Ferry changes mean loss of kayak ‘wet launches’

Re: “Coast ferry changes don’t make sense,” letter, March 5.

It’s worth noting that the trip from Port Hardy to Bella Bella allowed the unique opportunity for “wet launches” to remote areas by kayak.

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This meant explorers could be dropped off at remote and otherwise inaccessible locations within or near Hakai Luxvbalis Conservancy, a vast and almost entirely uninhabited wilderness area and part of the largest remaining portion of undeveloped northern temperate rainforest shoreline in the world.

Given the world-class experience this presented, one would expect waiting lists years ahead. But as with many such singular opportunities in B.C., it was instead a best-kept secret that few knew about and even fewer used. In a typical year, maybe a few dozen kayakers might launch this way.

No doubt, the wet-launch capability disappears with the cessation of the Queen of Chilliwack service, along with many other huge but probably underutilized tourism opportunities throughout the central B.C. coast. It leaves me wondering if it isn’t the service at fault, but the ability to market it to anywhere near its potential.

If anyone could point to where B.C. Ferries tried its best to market wet launches in the central coast but failed to generate interest, I’d like to know. I’ve never heard a peep from them.

If this is typical of other aspects, no wonder it was an underutilized service. Clearly the world wasn’t hearing about what we had to offer.

John Kimantas

Nanaimo

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