Sea Kayak Around Vancouver Island


176 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-894765-50-8
DDC 797.1'224'097112




Reviewed by Louise Karch

Louise Karch is a career consultant with Carswell Partners in London, Ontario.


Rocky Mountain Books can be very proud of their self-guided sea kayak
series designed for British Columbia’s beautiful shoreline and
islands. The books are small, slightly larger than a post card; for
anyone who has shoved gear into the tiny hatches of a sea kayak, size
matters and small is good. Kayakers will also appreciate that the
book’s designer has prolonged the life of their guide by rounding the
book’s corners. This delightful attention to detail extends from
design to content.

A different local sea-kayaking expert authors each guide. They start
with an introduction to the area, which is followed by trip difficulty
ratings, planning considerations, marine weather, sea conditions, land
jurisdictions, camping, safety considerations, protecting the marine
environment, paddling etiquette, and encounters with animals, and end
with detailed trip descriptions and advice. The paddling areas and trips
are well presented. A clear map is accompanied by a succinct chart of
trip logistics, including distance, duration, marine charts, tide and
current tables, reference stations, weather broadcasters, and Coast
Guard locations. The route descriptions cover safety, marine traffic,
access points, natural wonders or warnings, and cultural/historical
information. Some even advise kayakers where they can find a cold beer
on a hot day.

While each author employs a different writing style, it is clear that
they all share a reverence and affection for these coastal areas.
Advice, such as buying trip provisions from local merchants and
obtaining permission from Native band councils, shows respect and
thoughtfulness. Useful, well written, and effectively presented, these
guides will be enjoyed by experienced and new kayakers alike.


Alderson, Doug., “Sea Kayak Around Vancouver Island,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 6, 2023,