Kayaking Cape Scott: A Leader's Perspective - Feb 28

Mountaineers Sea Kayaking Leader Tom Unger will present a slide show about his 2017 sea kayaking trip around Cape Scott, emphasizing his experience as a leader. This presentation is pertinent to both paddlers and non-paddlers, alike!
Thomas Unger Thomas Unger
Mountaineers Kayak Leader & Super Volunteer
February 22, 2018

A year ago, I had the notion to lead a group of Mountaineers sea kayakers on a difficult trip around the northwest corner of Vancouver Island. This is a classic trip because the launch point (Port Hardy) and the landing point (Coal Harbor) are separated by only 20 minutes of driving - and 100 miles of remote, beautiful coastline. It is a thru paddle with a very easy shuttle. But the paddling is mostly open coast, much of which is exposed to ocean swell with surf on the beaches. It's an advanced paddle and it takes two weeks. So, I wondered:  How will I find a group of capable and compatible kayakers?

I posted the trip in December 2016, developed a process for aligning compatibility based on goals, expectations, and style, and interviewed people for the trip. We trained together on multiple paddles through the spring of 2017. In late July we (finally!) drove up to Port Hardy and began our trip.

I'm excited to share a slideshow on this two-week endeavor on Wednesday, February 28. In part, the presentation  will be about doing a kayak trip along this spectacular route, but it also touches on my experience as a leader: how I organized the group, how we trained, some of the decisions we had to make, some of our experiences.

We had a great trip! I personally learned about leading. I will share things that worked well, things that I learned, and things I will change. If you are a Mountaineers leader in any activity - especially of longer and more committing trips - you may find this perspective relevant.

Would I do it again?  I already am. This year I have a longer trip planned, starting where the previous trip ended and continuing down the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The short summary is that I found people, we did the trip, and had a great time. Come to the slide show for the stories and photos!