October 7 Club Meeting: Demystifying the Weather with Meaghan Hennessy

The Marine Forecast is an essential tool for staying safe while sea kayaking on the west coast, yet this tool is often under used as it can be confusing and daunting for unpracticed listeners. Meaghan will attempt to demystify the forecast by helping you to:

  • understand the language being used
  • become familiar with the locations referred to
  • recognize the separate parts of the forecast
  • learn how to record the information effectively

With some hands on practice at the end of the evening, the goal is to have participants heading home feeling less intimidated by the forecast and excited to start using it on their next paddling adventure. Please bring your VHF radios along if you have one, and print out the following .pdf file for reference during the chat: Marine Weather Guide

Meaghan is a local Vancouver sea kayaking instructor, and a member of the Sea Kayak Instruction and Leadership Systems (SKILS) team. Meaghan is also a weather geek who often paddles off course while watching the skies. (Meaghan Hennessy <mego.hen@gmail.com>)

The meeting is at the Vancouver Museum (Planetarium) at 7:30. Doors open at 7pm. Public welcome!

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FYI: Greenland Rolling Workshop by Ravenwoods at Crescent Beach

A Greenland rolling workshop is being offered by Gerhardt Raven (Ravenwoods.org) at Crescent Beach in Surrey on Sunday Oct 26.

Ravenwoods has run three workshops this fall for Nanaimo Paddlers and is doing another one through Cowichan Bay Kayaks on Oct 19. Information about the Crescent Beach workshop is here: Greenland rolling workshop. They bring a selection of paddles and SOF kayaks and a practice harpoon for the events. The charge is $50 per person for four people. If you’d like to sign up for find out more, contact Gerhardt at ravenwoods@gmail.com

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Video: Running the Chute at Bowron Lakes

kayaking_videoThank you Mike Mattinson for sending in this neat video from your trip:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82XdxO6QCvE

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SKABC and the new Marine Trail in Howe Sound

As representatives to the BC Marine Trails initiative, interested SKABC members are continuing to survey information, land, and sea to retain and establish accesses, day use sites and campsites in and around the whole of Howe Sound as well as all coastlines of BC. Within the last few years,  the well- funded and widely supported  Canada Trails became  interested in establishing a marine trail from Squamish to Horseshoe Bay to divert around  a more difficult land route between these two nodes.  As this enterprise was an obvious direct parallel to the BC Marine Trails purpose, we were enthusiastic to support and ride on the coat-tails of whatever could be achieved in the relatively short time frame that was proposed.

To this end, several years ago SKABC marine trail reps Nick Heath and Mick Allen took  project manager Gordon McKeever on a motorboat tour to show locations that we had both been identified  and visited around the inner portion of Howe Sound. From this and subsequent work by ourselves (initial work and interaction), Canada Trails reps, and Recreation Sites and Trails BC,  a new Canada Trails ‘Sea To Sky’ marine trail is imminent. The new sites proposed will also be BC Marine Trail sites.  Moreover, this marine trail will also be  a small part of a larger complete Howe Sound Marine Trail which of course is a small part of the massive BC Marine Trails initiative – that the SKABC has been  enthusiastically supporting and its members  engaged in for years.GambierE-Ramillies-land

As a back ground to this, (you probably all have felt this as well to some degree while out there) but it is just so much fun and adventure poring over maps, google earth, trip reports, guide books and then on the water searching to try to find partially suitable, suitable, spectacular or even marginal locations. . . . and this was especially so in Howe Sound where one would think that because of development and proximity to the lower mainland that ‘new’ locations would be highly unlikely to be found let alone be quickly established as marine trail Recreation Sites (by RSTBC)!


Click this map for a larger view. Finally, here are more details about the proposal:  The Sea to Sky Trail (PDF). Thank you Mick Allen for passing this info along!

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Sept. 2 Meeting: Guest Speaker James Manke

Our September meeting features James Manke, showing his adrenaline raising film on the very first full decent down the Grand Canyon with a fully loaded sea kayak and Greenland paddle unsupported.

James is an International Greenland Kayak Instructor from Victoria, who travels around the globe teaching Greenland and traditional kayak related skills. He teaches rolling, surfing and rough water clinics along with a wide range of skills building clinics. While he is in Vancouver to speak to us he will also be running clinics during the day which you can email him directly about: james@qajaq.ca

While in Greenland last month James won gold in the Greenland kayak rolling competition, and silver in 5 other disciplines including racing, harpoon throwing & team rolling.

Honestly when you see the film, you are going to feel as if you are paddling full tilt through some very scary water in the Grand Canyon. It’s like being on a roller coaster ride! Grand Canyon Quick Clip

The September 2 meeting is at the Vancouver Museum / Planetarium and starts at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7pm — Looking forward to hearing about your summer adventures.

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Gambier Island logging meetings

Hi everyone,

The popular kayak landing at Douglas Bay, on the South East side of Gambier Island in the Howe Sound is in jeopardy as the Ministry of Forests is aggressively trying to turn this into a log dump. The Ministry also wants to award two logging licenses encompassing a large area of the island popular with hikers and all visitors to the island.

I have been asked by Perry Sanche, a key advocate against this proposal, to encourage anyone with an interest to please come and join them at these important meetings (details below) with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). Perry is supported by several groups including the Gambier Island Conservancy, The Islands Trust and the Sea to Sky School.
Hope you can make it.

Thank you,
Linda Rushlow
Marine Trails, Parks and Conservation

Meeting information from the Gambier Island Conservancy

Public Information Meeting
Date: 6:30 Thursday evening, July 24th
St. Francis-in-the-Wood Church, 4773 South Piccadilly Road, West Van
(This is near Caulfield Cove and Lighthouse Park.)

Public Drop-In
Date: Friday, July 25, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Location: Sewell’s Marina Boardroom
6409 Bay Street
Horseshoe Bay, BC

Some of the most wild, close to Vancouver hiking is on Gambier Island in Howe Sound. The northeast quadrant of the island is pretty much untouched Crown land that thousands of outdoor campers and hundreds of hikers explore each year.
The Ministry of Forests is bound and determined to turn this land into two big woodlots. This means that part of each piece will get logged each year, for many years to come. Very little revenue will come back to the province and significant old-growth forest will be taken, not to come back within many, many lifetimes, if ever!

More information at gambierc . ca
Check our Twitter feed at @GambierConserv
Thanks so much for supporting wilderness on Gambier Island, the Wild Heart of Howe Sound.
Gambier Island Conservancy

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Watch for trash collection bags on the beach this season

A letter was sent to SKABC asking for our help collecting trash from beaches in remote areas — it is below. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.livingoceans.org/initiatives/clear-the-coast

Help Living Oceans Clear the Coast
At Living Oceans we’re doing our best to reduce and recover marine debris. Nobody likes to see our pristine wilderness cluttered with plastic. Did you know that much of this debris is not just an eyesore, but also a real threat to the many species of wildlife that live near the coast?

Lost or abandoned fishing nets entangle whales, dolphins and sea otters and can slowly kill them, by suffocation or starvation. Plastic debris washing up on the shore breaks down into small particles that are eaten and enter the food web. It’s highly toxic–plastic picks up many of the pollutants in sea water–so it can cause long-term, genetic damage.

You can help us solve this problem!

First, please make sure that the equipment you use when paddling and camping is secured against sudden wind or waves. Don’t leave trash behind: plastic never biodegrades and in most small communities on the coast, recycling is very expensive. Far better to take it home to your own recycling centre.

Next, help us clean up! You may have already come across our collector bags, left on remote beaches to encourage you to collect marine debris while beachcombing. We organize boats, helicopters and trucks to remove the collector bags at the end of the season.

And of course, we would appreciate your financial support, too. Removal of this debris is a costly affair, especially in more remote areas… (editor’s note: Please visit their website to donate to their campaign.)

Living Oceans is a non-profit organization incorporated under the B.C. Society Act, with its head office in Sointula on Malcolm Island, B.C. Our coastal community roots keep us mindful that we all depend on healthy oceans and we have been a leader in the effort to protect Canada’s oceans since we were formed in 1998. With your support, we can Clear the Coast!

With thanks from the Clear the Coast Campaign team,

Will Soltau

Carmen Pendleton

Living Oceans Society

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Relaunch of Mt. Fairweather Baidarka at Belcarra

A few of us joined the Belcarra South Preservation Society and George Dyson to relaunch the Mt. Fairweather on June 8.

George and a team carried the abandoned baidarka out of the forest and out for a paddle. Photos are below. It is out for display between the cabins at Belcarra.  Here is a PDF with a bit of the history: George Dyson’s Story

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Club Members enjoy a very successful Spring Fling

The first group of paddlers prepares to launch.
Photo Credit: Alex Lussow. www.icthis.ca

Our annual season kick-off paddling event was Saturday May 3. Paddlers picked one of 3 destinations, joined their pods and paddled out from Panarama Park in Deep Cove, for a nice paddle and lunch in Indian Arm.

After the paddle, our fearless members Mike & Kim Mattison hosted the social at their home.  A series of tarps kept all participants dry while they enjoyed a hot and cold buffet in the backyard.

Zeballos Expeditions  water taxi

Zeballos Expeditions Water Taxi

As promised we had a special door prize for this event. Zeballos Expeditions generously donated dinner for two at the Blue Heron Zaballos (Value $60.) & Transportation one way for 6 people and kayaks from Zaballos to Rosa Isalnd in Nuchatlitz Park (Value $400.)  The lucky winner of the draw was Shirley Brunke.

Thank you to the many people who made our Spring Fling so successful.

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May 6 Meeting – Gear Swap and Rescues with Maureen Benzon

Bring your gently used kayaking gear to our May club meeting for a Maureen BenzonGear Swap and Sale.

We will be having SKABC’s own Maureen Benzon speak on taking Rescues from a passive environment (where we practice) to a dynamic environment (where we might need it). More details on the May meeting are here.

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