Tuesday, April 23, 2024
April 23, 2024

Paddleboarders on mission to circumnavigate Salt Spring

Three dads want to see the island from a different angle.

Geordie Flanagan, Brad Felotick and John Arnett have set the goal to SUP — stand-up paddleboard — around Salt Spring Island by the end of the summer.

Flanagan and Felotick moved separately, but around the same time three years ago, from Tsawwassen to Salt Spring Island, and Arnett is a longtime islander. Together they plan to SUP around the island in stages.

The three of them started last Wednesday when they paddled from Bader’s Beach to Vesuvius.

“I know that people have sailed, kayaked and swum around Salt Spring, but we’re not sure if someone did it on a paddleboard,” said Flanagan, who is an experienced paddleboarder. “Of course, it would be cooler if we did it in one shot, but we all have kids under the age of four, and our time is limited. The plan is to break down our paddles into five- to 11-kilometre chunks.”

The shoreline of Salt Spring Island is around 130 kilometres long. Flanagan, Felotick and Arnett plan to paddle roughly 85 kilometres of it.

“The 130 kilometres includes all the bays, but we don’t intend to paddle into each and every little bay,” Flanagan explained.

How far they paddle in one day depends on different factors.

“How the kids are doing that day, for example, and the weather and the tides. We will be looking closely at weather forecasts and tide tables. We don’t want to get ourselves in any kind of trouble. We just love to be outside and to be active and we want to see the beautiful island we are living on from a different angle. It is a unique way to explore.”

Shore accessibility plays another role in setting a schedule.

“We always need to have a car at the start and the end point,” Flanagan continued. “That can be more complicated and challenging in some places, so we have to do some longer stretches because of that. Around Ruckle Park and Musgrave for example. We might be camping at Musgrave Landing for a night and do two stages back to back, to keep things manageable.”

The three dads will be gearing up for their next paddle today (May 24), going from Vesuvius to Southey Point.

“Our first paddle was absolutely amazing. The weather was beautiful and we took the time to take in the views. I personally look forward to paddling through Sansum Narrows. I heard there are beautiful houses there. That’s what I like about this adventure; you go to places that you would otherwise never get to see, unless you’re on a boat.”

The trio will be paddling most Wednesday evenings. If you want to join in on one of the stretches, you can contact Flanagan by email at geordieflan@gmail.com.

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  1. That’s a gang of true legends right there. Three of the best guys you could ever hope to meet. Rad dad sup crew. Hope you guys catch some tasty waves.


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