Kayak Bill Video

Here is a video taken in Bella Bella of Kayak Bill about a year before his death. I was given this video about 10 or so years ago but didn’t have permission to post it. Finally the owners, Calgary Mountain Club, have posted it for all to watch.


How long is that paddle?

Billy establish primary camps spaced about 20 miles apart and additional camps on both ends of a crux move. For instance, from Weeteum Bay to Harvey Islets is 13 miles and Higgins Pass to Aristazabal I is about 7 1/2. Both involve crossings of consequence. There were also some intermediate camps that he would use in some places. He paddled a Frontiersman Tandem kayak and when fully loaded it had only a couple of inches of freeboard so he needed good conditions for traveling at the beginning of a trip, hence the camps at both ends of a significant crossing. The video opens with him returning from a trip with supplies used up and comfortable freeboard.
Kayak 1

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I totally misunderstood what you were asking. My friend and Kayak Bill-expert Alex Sidels straightened me out. Sorry about that. Your question had to do with the length of his paddle, right? I have no idea but it was one long-ass paddle and since Bill believed in being self sufficient that meant that he had to be able to make and fix every piece of gear so his paddle was made of aluminum, wire and duct tape.
Kayak 2

That’s it. I was going to go back to the video first, to see if I was seeing an optical illusion. I use a long paffle, but his is crazy long. He paddled with a very low cadences.

I estimate it must be between 270 cm and 300 cm. Thanks for the paddle distances. That’s a good distance for a heavy boat. Big paddle for a big boat.

Thanks to 3meterswell.
The lore of the PNW is never ending.
I met a guy that lived for 2 years on the north end of Vancouver Island. He built a two story house out of lumber that washed up on the beach. He went to town once a year.

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