untitled

For anyone that has paddled a kayak deep into the wilderness only you can truly appreciate the sense of perspective and solitude that it allows. If anything I only wish that I discovered this earlier but it will be something that I will pursue for the rest of my life. The opportunities for nature photography are without limit and often one will witness those special moments, whether it be a sunset on a remote beach, the sounds of Humpback Whales coming up for air as you sleep or Pacific White sided Dolphins escorting you and your kayak to safe haven. The area surrounding Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia is said to offer some of the best sea kayaking in the World and I plan to explore as much of it as I can. Tonight I successfully completed lesson 1 of 3 towards my Paddle Canada certification and though very basic training I learned a lot about self and assisted rescues.  Much thanks to the staff at Comox Valley Kayaks as always for their knowledge and expertise.

rescue

Self rescue using a paddle float.  I didn’t know that these paddle floats existed prior to my lesson tonight. I’ll definitely be purchasing one at Comox Valley Kayaks.

 

109

My first attempt at a surf launch, with the training I will be receiving this is what I will be hoping to avoid.  Tofino – July 2013

pivothead        VS.        partners-logo-gopro

Okay, so I’m a nature photographer right?  Yes!  So what am I doing talking about video?  Well, video does have it’s place.  I really wish I had it when that Humpback Whale breached not 10 meters in front of my kayak when I was making the open water crossing between Bamfield and the Deer Group Islands in September of 2012.  What an experience that was!  Not wanting to miss out on another experience like that I started doing some more research in regards to GoPro because of course I saw all the exciting and basically marketing videos that we all love posted on YouTube and had heard all the hype. I purchased the Hero 3 and several complimentary accessories in early 2013.  Once I got through all the packaging I was overwhelmed by all the finicky parts and contraptions.  After grasping all of this, I was faced with a basic software package which much to my disappointment would really only offer exciting results if I were to purchase expensive software upgrades.  Last but not least, the distorted fish eye lens and poor sensor would leave me with no choice but to purchase the expensive software.  I quickly placed the Hero 3 and accessories on ebay hoping to recoup my losses. For the time being I had given up on video until I came across Pivothead once I became curious again.  I know and expect there will be a multitude of advances within this POV and “wearable imaging” realm in the coming months considering Google Glass and so forth.  In the mean time I think Pivothead is where it’s at from a photographers “POV!”  I love my glasses, image and video quality and software too. There’s advantages and disadvantages to both but I know that Pivothead would have been there for me on that September day!  Keep an eye on this company and the technology they offer.  I strongly believe with continuing advances and marketing that they will be at the forefront.

http://pivothead.com/

 

A short video with Gitga’at Guide Marvin Robinson and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen searching for the Spirit Bear in The Great Bear Rainforest.

 

Thank you to Leo Jack from Voyager Water Taxi for taking me to and from Fair Harbour and Kyuquot while I was kayaking in Kyuqout Sound and camping on Spring Island last May. Given the long paddling distances between campsites, unforgiving conditions on the water and just the overall remoteness of the area, having reliable transportation and expert knowledge is welcomed.

Voyager Water Taxi - Leo Jack

Voyager Water Taxi – Leo Jack

http://www.voyagerwatertaxi.com/

 

 

Waiting for Leo Jack from Voyager Water Taxi in Fair Harbour, Vancouver Island - May 2013

Waiting for Leo Jack from Voyager Water Taxi in Fair Harbour, Vancouver Island – May 2013

 

North side of Spring Island, Kyuquot Sound, Vancouver Island - May 2013.  The mountain ranges of Brooks Peninsula can be seen in the far distance.

North side of Spring Island, Kyuquot Sound, Vancouver Island – May 2013. The mountain ranges of Brooks Peninsula can be seen in the far distance.

 

On December 31st, 2013 Skipper Sam from Tofino Water Taxi was able to take us to Vargas Island.  Tofino Water Taxi is by far the best mode of transportation in Clayoquot Sound and I look forward to their support for future expeditions.  Check out their website and Youtube video below:

December 31st, 2013 - Skipper Sam - Tofino Water Taxi

December 31st, 2013 – Skipper Sam – Tofino Water Taxi

 

 

http://tofinowatertaxi.com/

 

 

6429372_orig

http://www.bcmarinetrails.org/

 

For anyone that enjoys kayaking the pristine waters of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, this is your resource.  Whether it’s a week long expedition or a day paddle, all of the information you will ever need and more is available from BC Marine Trails.

2010CVKlogo

Thank you to the team at Comox Valley Kayaks for your continued support and for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

http://www.comoxvalleykayaks.com/

This is an incredible documentary, one of my favorites. It really tells the story about The Great Bear Rainforest and what exactly is at stake.  If you watch this you will be left wanting to find out more. Gitga’at guide Marvin Robinson who I had the pleasure of meeting and having guide me is featured in the documentary as well as Ian MacAllister. The experience that Marvin and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen shared truly was special.  This is worth watching.

In September of 2011 I had the privilege and honor of touring the Great Bear Rainforest aboard “The Great Bear II” courtesy of Eric and Trish Boyum. Eric as Captain along with crew were exceptional hosts, the meals were exquisite and scenery unsurpassed. Words can’t quite express how unique of an environment the Great Bear Rainforest truly is. One can only experience it for themselves and as one of the last coastal temperate rainforests left on Earth I would suggest you visit. It’s unfortunate that so few Canadians and the rest of the World are unaware of this gem but maybe that’s a good thing too.

Ocean Adventures Charter Co. Ltd.
http://www.oceanadventures.bc.ca/

Guide Marvin Robinson is assisted by Captain Eric Boyum while Marvin attempts to land on an undisclosed island in The Great Bear Rainforest.

Guide Marvin Robinson is assisted by Captain Eric Boyum while Marvin attempts to land on an undisclosed island in The Great Bear Rainforest.

Me, on a viewing platform on an undisclosed island in The Great Bear Rainforest waiting for the elusive Spirit Bear to emerge.

Me, on a viewing platform on an undisclosed island in The Great Bear Rainforest waiting for the elusive Spirit Bear to emerge.

David Pinel is a friend and West Coast Expeditions “came to the rescue” when I was kayaking in Kyuquot Sound and camping on Spring Island last May. Thanks Dave and keep up the good work!

 

images0ZQAOUZ8

A great organization helping to preserve a very magical place.
Visit their website, see the important work they’re doing and
if you can donate and support their efforts.
http://focs.ca/

 

I’m proud to donate 25% of proceeds from sales to help support The Nature Conservancy of Canada.