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SKGABC Guides Exchange October 1,2 & 3, 2004  

Jean Schoenfelder of First Light Charters hosted this fall’s guide’s exchange. Jean is to be commended for putting on a great weekend. The exchange was held at Miracle Beach Provincial Park and most of the guides took advantage of the chance to camp and sleep in a tent one more time before the season ended. The weather was cooperating as you can see in the photos.

Registration started Friday at noon. Four guides took advantage of doing their CPR”C” recertification first thing in the afternoon. Meanwhile Andrew Jones lead a small group of early birds out on the water to try out some of the new boats from Seaward Kayaks. Thanks to John Surtees of Seaward Kayaks (http://www.seawardkayaks.com) for supplying us with boats and equipment for the weekend. The boats were busy as many of the guides took advantage of the opportunity to try out some great kayaks.

Friday evening everyone gathered in the Nature Hut at Miracle Beach for snacks and a couple of great presentations. Scott Larsen from the local Search and Rescue group spoke on the role of volunteers and the protocols that the S&R follows. That session was followed by a slide presentation from Jack Rosen. Jack took us kayaking and trekking from Costa Rica to China.

Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC - 2004 Fall Guides Exchange

Friday night was wrapped up at the camp ground as everyone got together to discuss whatever came to mind. This is probably the best thing about the exchanges. Everyone has time to talk with their fellow guides as we aren’t rushing to get people packed in their boats or get breakfast, lunch or dinner served

Saturday morning started with a great breakfast down by the beach. Some people sure aren’t at their best until they get that first cup of coffee.

Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC - 2004 Fall Guides Exchange

Once we were all fed we headed off to a presentation from Stolt Seafarms on the industry’s view of fish farming. While none of the guides were converted to eating farmed salmon many of them had a chance to direct questions to the operators of the fish farms. It never hurts to hear all sides of an issue. At the same time Larry Roy gave a presentation on boat repair. Larry’s experience over the years was passed on in the form of many helpful tips and solutions when it comes to boat repair.

One of the highlights of the weekend was Owen arriving with an armload of ropes and a big spool of heavy line. We proceeded to learn to tie knots that are easy to tie, easy to untie and that actually hold. After 90 minutes of everyone practicing their knots Owen lead us through a splicing session. If you see blue rope with loops in each end there is a good chance the guide was at the splicing session with Owen.

Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC - 2004 Fall Guides Exchange

Following lunch on the beach we again split into a two groups as guides headed off to a rolling session or a kayak packing session. JF Marleau led the rolling session. After a short talk on the beach JF and his gang headed out onto the water to practice rolling and instructing. While out on the water Jack Rosen set up the first course for the Kayaker Games that went throughout the day.

Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC - 2004 Fall Guides Exchange

Caroline Bridgeman gave an informative talk on packing your boat as well as covering some food ideas for longer trips.

Next on the list, Andrew Lee gave a presentation on Navigation and using a GPS. It is always good to review how to find out where we are and where we are going. Following Andrew’s presentation, Caroline Fisher gave a presentation of the results of her thesis on the Economic Impact of Kayaking on Northern Vancouver Island.

Through out the day, guides competed in pairs in three events as part of the kayaker games. Jack Rosen ran an on water skills session, while Jean Schoenfelder had a flora and fauna identification test and Kerry Orchard set up a tarp erecting session. Many guide had a good time with the kayaker games and I can see it becoming a regular at our exchanges. Congratulations to Ronda Shippy and Andrew Jones as they came out on top when all the points were tallied. And thanks to Jean for the pile of loot that Rhonda and Andrew took home.

Jean donated wild salmon for dinner Saturday night and Caroline Bridgeman laid out a wonderful spread. No one went away hungry as there was lots of everything (including pie for desert). After dinner Nadine Pinnel from the BC Cetacean Sighting Network gave a great talk and presentation on what the Network does and how we can help in their work. By the end of Nadine’s presentation everyone was ready to relax and we called it a night.

Sunday morning Jean and Caroline had breakfast ready to go and everyone charged up for the coming day. Steve Earle from Malaspina College gave a presentation on the geology of Vancouver Island and then led those who could attend on a paddle out of Nanoose to look at the rock formations in that area. Steve has posted notes from his lecture on the web at. http://web.mala.bc.ca/earle/kayaking-rocks/. The rest of the guides either headed home or to the Annual General Meeting that was held on October 3, 2004.

Thanks again to Jean and her crew for putting on a great exchange.


Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC
P.O. Box 1005, Station A
Nanaimo B.C.
V9R 5Z2

Email: info@skgabc.com