Today I participated in the group flotilla from Swy-a-lana Lagoon to Newcastle Island in Nanaimo as a part of the BC Marine Trails and the Salish Sea Marine Trail Grand Opening! #SSMTGO

Prior to stepping foot on Newcastle Island, about 150 paddlers were provided a ceremonious prayer and song as a part of the welcoming by the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

More traditional song, dance and dress was provided before opening remarks were made by First Nations, BC Marine Trails representatives, scientific experts as well as government dignitaries.

As a member and director of the BC Marine Trails I am proud of the efforts made and collaboration between all stakeholders.

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Many of us are deeply saddened by the loss of Twyla Roscovich, British Columbia and Vancouver Island based photographer, documentary filmmaker and conservationist.

My most sincere condolences to your family and friends during this difficult time.

May your life continue to serve as an inspiration to us all as I believe it shall. Thank you for all that you did during your time here with us.

As a token to Twyla’s efforts and aspirations, her very informative and astoundingly captured “Salmon Confidential Documentary” is featured below.

Be the difference that you want to make, such as Twyla did.

As a member and director of the British Columbia Marine Trail Network bcmarinetrails.org I am pleased to announce the opening of the Salish Sea Marine Trail this weekend.

The Salish Sea Marine Trail connects Victoria to Vancouver as part of the Trans Canada Trail, and the grand opening celebration on Newcastle Island puts you on the doorstep of some of the great wilderness locations of this multi-faceted paddling route.

The grand opening weekend event includes two initiatives – the marine trail grand opening and a new annual race, the Crazy Eight, which loops around Newcastle and Protection islands.

I would like to thank each and every single person involved in helping to make this a reality. It’s going to be a great weekend! If you’re there, tag us on Facebook and Instagram and use hashtag #SSMTGO

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Living in a coastal environment, it’s natural that the majority of my images reflect waterscapes as opposed to landscapes. Water, moving or otherwise is one of my favorite subjects to photograph. I define a waterscape as having any element of water whatsoever. Concerning the contents of my portfolio, it’s been difficult to add much to the landscapes gallery  mryer.com/Galleries/Landscapes/i-VKcQvWj and this is why you will find subjects such as fence lines, abandoned vehicles and buildings among other things in this gallery. I’m not sure if this is technically correct or not but going forward I am going to try to make an effort to make additions to the landscapes gallery. Below is an image created today. I do love the sense of depth that fence lines offer.

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My friend and documentary filmmaker Paul Novy icebergfilms.com captured our moments in Kyuquot Sound and Rugged Point wonderfully in this short video segment. This is a part of an overall project, to showcase nature, photography and the relationships we have with our surroundings. There will be much more to come.

 

Rugged Point

Beautiful and wild. Mysterious and remote. Rugged Point is located on the west coast of northern Vancouver Island and near the southwest end of Kyuquot Channel. This place is incredible!

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In the Fall, 2016 edition of Wildcoast Magazine, editor and publisher John Kimantas ranked this as “the real best beach!” Above all the other contenders! John knows what he is talking about too.

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On September 11th, 2014, a lone kayaker stopped on this beach for a break and was attacked by a Cougar, Wildlife abounds here! vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/video

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Documentary filmmaker Paul Novy icebergfilms.com and I ventured to Rugged Point by kayak between September 1st and September 4th. (I’ve been assisting Paul on an upcoming documentary film about nature, my part being the relationships between nature and photography.) We both thought that Rugged Point would be a suitable location, where we could immerse ourselves into our surroundings and allow for our sense of creativity and exploration to prevail. We were right.

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Loaded up and ready to go, we started out by departing Courtenay around 10:30 am. After a late breakfast at Tammy’s Cafe, just past Campbell River we carried on as far as Woss before stopping to get fuel. We arrived at Fair Harbour Marina and Campground a little after 4:00 pm. gatewaytokyuquot.com/fairharbour Along with The BC Marine Trails bcmarinetrails.org our hosts at the campground, Sheri and Marcus were our next best resource regarding information about the area. The Marina and Campground has been revitalized under their leadership and made more “kayak friendly.” We set up camp and enjoyed hot dogs and beer by the campfire.

We were both woken the next morning to the sound of rain, even though it wasn’t really in the forecast. This delayed our departure and we almost completely called off our launch. The rain stopped and we were able to depart Fair Harbour at around 3:30 pm. Quite a late start but we were confident we could paddle the 21 km to Rugged Point before dark. The water was incredibly calm, even when crossing Kyuquot Channel there was only a gentle swell. We arrived at Rugged Point a little bit before 8:00 pm, stopping just once for a very short break.

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I’ve pulled my kayak up on many remote beaches on Vancouver Island but I can’t say I’ve ever received this kind of welcoming. A group from Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island vancouverisland.surfrider.org had been at Rugged Point for several days already and were working very hard to clean up the beaches. We were greeted by a gentleman named J.F. who immediately offered us spaghetti and the warmth of the groups campfire. We set up our camp and accepted their offer graciously. Many thanks to J.F., Lynn, James, Chico and the whole gang for both your hospitality and environmental stewardship.

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The next morning, instead of rain we woke up to fairly heavy fog. As it turned out we were going to be treated to the full spectrum of light during our stay. I was eager to start exploring the outer beaches. A short trail behind our campsite lead to the outer beaches. This is rugged west coast wilderness at it’s finest. Signs of wildlife are everywhere and everything just feels pure and raw. After a couple hours exploring, the sun started to break out and the clouds, fog and mist began to clear off, exposing Remarkable Cone which was quite a spectacle and an unforgettable experience to see the landscape completely transform.

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We were informed by Lynn later in the day that a wolf had walked through our campsite just before we woke, we didn’t get to see it but bear, cougar and wolf do frequent this area and signs were everywhere. To beat the afternoon heat I mostly relaxed in the shade at the campsite. Later in the evening I hiked back out to the outer beach, hoping to see something but all was still. The moon rose over Remarkable Cone and the sky lit up as the sun set in the west. Once again we enjoyed the campfire with our friends from Surfrider. Just before going to sleep we noticed the wind start to pick up. We figured it would pass but it howled all night long and well into the next morning. We weren’t able to launch from Rugged Point until about 11:00 am once the winds died down. Halfway down Kyuquot Channel, a baby humpback breached in front of Paul’s kayak, very near to shore.

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The waters were incredibly calm, even more calm than the paddle out to Rugged Point. This made up for the little bit of rain and wind that we had to contend with at the start and end of our journey. We paddled the whole way back to Fair Harbour, not even stopping for a break.

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I’ve always paddled solo, this was my first time paddling with someone else. I was impressed with Paul’s navigation skills, endurance on the water and how much stuff he could fit inside his Delta 18.5. Thank you Paul for your companionship and our continued collaboration.

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This past weekend we were greeted by members of the Surfrider Foundation (Vancouver Island) at Rugged Point. After a long 21 km paddle from Fair Harbour we were invited to their camp for spaghetti and the warmth of a campfire. J.F., James, Lynn, “Chico” and the whole gang had been out at Rugged Point for several days cleaning up the beaches. I applaud their continued efforts and am grateful for their hospitality. Consider making a donation here: https://vancouverisland.surfrider.org

…the last time I entered the territory of the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’ / Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nation in 2013, my kayak was swept away below the high tide line which left me stranded for 3 days on Spring Island. The land and sea is formidable, mysterious and absolute. My images created in the territory during this time lead to publications in BC Magazine and National Geographic Traveler U.K. You get what you give and you take what is given. Today, I am looking forward to seeing what’s next as I put foot to ground and paddle to water in this magical place.

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This weekend, I will be joining forces with Documentary Filmmaker Paul Novy from Iceberg Films  icebergfilms.com to discuss the relationships between nature and photography and to showcase the west coast of Vancouver Island at it’s finest. We’ll be venturing out to Rugged Point env.gov.bc.ca/…/explore/parkpgs/rugged_pt by kayak and spending 3-4 days immersing ourselves in our surroundings, photographing and filming seascapes and possibly even the wolf, bear and cougar that are known to frequent this area. This will be the first of many projects that we have planned.

Thank you to the BC Marine Trails Network bcmarinetrails.org for being the foremost resource regarding coastal BC access by kayak, canoe, and other non-motorized small boats.

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Thank you to the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Chek’tles7et’h’ First Nations for allowing us to enter your traditional territory maanulth.ca/about_fn_kyuquot_checlesaht.asp

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Thank you in advance for the hospitality offered by Fair Harbour Marina and Campground gatewaytokyuquot.com/fairharbour

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Talk about being in the right place at the right time, this is only about a 10 minute drive from my place on Vancouver Island. I have yet to actually see an orca for myself, surprising I know. A reminder to everyone to respect marine wildlife viewing practices. In this case it seems that the pod approached the kayaks. Still, it would be advisable to vacate the area in this kind of situation.

Ken Heinrich and his daughters had an amazing close encounter experience with a pod of orcas Saturday evening off of Gartley Beach.

“A group of orcas were in the area and while out on our kayaks they moved in for a close encounter,” said Heinrich in an email to The Record. “We were able to get some amazing pictures along with video of tail slapping and breaching. At one point the orca sounded and ended up beside us where the bull male (who someone has now identified) breached literally right in front of me! I was lucky enough to be filming at the exact same location as the breach.”

“My daughters were taking pictures behind me so the shot is perfectly aligned with myself between them and the orca,” said Heinrich. “Rapid shutter has a series of five or six shots that are quite spectacular. It was an amazing experience as we simply drifted while the ocra moved around, appearing to be in hunting mode.”

Written and reported by Terry Farrell (Comox Valley Record)