Community Papers

Paddlers club offers winter sessions

The owner of Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures will speak Jan. 9 to Comox Valley Paddlers Club members. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
The owner of Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures will speak Jan. 9 to Comox Valley Paddlers Club members.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

Does your bucket list have water in it?

That is, does your New Year’s Bucket List include adventure on the high seas for fun and fitness and thrills?

The Comox Valley Paddlers Club (www.comoxvalleypaddlers.ca) can help you achieve that goal by providing you with the knowledge and support you need to get out on the water in your kayak or canoe. Informative winter sessions are held the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 at the Lion’s Den behind Pearl Ellis Art Gallery on Comox Avenue in Comox.

Local paddlers will enjoy the first meeting of the new year Jan. 9 featuring speaker Andrew Jones, owner of Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures (www.kingfisher.ca) based in Port McNeill and running kayak tours on northern Vancouver Island and further north in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.

From four-day Kayak With Whales base camp tours in Johnstone Strait to eight- and 15-day expeditions in Gwaii Hannaas National Park and the Great Bear Rainforest, Andrew has plenty of stories and photos of magnificent scenery and wildlife to share with the Comox Valley Paddlers Club.

Kingfisher's Orca Waters Base Camp kayak tours are ideal for beginner paddlers and wildlife enthusiasts and Kingfisher also offers a wide variety of expedition tours for the more experienced paddler. Family kayak tours are also available to help introduce younger children to kayaking and the wilderness.

Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures has been running fully outfitted guided kayak tours on the coast of British Columbia since 1999. They pride themselves on small group sizes, allowing close personal attention and minimal impact on the environment and the wildlife viewed from kayaks. Maximum group size is eight guests led by two guides.

Respect for the wildlife, cultures, and environments that Kingfisher visits is paramount in everything they do. Kingfisher follows the Be Whale Wise Marine Mammal viewing guidelines and are founding members of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association (NIMMSA).

Kingfisher's tours operate in the traditional territories of many different First Nations and many tours incorporate visits to cultural sites along with cultural interpretation by local First Nation guides.

Andrew is a past president of the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia, chairs the SKGABC Operating Standards Committee, board member of the Wilderness Tourism Association, and is president of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association.

Andrew is a Certified Level 3 Sea Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia and a Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills with the Paddle Canada.

Andrew is passionate about guiding, and when he is not on the water much of his energy is directed towards the hiring, training and retention of some of the best kayak guides on the coast. All Kingfisher kayak guides are certified by the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia.

On Vancouver Island and in the Comox Valley, paddlers have a choice of kayak tour companies to choose from and each year the Comox Valley Paddlers Club offers a platform for a kayak touring company to inform and educate local paddlers as to their options.

If you are keen to learn more about kayak touring from Kingfisher Wilderness Expeditions or to learn more about the local paddlers club, attend the Jan. 9 meeting at the Comox Lions Den. The Comox Valley Paddlers Club welcomes guests or new members any time of the year.

Bring your own mug for hot apple cider social time Jan. 9 at 6:30.

— Comox Valley Paddlers Club

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