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The Wild Coast: Volume 2: A Kayaking, Hiking and Recreational Guide for the North and Central B.C. Coast [Paperback]

John Kimantas

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[starred recommendation] Not just for kayakers. (Jo-Anne Mary Benson Library Journal 2007-03-01)

An essential survival guide...Vivid photography and descriptions... Finding information [is] a breeze... Helpful for experienced and novice kayakers. (John Burroughs North Island Gazette (Port Hardy, BC) 2006-12-13)

About the Author

John Kimantas is an adventure-loving editor, journalist, and photographer with 18 years' experience working on newspapers across Canada. He currently works for the Nanaimo News Bulletin on Vancouver Island.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


I pulled my kayak out of the water at Port Hardy, British Columbia on September 2, 2005, 92 days after I first launched. I had paddled 3,404 km (2,115 miles)or more than 6 times the distance between Port Hardy and Alaska. I had explored B.C.'s most secluded inlets and ventured out to some of the most remote archipelagos. During the trip I encountered 9-m (30-foot) swell, a bear standing on my kayak, a sleeping humpback whale and scenery too beautiful to describe. I was rained on for 13 days straight, blown down channels despite my best efforts to go in the other direction and went days, occasionally weeks, without seeing another soul. I travelled into areas where kayaks rarely go and discovered, for possibly the first time in my life, what it is like to be a pioneer.

Despite our shrinking planet, so much of the B.C. coast remains remote and unexplored.

I had several goals when I set out to write this book. First I wanted to provide an overview of the north and central B.C. coast through photographs, maps and descriptions -- a shopping list, if you like, of possible destinations that others might one day like to explore.

A second goal was to demystify some aspects of the coast, particularly the idea that the Inside Passage is a difficult, distant and exclusive place to journey. I also wanted to raise the profile of the outside Passage, about which very little has been written.

A third goal was to compile a list of camping opportunities along the coast. A reasonable network of campsites should exist by now; sadly it was still lacking when I ventured out in late spring of 2005. This information is critical for kayakers. Never did I encounter a group without at some point huddling down over a chart and sharing what little we knew about camping locations. I hope this book will take away some of the anxiety of where to set up camp while travelling the coast.

Last, wherever possible I wanted to share historical and ecological trivia to bring these regions to life. Not being a historian or an ecologist, I relied on other sources for this information. A great help was the province's coastal management plans and the various park management plans compiled by B.C. Parks. For specific navigation information I consulted Sailing Directions, published by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The origin of place names was explained wherever possible courtesy of Land Information B.C.'s Geographical Name Information Service. Captain John T. Walbran's work British Columbia Coast Names, though now a century old, has never been superceded. It provided valuable backup.

More information on these publications and other sources is provided in the bibliography.

There were, of course, the many helpful people in government, tourism agents and individuals who enthusiastically passed on information and first-hand knowledge. Sharing information with people (however few) met on the coast also proved invaluable. My belief continues to hold true: there are no warmer people than those met on a cold, wet coast.

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