British Isles Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
A journey of friendship and adventure in the 42 foot Spirit Dancer ocean canoe.
  British Isles Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey




Spirit Dancer Canoe, British Isles Canoe Journey 2008-2010, Chris Cooper

The News and Updates section of this website will provide highlights that have lead to the British Isles Canoe Journey. This information will be available in as a book after the journey. Spirit Dancer Canoe Journeys is a registered Non-Profit Society and comes under the rules of the Societies Act registered in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
 
2005-2007
News About The Spirirt of Adventure!
  December 2007

This is the final update for 2007. I would like to mention that there has been an amazing amount of help, sponsorship and input from so many in regards to next years Canoe Journey May 01 2008, my thanks to all who have helped in this process:

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation  ( Stanley Park Wood )

Interfor Hammond Cedar Division, Canadian Overseas Log& Lumber Ltd, Infosat Communications, UBC Research Forest, Gordon & Greg Hart Family, Cedars Us, School District #42 Maple Ridge/ Pitt Meadows, Vancouver Police Department, BCIT, Associated Labels, Go Tofino Web Designer, Belleville Rodair Shipping Co, MEC.

MCA Marine Coastguard Agency UK, RNLI UK, SCA Canoe Scotland, BCU British Canoe Union, Photo Express, Hemlock Printers, Vancouver International Film Festival VIMFF.

CTC Canadian Tourism Commission, Canada House UK,WCAWelsh Canoe Symposium  GIG Rowers Newquay, Harbour Sports UK,Orkney Council, Orkney School District and many more who have met with Barbara and I in preparation for this great Canoe Journey.


This past month of December I have found myself in the most interesting part of the planning process with logistics, research, communication with others and the co-ordination of making up teams to represent Canada.

The strategy for planning such a journey has been like no other I have ever planned for so there have literally hundreds of phone calls to UK in particular, emails to both sides of the Pond and also dozens and dozens of meetings. All very worth while.

The other things we have been documenting for Magazine and Press is the amount of different woods been photographed and filmed as part of this major story which will break at the end of January when the first paddle is presented to the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, a paddle built by Stewert Nahanee of the Squamish Nation.

This wood comes from Stanley Park Vancouver and the Provinces crown jewel, Western Red Cedar oldgrowth some of which may be potentially as old as 400 yrs.

There will be 300 paddles of this wood built for gifts to the villages of the UK coastline.

There is also 300 paddles being made by gifted wood from the upper Stave River of Maple Ridge / Mission Districts this wood is clear Yellow Cedar donated by B&M Logging.

This wood will be carved into beautiful Voyageur/ Otter Tail design paddles which will be used by paddlers traveling in

Spirit Dancer canoe, each paddler that is with the team will have a paddle to take home with them at the end of each leg.

Another note:


Most village stops for the first 3 months of travel will be up on the website once I have heard from the Harbour Masters of the UK southcoast and the north coast of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset to the coast of Cardiff Wales.

It is important to me that all villages need to be aware of our Canoe Journey and that we would like to be welcomed to each of them, we of course relise that weather will be the number#1 player here and that we will travel safely at all times.

Best wishes to all, Chris G. Cooper  Operations and Project manager.
  November 2007

Big News Donald Thomson and Alan Beaton, Barbara Cooper and I met in Alford, Scotland to discuss adding another season to the canoe journey, in part, the reason to add another season was due to many requests for the canoe to visit the more remote regions and villages of the Scottish Coastline. The journey for 2009 will start from Cullipool, Luing and Finish in Dundee, the Canoe journey will finish the following season in London, England 2010.

 Please keep in touch with the News and Updates that will updated on a regular basis.

Barbara and spent the most amazing time on Orkney arriving just before a force 11 Hurricane,huge winds and giant seas off the top of Scotland, our hosts Douglas and Christine Sewell made us very welcome and helped us with the process of organizing a program for the canoe when it arrives in Orkney hopefully mid July to mid August 2009.

Remembrance Day was spent in Stromness with the Legion and the local community, Barbara and I had the chance to speak with many of the locals including MCA, RNLI about the upcoming canoe journey. We were both looked after incredibly well and so many thanks to so many especially David Tower of Stromness.

We departed Orkney for Wick to have a meeting with Bill Bruce about the Northcoast of Scotland, Pentland Firth and some of the logistics of paddling Spirit Dancer canoe across to Orkney and the Shetland Islands.We departed Wick for Ullapool around the top of Scotland and filmed and photographed the area of coastline, very, very spectacular.

A visit to the Isle of Luing I made two presentations there, one for the local school and one for the community about the canoe project and travels in the High Arctic. Thanks to David and Mairi for there great hospitality.

Barbara and I returned to Canada from Glasgow on the 17th November.

November 21: Meeting with the Provincial Government in Victoria about the Canoe Journey was a very good meeting with lots of interest overall. Meeting was chaired by MLA Randy Hawes.

Stanley Park wood

Stanley Park and the Vancouver Parks Board have provided us with Western Red Cedar Old Growth to start producing paddles to be made into gifts for the communities of the British Isles, we thank the staff who helped with this process, the amount of wood required to build 300 paddles comes in the size of a short logging truck load so a huge amount of wood being donated.

The paddles will be built by Stewert Nahanee of the Squamish Nation.

Gordon and Greg Hart have been a huge help in providing a mill to cut the timber into planks, most of the timber cut has now been transported to Hammond Cedar Interfor to be dried in the dry kiln. Again thank you to Peter Edwards for this most generous offer.

Rotarian Rick Isherwood helped move the planks by boat and by truck to the dry kiln.

There will be many stories and news releases that will unfold in regards to the timber cut and made into paddles, we will endeavour to keep everyone updated on this.

I want to thank so many people that have helped us tremendously with this project to date. We are now 144 days from launching Spirit Dancer canoe on the River Thames.

We would like to thank all our Spirit Dancer Sponsors that have helped us along the way, we will update and add all new sponsors in the month of December 2007.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada October 2007

Whitewater training on the Thompson River
for RCMP and Vancouver Police officers,

Spirit Dancer Canoe back to BCIT for the final details for the new Hyperlon cover being produced by the engineering department Health Technology Research Group Technology Centre. The cover over the next 6 weeks will be custom fitted and ready for more sea trials this winter on the BC Coast.

Spirit Dancer canoe will be shipped to South Hampton, UK this early March 2008.

From October 11th to November 17th My wife Barbara and scheduled a 39 day itinerary which took us around the country with many, many meetings and lectures about the upcoming canoe journey around the UK coastline.

Meetings with the Welsh Canoe Symposium WCS in Bala, met with Ray Goodwin.

Scouting the South coast with Ray Martin and Jan Neil from Portland Bill to the Lizard, meetings with the Gig Rowers Tommy Gee and fellow rowers in Newquay, meeting with the Canadian High commission CTC in London re: Canoe on display and plans for sendoff, Lectures at Perth, Scotland for the SCA ( Scottish Canoe association ), further meetings with the expert paddlers of the Scottish coastline.

Meeting with the head of the British Canoe Union BCU in Reading.

Meetings in Orkney for 2009 Canoe arrival, Spirit Dancer canoe will spend at least a month in this area from mid July to mid August 2009. In addition to this update, I would like to thank everyone for there wonderful hospitality, enthusiasm, input and help for the journey about to unfold May 1st 2008.

Updates will continue more frequently now that I am in Canada.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada September 2007

Spirit Cancer canoe was trailered 800 kilometers from Pitt Meadows to Chilko Lake for a second trip to paddle southbound to Nemaia Valley, we experienced the moods of Chilko as one can expect, we have now visited Chilko Lake by canoe 8 times have experienced storm force winds, snow, very cold days, complete calm, water so smooth like glass for days.

A word of warning, be very careful on Chilko Lake, allow plenty of time to be weather bound and to be ashore for days.   Chris G. Cooper canoe guide.

Highlights for this years canoe journey on Chilko Lake, 4 mother grizzly bears with 2 cubs with each mother, in most cases in very different spots on Chilko Lake, winds and cold this year were present, sailing our canoe was truly amazing with hull speeds over 8 knots, it is possible to sail Chilko with our canoe from south to north 80 kilometres in 5 hours,

***Recommendation, make sure you have a satellite telephone for emergencies.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada August 2007

Spirit Dancer canoe travelled down the coast on the east side of Vancouver Island from Telegraph Cove to Horseshoe Bay in 13 days approximately 200 nautical miles fully loaded with equipment and gear to last weeks.This is Spirit Dancers second journey down Johnstone Strait.

We had an amazing crew, some crew members that had never paddled in a canoe  before, some of the crew were in their mid seventies and loved every paddle stroke, one member said he had not paddled in a canoe for over 50 years.

The canoe Spirit Dancer  sailed beautifully down Johnstone Strait in some places at 10 knots, one day we only managed 5.5 nautical miles due to strong head winds.

The generosity of the people of the coast were truly fantastic, many great visits to communities such as Rock Bay, Quadra Island, Cortez Island, Sliammon First Nation, Pender Harbour and many others have been the most memorable of many a journey on this BC Coast. Spirit Dancer canoe has been welcomed everywhere on this coast and eventually there will be a book to commemorate such an amazing time spent here on the coast of British Columbia, the Alaskan and Washington State coasts.
 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada July 2007

Sea trials started with the new BCIT spray cover for 16 days through the Southern gulf islands a Canoe journey called ' Pulling Together ' to Victoria.' Spirit Dancer' canoe then continued to the San Juan Islands to Anacortes in Washington state, the cover has seen some amazing places, the spray skirt will be in for more modifications this late Fall and more trials to be done this winter. B&M Logging, Mission, BC is donating enough clear Yellow Cedar wood for 200 paddles. Canada Corrections are providing the expertise to make paddles for the paddlers of the UK coastline. Haney Rotarians have been  helpful in the process of communications UK, and offering many suggestions of how they can help. Continued testing of the Canoe ' Spirit Dancer ' and the new spray deck will continue through the summer, fall and winter of 2007. More reports to follow soon........

 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada June 2007

Stanley Park ( Vancouver's crown jewel ) is donating Western Red Cedar wood ( Old Growth ) to be cut into planks then carved into paddles for gifts for the receptions around the UK Coastline. The paddles will be built by Stewart Nahanee of the Squamish Nation. Infosat communications at www.infosat.com are helping with satellite communications while travelling the more distant and remote areas of the UK Coastline, this will help overall with our emergency communications. Associated Labels  at www.associated-labels.com are helping with promotional labels to represent our canoe journey for 2008/2010 this will be a great asset to our journey and will help with the overall promotion. Cedars-us   Stewart Nahanee from the Squamish Nation will be helping making gifted paddles of various sizes for the canoe journey, Stewart has made beautiful paddles over the year mostly from Red and Yellow cedar.

 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada May 2007

BCIT Engineering department are in the process of starting the new spray deck which will have 18 openings for paddlers, the sea trials tests will commence in early July. Ross Miller of BCIT will link our website to google earth. A jack system is being developed so the canoe is manoeuvrable on land, for long extended portages on sand beaches, the bulkhead system will be used as part of the overall structure, 4 jacks on wheels will be used, low profile tundra tires will attach to the jack system, it will be highly manoeuvrable, either on pavement, gravel, or sand. Chris on Baffin Island from May 8 to June 5 2007

 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada March-April 2007
There have been several meetings with BCIT in regards to the custom built spray deck for the canoe, it will have 18 port holes to accommodate the paddlers, the design will be one of a kind and like no other craft on the water.

BCIT will have4 teams involved  over the two seasons under Mark Angelos program Fish, Wildlife and Environment. First team BCIT will depart out of London for leg 1.Vancouver Police Department will have a team of 8 for leg 2. UBC will have a team of 8 paddlers for leg 3. Legs 4 to 7 are still yet to be determined, we have several teams applying at this time.

On March 31st Chris was inducted into the Ridge/Meadows Hall of Fame

The Provincial Government will be meeting with our board on November 21st 2007.

Meeting with Ross Miller BCIT.  There will be a link to our website via Google Earth to track our progress while on the water in UK. Meetings with UBC Research Forest regarding wood for paddles TBA soon. Canadian High Commission and CTC are prepared to meet later this year in London. Haney Rotary are helping in many ways, TBA. Corrections Canada are interested in helping make (200) paddles for the paddlers.

Meeting with Katzie First Nation re: Youth involvement meeting set for June. On going communications and meetings being set up for UK Visit October/November 2007. Chris will speak at the Scottish Canoe Association (SCA) in October 2007 in Perth.

 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada November 2006-February 2007
Since arriving back in Canada the dynamics and logistics have been very intense, literally hundreds of phone calls and emails in preparation for the canoe journey, here are just some of the highlights not necessary in order, a meeting with Tom Shandel with the Film industry, meetings with sponsors, one being BCIT which has taken the role of participating in many ways including designing a new water tight spray deck for the canoe.

Meetings with Mark Angelo and with his students. Discussions with RNLI UK setting up a fundraiser for there Charity, discussions with CTC and the Canadian High Commission.

MCA Coastguard has allowed us to use the Maritime Map which allows interested participants to view up close the coastline and some of the villages of the UK.

BRI Bellville Rodair our shipping company based in London, UK our most recent sponsor.

Meetings with the Provincial Government with MLA Randy Hawes coming up in March 2007.

  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada November 2006
November 15. Return to Canada after meeting with photographer John Beatty in Bamford near Sheffield.

November 13. Thursday, meeting with top kayaker in Scotland to discuss some of the logistics and timing of paddling areas such as Pentland Firth, the west and north coast of Scotland, as we traveled back to Dundee we filmed and photographed the coastline, some of this will be transferred onto the website. Arrive in Dundee late.

November 9-12. Orkney Islands, meetings with local community, lecture at St Magnus, Lifeboat, Deputy Head for outdoor program for school district, meeting with Andrew Drever Orkney Council, Boat Museum, meetings with BBC Radio Cornwall, meetings with Orkney Today newspaper, story in for November 9th. 2006.

November 1-4. Meeting with Alan Beaton near Aberdeen talks about the West and East coasts of Scotland, meeting some of the expert paddlers of Scotland in Alford off the next morning for Stromness, Orkney Islands. 2006.

November 1-4. Isle of Luing, just south of Oban, meeting locals talks with the local one room school house, lecture in evening for the community of Cullipool, fundraiser from the lecture, off to Dundee on the 5th November.

UK Visit and Lecture Circuit.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada October 2006
October 31. Talks with local community including Gairloch School and Two Lochs Radio interview.

October 28-29. Guest speaker for the Scottish Canoe Association in Perth SCA becomes a sponsor for the UK Journey. These two days with SCA proved to be instrumental in gaining support and forming a marvellous network through the paddling community throughout Scotland. Many thanks to Margaret and Rosie.

October 27. Evening Lecture. Rheged Outdoor Adventure Centre in Penrith, Lake District ‘In Search of Wild Places ‘.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada September 2006
Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada BCIT becomes our main sponsor
First Meeting with BCIT in regards to student participation, new technologies and engineering departments, input into new spray deck for Canoe, developing an environmental studies program.
Mark Angelo with the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Center of Excellence. September 25th 2006.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada July 2006
Province newspaper makes an announcement about the British Isles Canoe Journey by Peter Clough section B2 Unwind Youth to travel around the UK by Canoe. July 29 2006.
 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada June 2006
On going testing with sea trials on the BC Coast, Chilko Lake testing hull speed under sail 13nm per hour, incredible stability and good handling. Whitewater swift water training Thompson River. June-September 2006.

  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada May 2006
May 29. MEC Mountain Equipment Coop becomes our equipment sponsor.
May 1. Meetings with Rotary and various Clubs re: the Canoe Journey.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada April 2006
April 9 to 30. UK Visit. Barbara and I depart for UK to meet with MCA Coastguard in South Hampton to discuss the Canoe Journey met with John Astbury and Scott Russell, meetings with Rotary in St Ives,Cornwall and Parranporth, Cornwall. Talks with various schools while over in UK.
Scouting the coastline of England and Scotland over a three week period, meeting with rowing clubs, surfing clubs and many villages around the country.
Meeting with BBC Radio with talk show host Lawrence Reed in Truro, Cornwall. BBC Radio has suggested that they will cover our journey when we start in May 2008, River Thames, London.

April 6. Meeting with CIBC for sponsorship.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada February 2006
GoTofino.com becomes first sponsor.
GoTofino.com, an internet portal for the town of Tofino, BC, Canada, becomes our website designer. Our first sponsor. February 1st 2006.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada January 2006
Lecture Circuit Multi Media show in Southwestern BC ‘In Search of Wild Places’ The lecture circuit provided me with opportunity to announce ‘The British Isles Canoe Journey’ scheduled for the years 2008/2010. About 20 lectures took place over four months. Ongoing networking with UK, setting up lecture circuit for October / November 2006. January 1st 2006.
 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada December 2005
First Meeting with MCA Maritime Coastguard Brian Taylor, Mark Rodaway, in Solent, Southcoast.
A letter on behalf of MCA Coastguard member Brian Taylor

Gentlemen,
On Thursday I took a telephone call from Chris Cooper, a Canadian gentleman, who is in the UK at the moment researching for a project he hopes to undertake in 2008/2010. He then came in to the Station on Friday afternoon and met with myself and Mark Rodaway, who was thankfully working in the station for the day.
Chris has been involved in many documentary and other projects previously in his home country of Canada and is very keen on complying with all UK certification and safety regulations for this project. The canoe/kayak involved is approximately 42ft in length with South Sea type stabilizers fitted and will have a hardened cover fitted for the journey. He will be arranging crews from Canada and hopefully from around the UK and hopes to have some involvement with a charity, such as BBC Children in Need. He is also hoping to have media coverage for the event.
Mark Rodaway provided general safety advice for such a project, however, due to the long lead time for this project and his desire to maintain links with the MCA he was provided with contact details for Scott and Mark and he will no doubt be in touch before he heads back to Canada in about 10 days.

Hope this all in order.
Regards
Brian Taylor
December 1st 2005
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada November 2005
UK Visit. Meetings with many comma unities of the British Isles, checking the coastline of the southcoast, east coast and west coast of Scotland, met with the locals of the village of Cullipool on the Isle of Luing at local schools and many villages around the west coast. November-December 2005.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada August-October 2005
On going sea trials testing with ‘Spirit Dancer’ Canoe. Whitewater Training September 1st, ongoing Networking in UK.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada July 2005
Mike Cooper arrives at YVR Vancouver for his first experience of traveling the BC Coast in the Spirit Dancer Canoe which was shipped by BC Ferries to Prince Rupert, Spirit Dancer Canoe travels to the villages of Metlakatla, Hartley Bay, Klemtu, Bella Bella, Rivers Inlet. July 25th 2005.
  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada April 2005
Anita and Mike Cooper in Bedale, Yorkshire, England explore contacts with the BCU for paddlers and club information, Mike makes contact with Fiona Whitehead and Sean Morley who had kayaked around the UK in the season of 2004. Mike Cooper comes to British Columbia, Canada to paddle the BC Coast in July 2005 to discuss the UK project, starting the planning and logistics, Mike was instrumental in helping organize lectures in UK on my behalf, also, started the design of the website and undertook formulating a UK network. April 1st 2005.
 

Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada March 2005
British Isles Canoe Journey was conceived in discussion with Karin Mark who is my freelance writer for newspaper and magazine articles most recently with Adventurous Magazine summer 2005. March 31st 2005.

  Spirit Dancer, Spriti of Adventure Canoe Journey, British Isles, Chris Cooper, Canada 2003-2005
In the Fall of 2003 in Victoria, John Dunn, Sandy Briggs, Bob Saunders and I met to discuss the plans of designing a new canoe that would provide us with a safe way to travel the coast of Alaska and the British Columbia coastline for the following season 2004, I have always believed in self propelled journeys and therefore our Ocean going canoe was born, a canoe named by the Katzie First Nation ‘Spirit Dancer.’

Another very important aspect to this story is that is in spring of 2003 on June 3rd I met a young teacher assistant Kip Cooper who was from the UK and visiting Canada, Kip and I met on a canoe outing I was providing for a private school in White Rock, after the days journey I asked Kip if he might like to join us on a canoe journey down the BC Coast from Burnett Bay to Port McNeill, this summer, Kip accepted the invitation.

The following year my wife Barbara and I went to the UK to visit Kip’s parents in Bedale, Yorkshire, England. Keith and Anita introduced us to their older son Mike who also took a liking to canoeing and came to British Columbia in the summer of 2005 to experience the British Columbia coast. This all kindled a flame that sparked the Spirit Dancer British Isles Canoe Journey.



<<<<< View 2008 July Spirit Dancer Adventures News

View 2008 June Spirit Dancer Adventures News >>>>>>

View 2008 January-May Spirit Dancer Adventures News >>>>>>>>
The Beginning of the Spirit Dancer Adventure
The hard work, the volunteers, the supporters and all the interviews, planning and travelling by Chris to get ready to launch the Spirit Dancer Canoe!

View 2005-2007 Spirit Dancer Adventure News >>>>>>>>


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British Isles Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
A journey of friendship and adventure in the 42 foot Spirit Dancer ocean canoe 2008/2010

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