There’s a certain amount of tranquility after a snowfall. It doesn’t happen often here on the island but it offers interesting perspectives. 

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The last time I visited Mystic Beach was 2009, 10 years ago! It’s always been a place that I wanted to visit again and so I did yesterday! I’m a paddler, not a hiker! I got lost twice on a relatively easy trail but it was well worth the anguish! What an extraordinary place!!

discovervancouverisland.com/…/mystic-beach

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The Importance Of Herring
 
Like the foundation of your house, herring is the foundation on which the Great Bear Rainforest is built. It is a small fish with a major role in the lives of nearly every coastal species on land or underwater in BC. It provides an important link between tiny plankton and larger fish, marine mammals and birds. For millennia, this forage fish has provided sustenance for humans to whales to wolves to birds. Fish, such as salmon, perch, and hake, feed on the larvae shortly after they hatch. Seals, sea lions, whales and numerous types of birds feed on adult herring.
 
Fisheries managers have argued that climate change and variations in predator abundance have been contributing to coast-wide declines in herring in recent decades. However, many observers point to commercial fisheries as the culprit, which began in the late 1800’s when herring were harvested en masse to make fertilizer and fish oil. An archeology study of fish bones found along the coast of Alaska, British Columbia and Washington (McKechnie, year) showed that one species, herring, was consistently the most abundant and ubiquitous fish in the 171 sites. The study of sites up to 10,000 years old also provides sobering “deep time” evidence of consistent abundance and distribution of herring. Only until the industrial kill fishery started in the late 1800’s did stocks begin to collapse.
 
Each year, the waters turn black as countless tonnes of herring migrate from offshore waters to more sheltered nearshore bays and estuaries where they spawn en masse. Pacific herring spawns are relatively short-lived, lasting approximately three weeks each year at any given location. In some areas, millions of birds, thousands of sea lions, seals – in addition to orca, humpback and grey whales all converge on the spawning grounds. The migration of shorebirds to their northern nesting grounds and the northern grey whale migration are time perfectly to feast on the annual herring spawn.
Protect Pacific Herring – pacificwild.org/…/protect-pacific-herring
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Proud to be a new member of Comox Valley Paddlers! 😊👍 Find our more about the club here: https://comoxvalleypaddlers.ca

…I’m looking forward to more journey’s…awesome things, places and people…and everything in between! 

Thank you to all of my followers for your support!

What a whirlwind of a year this has been! I am so lucky, on so many different levels. I can’t even begin to contemplate my good fortune and the incredible things I was able to experience this year and share with others.

Three things do stand out though – spending a couple weeks touring through the Great Bear Rainforest in May, paddling with T073B in July and finally setting foot on the infamous Brooks Peninsula in August which was more than a dream come true.

Later today, I will post a short film that my friend Shane Philip – Island Soul Films –  islandsoulfilms.com produced for me which showcases my experience out on “The Brooks.”

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I made a trade with my friend and author Paula Wild, my 2019 calendar in exchange for another copy of her new book! paulawild.ca

It’s perhaps a coincidence that Ian McAllister is quoted on the front of Paula’s book and that this year I am supporting Ian and Pacific Wild, with 100% of profits from my calendar sales going to support the important work Pacific Wild is doing!

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The winds and waves weren’t as profound as forecasted but what weather forecast is ever truly accurate? When the conditions are right, the winter months make for some exciting storm watching in Ucluelet. 

It’s easy to become distracted while balancing on slippery and jagged rocks, surrounded by 4-5 meter breaking waves and being knee high in the ocean. Always stay true to the composition, no matter what!

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Adventurer Rebecca Grim and Conservationist Leonie Mahlke paddled the Inside Passage, a network of coastal waterways in the Pacific Northwest, to meet women fighting to protect the coast. They kayaked for four months, from Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada, to Glacier Bay in Alaska. This is their video preview and it’s nothing short of awesome!

An honor recently to meet Rebecca Grim in person and Leonie Mahlke (via Skype from Germany) at a special presentation in Nanaimo!

paddlingnorth.com

Two very inspirational young adventurers, helping to raise awareness for the British Columbia coast!

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