Mikhail Belikov Photography (nature, adventures, travel)

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Kayaking North Vancouver Island Straits Solo


My plan was to explore the wild parts of the British Columbia coast. While there were plenty of wild places on South Vancouver Island, around Victoria, where I lived, the north shore of Vancouver Island seemed to be more undeveloped. Studying various information sources had confirmed that my expectations were justified. While not a wilderness place per se, with lots of commercial and recreational activities going on year-around, the area seemed to retain most of its wild nature, from coastal rain forests to the ocean with its maze of islands and inlets, and active wildlife. I had finally visited the north shore earlier this year with my brother and his family, and was taken by the rugged nature. That trip was very pleasant but too short for in-depth explorations, just one week, leaving me wanting more. I had decided to come back alone, with a photo camera and plenty of time, and move around at a pace allowing me to explore various places without the time pressure of a typical short vacation. I had settled on three weeks -- a compromise between the desire to do more and the need to take care of business back home. I had also decided to use this trip as a testing ground for various equipment and a learning opportunity for myself.

In this regard, my goals were simple: before undertaking anything longer, in more remote and demanding areas, to test the concept of kayaking an inflatable kayak solo, with no dependency on the outside supplies. I also planned to test some other equipment I would likely take with me on an extended expedition, and to see if I could pool this out alone logistically, physically and mentally. Finally, I wanted to gain experience in sea kayaking, including handling rough situations.

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