Friday, March 27, 2009


Well I had been looking at doing the crossing from Lion's Bay to Langdale on the Sunshine Coast for awhile now and on March 14th I decided to go for it. This can be a tricky crossing because unless conditions are flat you are either dealing with an inflow wind or an outflow wind, either of them will be pushing wind and swell on the side of your board making you really work on your balance and your core strength. The Sound can be a really nasty place with the wrong conditions. It can blow up pretty quick. The crossing was about 9 nautical miles and I left at 8:30am from the marina in Lion's Bay. I wore a full wetsuit, and I carried a cell phone and VHF radio for safety. I also had leash on my board just in case I fell with a backpack of water and snacks. I did also let people know my route plan. Conditions for the first hour were pretty flat as I bee lined it to the bottom end of Gambier. About half way across the winds really started to pick up and a good chop was starting to build. I was pretty stoked though as I had my hip hop going on my Ipod. After the initial nervousness wore off I got into a great rhythm and found paddling in the building swell pretty fun. I had a few funny looks from  a few boaters that cruised by. The bottom end of Gambier was scenic with the odd Bald Eagle monitoring my progress. I planned on trying to get the 12:30 ferry back from Langdale and my paced seemed pretty good. As I made my last little crossing to the ferry terminal the conditions calmed down and I got into port 3hrs after leaving Lion's Bay. It felt great to finally make it across and once there i dropped my board and ran to the coffee shop for my morning americano.......mmmmmm that was well worth the paddle(had to get a cookie too). The best part of it all was I did not have to pay for the ferry back to Horseshoe Bay. 

Used Stand Up Paddleboard and Paddle- $900 
Ipod- $50 bucks
Wetsuit- $300 bucks
Backpack and Gear- $100
Not having to pay for an $11 BC Ferry.........PRICELESS

Well not really. I thought the epic would happen when making the crossing but that was smooth. The epic happened when i got back to land. I had to hitchhike from Horseshoe Bay back up to Lions Bay. A great guy and logger from Bowen Island, Chris, picked me up. Upon arriving at Lions Bay i found my truck had been towed. I left my keys on top of the car and thought they would have been lost so i went to Squamish with Chris to get another set of keys which I didnt have. He had a few errands to do there and then he drove me all the way back to North Van to pick up my Jeep at Payless. 

The fee for getting my truck..........NOT PRICELESS.

My keys luckily were there and back up to Squamish I went. I had to leave my board at Sewell's marina at Horseshoe Bay which I had to pick up later in the week because it was closed by the time I came back through. Thanks to Sewell's for storage and thanks so much to Chris, what a saviour. 
It was a great adventure and I look forward to more big crossing in the future. Crossing the straight of Georgia is now in my sights along with a bunch of other cools trips and expeditions.

1st Stand Up Paddleboard Race

Well not really but March 8th Jen and I headed to Qualicum Beach in hopes of competing in our first stand up paddleboard race. We awoke to a heavy snowfall and strong Northerly outflow winds in Nanaimo. I thought it was perfect conditions for the BC race. I was pretty excited and when we got to Qualicum Beach, well, it was really cold with choppy conditions and strong onshore winds. There was about 15 of us and the group consensus was that the conditions were a little tough for the first race. Most people had trouble standing on their boards but I had been training in some solid conditions in Howe Sound and it looked pretty fun to me. They decided to have the race at a later date when conditions were better for the general public. I decided to do the course anyways and it took me about 30 minutes. It was pretty wavy but I loved it. Instead the group all headed out and practiced some surfing right off the beach. Jen managed to catch some of her first waves and she had a huge smile on her face all day. She might be ready for Jaws now but we have to get to Hawaii first. It was fun playing around in the wind swell and always great practice for balance and the core. Such an incredible workout. I guess we will just have to wait for the next race, hopefully in California where the normal people are paddling without wetsuits and toque's. It was great though to be with other SUPers and I know this sport will be taking off up here. Canadian SUPing at it's best.......cold, windy, wavy, numb fingers and other parts........and snow. Thanks a lot to Island Longboards and Todd for trying to se this up for us. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stand Up on the Sunshine Coast

Jen and I had a change of plans this weekend. The Big Mountain Battle in Kamloops was traded in for a day on the Sunshine Coast. We headed over Friday night after missing the ferry and being the last car to NOT get on. We found a campsite, sort of, and woke to a beautiful morning where we began the day with a run to Skookumchuk Narrows with Big Sea. It wasn't really ripping nor was it big enough to stand up paddleboard on (kidding, at least for now). After our run we found some coffee and headed to Half Moon bay for a great two hour stand up. Conditions were perfect as you can see. We googled at all the amazing homes in the bay and then headed for yet another coffee afterwards. It was a great little get away and i am looking forward to going back for more stand up and some mountain biking. I am pumped about next weekend too, my first stand up paddleboard race in Qualicum Beach. Should be lots of fun so this week I am heading back onto the Sound for some more training. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009


A fool is "happy" when his/her cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason. That's what makes happiness the ultimate discipline. Happiness is not just something you feel- IT IS WHO YOU ARE. - from the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior.