Rounding Brooks Peninsula by kayak

West Coast Vancouver Island North BC Marine Trail section preview: how to run the whole WCVIN

March 4, 2011 1 Comment by John Kimantas Spring 2011issue

It was, in a word, a slog. I can find no better way to describe the run friend Carey Lockwood and I took down the yet-to-exist WCVIN in late August 2009. We battled our way down to Tofino against strong southerlies for most of the 15 days. My favorite coastal scenery was viewed mostly from a distance of a kilometer or more offshore to avoid the danger of high swell on hidden rocks. (We didn’t know at the time, but the unseasonal swell was residual from a storm off Hawaii).

Regardless, it was a great adventure, with a few good days of serene paddling in the mix, particularly around the Bunsby Islands. Many of the photos that accompany the BC Marine Trail preview are from that trip. Photography was limited, though, during the battles, such as around Escalante Point, the south end of Nootka Island and Hesquiat Peninsula, when our endurance was put to the limit. (I tried to videotape the waves crashing at Estevan Point. It was not terribly successful, with a Youtube version getting one response so far – a thumbs down. So much for that effort.)

While a run is recommended for confident veteran paddlers, the trail has enough access points that portions can be enjoyed in smaller, less imposing trips. But if you do run it, plan on three weeks to fully enjoy your time on the water. There will be places you will want to linger. Trust me!

- John Kimantas


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