Alert Bay 360

Recently (Aug 5, 2018) I participated in (distinct from ‘competed in’) the Alert Bay 360, a 7 mile circumnavigation of Cormorant Island, off Port McNeil on Vancouver Island. There were on the order of 150 entrants. There were surf skis, at least one paddle board, canoes, war canoes etc. … but the vast majority were touring kayaks. The latter included Deltas, Seawards, Atlanti, Neckys, NDKs, a few Valleys, pygmies, and so on. I saw no rec kayaks. Personally I found it refreshing to see such a gathering of sea kayaks.

The event is held the Sunday just before BC Day. For any here in the Northwest this is a sterling event. The real draw includes the Salmon Feast and ceremonial dances held the evening of the race. Additionally, one can visit the U’Mista Cultural Centre with its wealth of artifacts and depressing history of how Canada treated its aboriginal peoples. This is, of course, not unique, if one is aware of treatment of aboriginals by ‘enlightened’ immigrants e.g. the Sami by Norwegians, the aboriginals by immigrant Europeans in Australia, the ‘Indians’ by European settlers in the USA, and so on. Despite the disclaimer, it is a splendid, worthwhile event.