Every September my wife, Joan, and I host receptions in our house (formally known as Reynolds House around the school) for all the new parents in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools, each on a different night. Last night we saw the Senior School, and it was particularly satisfying that there were a number of boarding parents who also were able to attend. These parents came from Vancouver, from Campbell River, and also from Port Townsend in Washington State.
It is curious how the mind makes its connections, but the parents from Port Townsend brought to mind Pygmy Boats, a wooden boat manufacturer headquartered in Port Townsend. I have built two of their kayaks, one for me and one for my wife, Joan. We enjoy kayaking, but as you get older kayaks seem to get heavier. Weighing 37 pounds, made of marine mahogany plywood and epoxy, these kayaks are lightweight and rugged. A picture of my kayak, an Osprey, sitting in the Sechelt Inlet, is below.
We do a lot of kayaking around the school. In our outdoor programme, groups of kayakers do basic paddling around Victoria, slightly more adventurous paddling in the Gulf Islands, and then the most adventurous paddling in places like the Broken Islands on the west side of Vancouver Island, or the Broughton Archipelago, to the north of Vancouver Island. Peter McLeod, our Director of Outdoor Education is a great paddler. Another great paddler is Mike Jackson, our Head of Science. Mike is a man of many parts: he has led trips to the Galapagos, both for our school and other groups (he was part of a television special on the Galapagos a number of years ago), he has co-authored and authored books, he is a recipient of a Prime Minister’s Teaching award, and among other things he keeps a paddling journal which I have linked at the side of this page under the heading “Blogroll”. Mike paddles over 1,000 kilometres a year, and this journal traces those journeys, which also include a trip down the west side of Vancouver Island, some of the wildest paddling in the world.