Tuesday, June 6

"Solo Georgia Strait Crossing" Fundraiser

Division 9 parent, Don Urquhart, successfully completed his OC1 (Single Outrigger Canoe) crossing of the Georgia Strait, and raised $3,340 for Charles Dickens Elementary School. Bravo and much appreciation to Don! 

Don will also revisit select classrooms at Dickens Main to share his motivational experience of goal setting and execution. 

In his own words:
"The crossing went well. I did a fair amount of research on the Strait and trained as much as possible. I was really happy with respect to how everything unfolded and also learned a lot while I crossed. I set my schedule to the tides, flows and winds but underestimated my average speed in the first 22 miles and arrived an hour too early at my 25-mile waypoint. This made the next 1.5 hours of paddling brutal and it took a lot out of me. 

Once the hour passed and the tide went slack and turned, I was off again at good average speeds. I crossed in 8 hours which included my resting times: 3 to 5 minutes every hour and two 15 minute breaks.

I was really looking forward to seeing some wildlife along the way and maybe have porpuses or white-sided dolphins swim alongside me but I did not see anything except a couple of seagulls and a harbour seal - Lol!

I was a bit of a 'deer in headlights' experience on this crossing because I really had no idea how my body would respond physically. I had another mishap the night before I took the Ferry to Nanaimo. I was setting up my OC1 for Sat Nav and checking all the vulnerable areas of the canoe, when I noticed a slight fracture in my rudder cable. A friend came over to replace the part but when doing so, the internal cable housing broke which rendered the OC useless. 

I have a second OC1 but it's not a racing hull and weighs about 4 to 5 pounds heavier and was not properly fitted to me. I was crushed at this mishap and beside myself. Six months of prep and all of a sudden I am staring at my broken OC that cannot be fixed inside of two weeks. I got up at 6am the next morning and brought my other OC back to my home and did a refit of the OC plus an install of the brackets for the navigation devices. 

The OC performed perfectly and was a touch more work to paddle but I had a lot of sizable swell and wind in the first 22 miles so this made up for the extra weight.

Arriving at the Vanier Park boat launch at Kitsilano was a great feeling but once I stepped off the OC I kinda had to learn how to walk again for the first few meters. There was also a small welcoming party which was completely unexpected but so appreciated...Thank you!" www.facebook.com/Solo-OC1-Georgia-Strait-Crossing










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