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.
About The Spirirt of Adventure!
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
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,
MCA Marine Coastguard Agency UK, RNLI UK, SCA Canoe Scotland, BCU British Canoe
Union, Photo Express, Hemlock Printers, Vancouver International Film Festival
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Best wishes to all, Chris G. Cooper Operations and Project manager.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 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 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
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
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........
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Meetings with the Provincial Government with MLA Randy Hawes coming up in
November 15. Return to Canada after meeting with photographer John Beatty in Bamford
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
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.
October 31. Talks with local community including Gairloch School and Two Lochs
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 ‘.
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
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
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.
May 29. MEC Mountain Equipment Coop becomes our equipment sponsor.
May 1. Meetings with Rotary and various Clubs re: the Canoe Journey.
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.
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.
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.
First Meeting with MCA Maritime Coastguard Brian Taylor, Mark Rodaway,
in Solent, Southcoast.
A letter on behalf of MCA Coastguard member Brian Taylor
Hope this all in order.
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.
December 1st 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.
On going sea trials testing with ‘Spirit Dancer’ Canoe. Whitewater
Training September 1st, ongoing Networking in UK.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 >>>>>>>>