Kayaking Vancouver Island: Great Trips from Port Hardy to Victoria


295 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55017-318-9
DDC 797.1'224'097112





Nikki Tate-Stratton writes children’s picture books and novels for
preteens. Her most recent novels are Jo’s Triumph, Raven’s Revenge,
and Tarragon Island. Her latest picture book is Grandparents’ Day.


Between them, Backlund and Grey boast 50 years of paddling experience.
Judging by the frequent travel notes written by each author and
interspersed throughout the text, both share a passion and enthusiasm
for their chosen method of maritime transportation.

The guide’s introduction outlines basic kayak safety and trip rating
(novice, intermediate, advanced), and provides general information
regarding distances, navigation charts, tide references, currents, and
winds and weather. Most of the remainder of the book is devoted to
detailed descriptions of the paddling destinations around Vancouver
Island, including the Sooke Basin, Fort Rupert, the Gulf Islands,
Clayoquot Sound, and more. Though the paddling trips are grouped into
three main sections (Southern, Central, and Northern Vancouver Island),
there is no single map indicating the relative locations of all the
destinations, which would have been handy for those planning a longer
vacation or series of trips.

Within each destination, the information is excellent and well
organized. Simplified charts (good for planning, though not to be used
for navigation) highlight dangerous areas, points of interest, and local
landmarks. The text includes difficulty ratings for various trips within
each area, the amount of time required to explore the area, approximate
round-trip distances, and sources for additional navigation references.
Warnings include details of tricky currents, heavy traffic, unusual
hazards, and sensitive environmental areas. Practical advice regarding
launch sites, accommodations, and campgrounds (including addresses and
phone numbers) and notes on local history help paddlers get the most out
of each trip. Black-and-white photos grace nearly every page. The book
concludes with a list of suggested reading and a useful index.

Easy to use, clearly laid out, and well written, this is an excellent
guidebook for anyone wanting to explore the Vancouver Island area by


Backlund, Gary, and Paul Grey., “Kayaking Vancouver Island: Great Trips from Port Hardy to Victoria,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/15396.