TRAVELS WITH GREASE AND PADDLE
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Down the Mountain and into Vancouver
We braved the crazy roads from Whistler to Vancouver, past the massive and controversial road project readying the region for the 2010 Olympics, and into the beautiful city. A return for Matt, much anticipated first time for me. Took care of some errands and made our way to Glyn and Terri's house in West Van. I met Glyn when he came to Alaska this summer and went on a kayak trip with two old friends. He made the classic mistake of proffering an invite and we took him up on it. They are really wonderful folks, cheerfully taking in two stinky travellers despite the steady stream of family and work commitments they have. Nine-year old Alana and her eight-year old brother Isaac got to check out some of our slide show in between a full schedule of school, hockey games, piano lessons, tennis, soccer, etc. They are really cute, smart kids with a passion for maps (apparently Canada teaches its kids geography) so they enjoyed our stories and photos.
Our first IWLS presentation was Thursday at Simon Fraser University. We set up our tent in the student union to differentiate us from the Costco table and the people signing up students for credit cards. We realized that having some internal support from schools will make a big difference in our success. Luckily we have this at most of our schools. Anyway, we made some good contacts and got comfortable with the slide show.
We had given up on Skookumchuck, the legendary ocean inlet that forms a huge wave on incoming tidal currents of up to 17 knots, content to take in some of the more genteel offerings of the city. Glyn and his buddies from the Alaska trip, Ken and Jeff, heard this over beers at a pub and were disgusted. A free day, let alone a sunny one, is too precious in their world for a museum visit. So, we were up at dawn and on our way to Horseshoe Bay and the ferry to the Sunshine Coast. A really beautiful part of the world, worth the trip for the drive alone. We passed the quaint little town of Sechelt and into the tiny village of Egmont. From there, we paddled our whitewater boats two miles down the coast, surrounded by huge sea lions playing in the sun. We found the spot, a rock ledge that forms the wave as the current builds on a sufficient tide. Soon enough, the placid inlet became a maelstrom before our eyes, and we were out there with the sea lions, cradled in the bliss of the endless wave. We surfed, rested, surfed some more, took photos, saw a seal catch a huge salmon, and surfed one more time before the wave disappeared as quickly as it came. The 4 km hike out with our boats was exhausting, but a small price to pay for such a wonderful and historic day.