Sean Morley record try: Vancouver Island

-- Last Updated: Oct-01-08 3:30 PM EST --

Sean Morley is currently attempting a record circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. He is making the attempt in his Valley Nordkapp LV (not the Rapier - thanks for the correction below). He is solo and hopes to break both the current individual and tandem marks.

The blog can be found at

For anybody wanting to follow the trip, or just see how the shared Spot location finder works, you can view Sean's progress at

Minor Correction
His wife (blog writer) said after a trial he decided to use his Nordcapp LV.

what happened…
No movement reported since yesterday at lunch.

Hope he hasn’t run into a problem.

I wonder
if there’s a reliability issue with Spot. The map didn’t want to load earlier today. But the weather status looks ok in that area and there’s no recent blog update from his wife.

Well, until he gets to Tofino and a phone, I don’t think his wife has any more info than we do. So, maybe she’s just waiting along with the rest of us.

As for the Spot, bad reception has been an oft reported problem. They are also not as water-tight as many assume. Maybe he dunked it.

Weather status ok?

– Last Updated: Oct-02-08 1:27 AM EST –

I am not sure what forecast you are using.

From what I saw at the weather did not look too good. Gale warnings from the south.

As for the Spot, I would be interested in any reliability problems or lack of water resistance. Mine has been very reliable and been in the water many times with no problems. I would like to know if I and my friends have just been lucky, since I rely on the Spot.

Edit - 6 pm Pacific Time
I see that Sean has checked in with the Spot. He is on schedule and just north of Barkley Sound. If he had big winds out the south, as per the forecast, this was quite a day's progress. His ability to read the wind and use wind eddies is amazing, as is his overall talent. To be such a great distance paddler as well Masters Surfing World Champ (as well as a really great and humble person) is really something.

Good to see
Sean’s moving again. Thanks for the weather link Bob. I had just used the Weather Channel; apparently not a good source. Ditto what you said about Sean - he’s a great guy and clearly an iron man. His itinerary shows him stringing together multiple days that are almost 50% more than my personal best. Gotta respect that strength and talent. Go Sean!

boat choice
i’m sorry he didn’t go with the Rapier, he’s one of the few who might have been able to but clearly he let common sense and respect for the Island’s seas win out over the faster boat. the open coast is risky at any time of year, but things start to get pretty dicey around now, so he’s hedging his bets on a safe passage. maybe he’ll switch boats once on the inside, who knows.

Have mine for almost a year
and it gets wet frequently. No problems - I rinse it in fresh water after every paddle.

My messages on the water always get out too.

spot -tracking vs reporting
I’m speculating here, but I dont think he’s using the spot in tracking mode, but in reporting OK mode. So if it hasn’t moved between reports, he’s not going anywere. But if the last report was a while ago it likely means he’s paddling and not pushing the OK button.


for those that don’t know
Sean was featured in one of the This is the Sea movies (I think TITS2). He is now based in NorCal, a bit north of San Francisco. Very nice guy.

He is also one of the main people putting on the

Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium in January (

That looks like an AWESOME

Too bad there can’t be some kayak surfing thrown in, sean is pretty fantastic in a surf boat. I’d like to have some coaching!!

I didn’t know about that.

Pretty exciting. The only other event that size here was the NOrCal BCU sea kayak symposium and that hasn’t happened since 2005.

Paddling again
I see that Sean has now passed Barkley Sound and is making great time today, despite headwinds of 20-30 knots. The winds are supposed to increase later to 40 knots but move more to the east, so maybe he will be a bit more protected.

It sounds like he has had nothing but headwinds for the entire trip.

northwest winds
normally good, but not when it’s THAT strong. tough time of year to attempt a record.

I’m hoping that…
he gets the record!

Will give me an excuse to go back out to BC and try to get the solo record back again, hopefully next year. :slight_smile:


what’s your take?
Joe - I would be interested in hearing your take on the strategy that Sean put into this (launch point, time of year, etc.). Any thoughts you’d be willing to share?


– Last Updated: Oct-04-08 5:08 PM EST –

Hi Peter,
Well first of all, I think his timing was based on when he had the chance to do it. Family, work etc.... he is a rep in the business, for Valley, Kokatat etc...his launch was for just after a major sea kayak symposium in Washingtom State. So this was likely his only realistic time frame open to him.
Normally though, sea conditions are quite favorable this time of year. However, the weather never seems to go as predicted as I found out when I gambled last year on my clockwise backfired big time but I still got the record by a large margin.
Port Hardy makes sense for a launch. Wait for the weather window and then go and go hard. Seems like he just went though and did not really wait for the right weather. His call though. It did result in him taking a Nordapp rather than the much fast Rapier though. I was surprised at that.
So far, he has encountered a lot of did I last year. I had headwinds on 18 of the first 19 days last year. It can be tough, especially tough mentally. You ask yourself...Why am I doing this?...

I suspect Sean is a much better than am I in big water and I do suspect he will beat my time from last year. I'm thinking that the record can be brought down by several days yet. I think I can knock off about 4 days at yeah, I'm hoping he beats my mark and gives me a new target to shoot for...(whether I get the record again or not..the "Fun" is in trying afterall). Sean's goal of 18 days? If he gets that, it will be a tough one to beat for sure!! Good on him regardless of the final time.

Cheers...Joe O'Blenis

Wish I had known
We were hiking on the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail (his Spot 12,13,14,15) 2 weeks ago–could have looked for him.

100 miles to go

– Last Updated: Oct-09-08 9:58 PM EST –

Based on the latest Spot track, I think he has right about 100 miles to go. He has been doing 40 mile days for the last few days. I wonder if he will push it more and complete it in 2 days?

Then again, 40 mile days are much more than I have ever done...