
workshop in 2 car garage. .47 acre landscaped
lot. $169,000. 250-247-8953 or
247-8895, email: email@example.com.
More info & photos: http://www.island.net/
Boating, kayaking, whale watching, fishing,
diving, surfing, all at your doorstep. 120' X
60' Waterfront recreational lot, small vinylsided
cabin, large sundeck, flush toilet. 250'
to boatramp, year round onsite security. Easy
access on gravel road, 1/2 hour off Alberni
Ucluelet Hwy. Asking $87,000. Phone: 1-
Check out the world of paddling
44 WaveLength October/November 2001
MARINA, SEAFOOD RESTAURANT &
KAYAK RENTAL BUSINESS
Marina with 28 slips and fully equipped 150seat
Seafood Restaurant with large ocean
deck and ample parking, plus waterfront
Kayak Rental business, floating Cappuccino
Bar, marine mechanic building, two-bedroom
suite and room for marina expansion.
near BC Ferries terminal in central Nanaimo,
overlooking beautiful Newcastle Island Provincial
Park and Newcastle Channel. Private
deal. $625,000. Formerly Bluenose Marina
and Chowderhouse. Call Jim at 250-754-
0695 or 250-754-4522.
ECOTOURISM BUSINESS FOR SALE
Kayak rental/guiding business and B&B on
Malcolm Island, Broughton Strait, stunning
vistas, near principal orca grounds. 10 mostly
wooded acres, georgous 2,800' custom built
house with unique features, separate kayak
building, and 33' motherboat available. Contact:
Cormorant Seakayaking Ltd. tel: 250-
973-6033, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEAWARD QUEST for sale: Blue with
White Fade, Compass, Excellent Condition,
Fresh Water Use. Only $2200. Call Rod 250-
1996 EDDYLINE WHISPER, double kayak:
$2195. Includes sprayskirts, backfloats,
graphlite paddles, Yakima rollers with Thule
adaptors, pumps, and much more. Call Frank
The WaveLength office just
underwent an expansion.
Many thanks to Bob Andrew,
Gord MacBride, Ted Wilson,
and Dwight Anderson.
October/November 2001 WaveLength
WaveLength is available in print at over
500 outlets around North America
and available globally on the web.