I've recently joined a forum called West Coast Paddler and I ended up finding out about Mike's talk on his kayak trip from Quatsino Sound to Port Renfrew. I walked down to Ocean River after work today and arrived to a bustling room full of people and a presentation projected on the screen at the back. Ocean river had kindly set up a little offering of goodies and coffee. Brian Henry, the owner of Ocean River, promptly introduced Mike Jackson to the audience and Mike dove right into the presentation.

The presentation started with a brief outline of the trip, the paddlers and their occupation. The second slide was of a bear running down the road in front of their large cargo van. He then introduced his videographer out in the audience. Everyone was sucked in - people in front of me were rapidly taking notes on where to land and what conditions to paddle in for their upcoming trip in the same general area this summer. The trip was broken into two parts over two years and they paddled most of the trip using Current Designs boats and Greenland-style touring paddles.

The first part focused greatly on rounding the brooks peninsula and getting down the tricky parts of the coast where there were few emergency landing areas and exposed reefs. A few humorous moments include fishing escapades with a fish bat and a good discussion on wine supply. They pull up on some pretty fantastic beaches and kept a good GPS track of the entire expedition. I also found it amazing how much stuff you can load into the kayaks. At one point they had all their gear sprawled on the beach to dry and it seemed like of of those magic bottomless bags. They also expressed a bit of concern with underexperienced paddlers doing foolish things and getting themselves killed. Apparently one paddler they saw attempting to round brooks peninsula solo was killed when he decided to turn around (due to fatigue I guess) back into huge seas and gale force winds. They were technically the last people to see him alive.

For me, the second year's highlights were mostly the trip down the west coast trail. It was great seeing some of the big landmarks like camper bay and the lighthouse off Pachena point. Brought back weird memories of that insane hike. They were mostly blessed with great weather the second year, only being weatherbound for most of a day. The photos off Cape Beale were amazing. I've never seen it so calm there.

It was a really well done night, and I'm sure I'll be back for more. Apparently there's a photography talk in February which is very interesting to my relevants. Thanks to all involved. It was a really informative and fun presentation. The photos were top notch and the video really helped to show the surroundings even more.