Deer Group, B.C. – June 2007

Lucky hats

After 10 years of service and protection during my kayak adventures, I’ve had to finally retire my Lucky White Trash Kayak Hat. LWTKH has guided me on over 25 multi-day kayak adventures on the seas of the NorthWest. Like a forcefield it has shielded me from all hazards; real, imagined and completely unknown. With its help I’ve survived massive swells in Kyuquot Sound, navigated boiling reefs and kept the wolves away at night on the western shores; LWTKH has always had my back.


I truly believed in its supernatural guardian angel-like powers. Maybe an ancient alien race of beings left it behind? Or perhaps it was a leprechaun’s hat? I felt it could manipulate my actions and decisions unbeknownst to me and steer me clear of danger I didn’t even know existed. For example, I would get a feeling that maybe it was time to get off the water and find camp, for no real reason. Then upon landing, a vicious squall would immediately kick up.

(I do have a thing for lucky objects, or more like it, objects I deem as lucky. When we travel I collect lucky charms from different cultures and religions. I have a few or them; perhaps maybe more than a few.)

Hand of Fatima, Morocco

I held onto LWTKH for as long as possible. It was in bad shape, discolored, stained, material falling off, with a funky smell that wouldn’t go away. Its days were clearly numbered.

Grand Canyon

Its last trip was 9 days rafting through the Grand Canyon, which I thought would be a fitting and epic trip to retire it on. I also thought it might be helpful to have my lucky hat on the mighty Colorado; It took a beating and was about to self-destruct but it did keep me safe.

The search for a replacement took some time. It couldn’t be just any hat, it had to have an aura, a lucky glow; I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I knew I’d know it when I saw it.

Finally, while walking through my neighborhood Goodwill, I could see it from far across the store. A trucker hat with a blue fish on it. Bright, ugly and hipster; it definitely had a glow. I figured this hat was like a beacon; I could be seen for miles away on the water. Plus it was only $4. The new hat was christened: LUHKH; Lucky Ugly Hipster Kayak Hat.

Changing of the guard

Only time will tell if LUHKH is actually lucky. The first trip will be somewhat nerve-wracking, but I have hope in its powers to guide me through perils and keep me safe; warn me of rogue waves, forecast the weather, and teleport me home if things get really bad. Now that would be some hat.

First trip with LUHKH. Successful

Categories: Americas, Deer Group, B.C. - June 2007, Grand Canyon, AZ - July 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Solo kayak trip: Deer group B.C.

I took my solo kayak trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island a few months ago. Middle of nowhere, it was a 90km funky logging road drive to my launch. Probably should not have done it at midnight. Oh well, I made it.

After a quick nap in the car I was on the water early. I spent four nights kayak camping in the Deer Group Islands, camping on small islands in the Barkley Sound. Very remote, totally off the grid, no cell phone reception. I love being off the grid, it makes it feel more like an adventure; just you alone in the woods with no contact with the outside world.


Selfie with my lucky white trash kayak hat

This is an interesting area to kayak because it is on the exposed coast and the huge swells from the Pacific roll through the islands. It’s a little disconcerting sitting in your kayak and seeing these large swells that are well over your head bearing down on you. No problem; you just bob like a cork up and over the wave. You also have to paddle far offshore to make sure you’re well away from where those monsters are breaking.
The weather was great; It didn’t rain on me. I can’t remember the last time I went kayaking in the Northwest when it hasn’t rained. The winds were predictable, Picking up in the early afternoon. I would do the major kayaking in the morning and read on the beach in the afternoon in the sun, when the winds started. Can’t complain.

Sea cave

The coast is classic Northwest, wind-blown and rugged from the abuse of the Pacific and this area is known for its large sea caves hiding in the cliff bands along the shore.

The camping was great staying on these small islands. I had them all to myself except one night when I camped with some old school local kayakers that had good stories and info about the area. Each one of the islands had a small population of Columbia deer; a midget deer that could swim between the islands, very strange-looking; like a normal deer but the size of a large dog. There were also martens that would do laps around the island looking for food in the intertidal zone. How did weasels get such a bad name? These guys were super-cute, all ginger-colored and frolicking about.


Island camp


Categories: Americas, Deer Group, B.C. - June 2007 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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