Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Grice Bay to Tofino.

Clayoquot Sound is a vast area of land and sea comprising 8% of Vancouver Island. Measuring 350,000 hectares in total, just the land mass is 1,000 square miles of mainly rare rain forest. There are 5 communities in Clayoquot Sound: the town of Tofino and 4 First Nations reserves inhabited by Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations tribes. The total population of these 5 communities is about 3,000 (in 2005).
Anyway I fancied a paddle and the "Sound" seemed to fit the bill and so I set off from Grice Bay down to Tofino. The distance is about 6 nautical Miles as the Bald Eagle flies, and armed with a map, compass and no less than two GPS devices I began to paddle. Clayoquot Sound is vast, the hundreds of small and large forest carpeted islands offer little in the way of visual way points - it can be easy to become lost. I didn't lose my way, but what I did do was get the tide wrong and I ended up paddling against it the whole way. This didn't matter in the wide stretches, but at the narrows I had to eddy hop to make progress. The highlight was a little tidal race I found between two small islands. Because it arose due to flow and not wind it was smooth, glassy and perfect. I buried the bow of my Rockpool as I surfed the front wave. It was only there for 5 minutes, but it was 5 minutes of tidal race perfection!

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