When we tell people about our plans of kayaking around Vancouver Island, they usually reply with something like, “Oh well it’s not like kayaking up to Alaska!” When we tell them that the total distance is remarkably similar, nearly 1300km from Vancouver up to Ketchikan, Alaska, and about 1100km around Vancouver Island, people are shocked. When we predict that circumnavigating Vancouver Island will be a more challenging trip with the long west coast exposed to the force of the Pacific while the paddle to Alaska was mainly through the Inside Passage, people are amazed.
Even though a lot of people know about Vancouver Island and many may have visited Victoria, Nanaimo or Tofino, there is still a lot people don’t know about this amazing place. This includes us as well. Vancouver Island is just a short hop on the ferry away from Vancouver and I have visited it numerous times, but how much do I actually KNOW of this vast island? There is so much for us to experience and discover and we are so excited at the prospect of exploring the rich coastline of North America’s largest Pacific island.
We’re choosing Vancouver Island because of:
Its rich and varied environment – Vancouver Island has a dry and warm Mediterranean climate in the southeast by the Gulf of Georgia where people have started to grow lemons and olives, the cooler windy climate in Johnston Strait in the north and the rich temperate rainforests on the west coast
- Abundant wildlife – bears, wolves, eagles, whales and more, oh my
Gorgeous beaches – especially on the surf pounded west coast
- The amazing and rich history – First Nations peoples have been living on Vancouver Island thousands and thousands of years before the island was named after the British Naval officer, George Vancouver in the 18th There are three main groups of indigenous peoples on Vancouver Island, the Kwakwaka’waka on the northern and northwestern part of the island, the Nuu-chah-nulth on the west coast and the Coast Salish on the south and southeastern parts of the island.
A great balance between periodic towns where we can resupply and reconnect with people at home and completely off the beaten track areas that are off the grid, without road access and completely wild
- After circumnavigating Vancouver Island, we will have paddled the entirety of the BC coastline!