The expedition will launch the last week of May 2014 from the beaches of English Bay, Vancouver, B.C.. The entire length of the trip will be just over 1,100km start to finish and will cover crossing all five of Vancouver Islands Sounds.
The route will run in a counter clock wise direction which favors trade winds and tides. The intended plan is to be on the water everyday, weather permitting, by 5am and row in one hour intervals with 5-10 minutes of rest in between covering a total daily distance of 50-60km.
Each ‘leg’ (distance between start and end points on any given day) will be plotted by waypoint on a GPS. Within each plot, 2-3 stand by waypoints will be saved as exit or ditching points should weather conditions, gear failure or fatigue render them necessary. Safety has been factored into every aspect of the route planning to ensure an educated approach is embraced.
Like with most challenges, there is always a ‘crux’ or hard part. On this expedition, it will be the stretch of coastline between Cape Scott and Nootka Sound. This wild and uninhabited section of the outer coast is known for its own self generated weather systems. It also encompasses the ominous Brooks Peninsula, about which George Nicholson, in his book, Vancouver Island’s West Coast wrote “Without a doubt, this 60-mile stretch of coastline (the coastline between Winter Harbor and Brooks Peninsula), is the most desolate and God-forgotten piece of real estate in British Columbia”. It will not be taken lightly, and crossing will be done with a calculated look at ocean conditions, wind and tides. Once committed, getting around Brooks is done in a one shot effort as there are minimal points of refuge if weather begins to turn. All told, 6 hours in a decent weather window should suffice to get around the south side of the peninsula and into more protected waters.
The route will be tracked by satellite beacon – you can track the boat’s progress live by clicking on the map below.