Hello everyone, it’s been awhile since I’ve last posted on my eFolio and as of now, I am well into my final year of the DP Program and High school. Thus far into the school year, I have been and still am buried beneath copious amounts of school work. Whether it be IA’s, tests, projects and so much more. However, while I have been busy with all of this work, I still haven’t felt as stressed out as some of my peer appear to be. I’m not entirely sure whether or not this is good that I don’t feel the pressure, or if I should be concerned with my lack of emotion. At any rate, I am pleased everything so far in the year and hope to continue with the constant stream of work up until the end of the year, or realistically, the end of mocks.
For my Duke of Edinburgh adventurous journey, me, eleven other students, two teachers and one guide went on a five day kayak trip in the Desolation Sound Marine Park, north of the Powell River. Desolation Sound Marine Park was established in 1973 by BC Parks and is a Provincial Park. These waters were first sailed in by Captain George Vancouver in 1792, and upon noticing the remoteness of the land and seascape named it Desolation Sound. In addition, Desolation Sound is within the traditional territories of the Hamalco, Sliammon and Klahoose First Nations, who have occupied many areas in Desolation Sound for thousands of years. Many of these First Nations groups still rely on the sea life in the waters of Desolation Sound for traditional food.
I chose this journey as kayaking is activity that I enjoy very much. Also, I had done some research prior, of Desolation Sound, and it seemed to be a very interesting place to kayak with high biodiversity which would prove to be compelling reason to visit. Finally, I wanted to bond some more with some peers that weren’t directly in my group of friends, and the trip was a great means of doing so.
Before the journey, months of preparation were needed to ensure that our group knew exactly what we were doing. In the beginning, it was more just deciding on what kind of trip we wanted to go on, and as we found out, kayaking was a very popular option. After this, the group split up into different areas to fulfill a specific task. For example, my friend Michael and I made ferry and bus booking for the trip, whereas some others would decide on the kayak route. When it came to the week before the trip, we all packed our dry bags according to the list that we created, and also organized tent groups, and meal plans. In my group, we split up the who brought what in terms of food based on what was easiest. For example, I brought a breakfast, one dinner, and all the lunches. We also set up the leader system, which would see everyone, in pairs, lead part of the expedition for the day, at least once. Prior to the journey, all of us had been on previous sea kayaking expeditions so everyone was prepared and knew what to expect for the trip as a whole.
On the 25th of June I arrived at school at 6:00 am to prepare for the trip. For the next half hour we collected group gear like tents, and pot sets, and filled nineteen dromedaries with clean water for the trip. We caught the first ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale at 7:00 am. From Langdale we drove in the bus to Earl’s Cove where we caught a second ferry to Saltery Bay. Finally, we drove from Saltery Bay to Powell RIver Sea Kayak where we set off. At this point, we learned protocol of how to pack, unpack, and move our kayaks safely, which proved to be a strenuous and whole-group task. We set out into the water at 2:30 pm for the destination of Hare Point; our campsite for the night. This was a 4.5 nautical mile kayak that took about three hours, with us arriving at 5:30 pm. To my pleasure, Hare Point was an exceedingly scenic campsite, with many of the tent platforms along the side of a rocky ledge, overlooking the spectacular ocean view. The night prior to the expedition, I froze bolognese sauce. This sauce thawed over the trip of the first day, leaving it fresh to eat for the first night. Despite taking a little while longer than the other group’s meals, the pasta was one of the best dinners we had over the entire trip, due to its sustenance.
The next day was, unknowingly, the longest journey we would have the entire trip. We awoke at 7:30 am, intending to leave at 9:30 am for the 6.2 nautical mile trip to Tenedo’s Bay. Upon finishing our morning routines, we quickly realised how much time we truly needed to get ready in the morning, as we got into the water nearly 45 minutes later than we expected. Nevertheless, we set out at a good pace and reached our lunch area, Portage Cove, at 12:00 pm. We had a quick lunch of ham and cheese bagels to refuel ourselves, and then set out for the remaining journey to Tenedo’s Bay. Along the way, as many of us stayed close to the shoreline, we found that there was much wildlife to be observed, and nearly too many Moon Jellyfish. We finally arrived at Tenedo’s Bay at 3:00 pm, and all of us were very tired. However, the promise of a refreshing lake a short hike away revitalized everyone. Unwin Lake was a 15 minute hike inland from the camping area in Tenedo’s Bay, and in my opinion, was one of the best parts of the trip. Having a dip in the exhilaratingly cold lake was so nice after being baked in the unforgiving sun all day long. Many stray logs in the lake also served as boats and devices of entertainment in the lake, as an hour in the sun flew by. It wasn’t until I got out of the lake that I realized the awful tan lines I had received from wearing paddling gloves and short sleeved shirts all day, but thankfully no burns. That night we had Korean Ramen for dinner, that also was very tasty. Michael and I had volunteered to be the leaders for the next day, so we had a few big decisions to make. We had to separate options that we presented to the group for the next day. One included travelling to Prideaux Haven for a day trip and returning to Tenedo’s Bay to sleep again. The second was to travel to Martin Islands on a slightly longer trip, but would give us a new camping spot. The group decided on the latter, and Michael and I figured out the logistics for the rest of the journey, on the next day.
We woke up 7:30 am again, but left at 10:30 am knowing that this trip was shorter than the last. As was planned out the night before, We had a brief stop for lunch at the Curme Islands, which was a beautiful spot that many of us would’ve like to sleep at, however Martin Islands was our destination. Along the way there were a few attractions, for example we stopped at a small rock formation along the way, named Ray Rock. Ray Rock was home to many seals and we observed them for a while before continuing. After our 5 nautical mile journey to Martin Islands, we arrived at 2:30 pm. Martin Islands, like Hare Point housed a beautiful vista for us to enjoy, however one downside was that there wasn’t an outhouse. For dinner that night we made Kraft Dinner, and a lot of it. We set up a camp fire that night as well, and for me was one of the most enjoyable nights with much story telling and fire-side banter. In spite of this late night, we had to sleep well for what we expected to be the hardest journey thus far.
Now on day 4, we had to make the 8 nautical mile trip from Martin Islands to Grace Harbour, that was past Hare Point. We expected this journey to be about 5 hours long, and with the wind and waves, could’ve been even longer. When we reached the tip of Martin Islands, before we made a large traverse across an open body of water, the wind battered the boats and many people knew what we would be in for. To our surprise however, the wind and currents came to our aid pushing us towards our destination more quickly than we could’ve ever imagined. Contrary to what we thought earlier, the trip was a 2 and a half hour journey, and we arrived at Grace Harbour at 12:00 pm. We were ecstatic to realize our day wasn’t to be as hard as we expected, and happily exhausted when we arrived at our final campsite of the trip. This day the sun was hotter than the the past few days, and the promise of yet another rejuvenating lake was music to our ears. Black Lake was about a 20 minute hike from the campsite at Grace Harbour, however when we arrived it was not what we expected. Black Lake was more a bog, despite its unappealing appearance we were desperate to go in. The water, unlike Unwin Lake, was warm and silt-filled. There were many submerged logs and also, as we later found out leeches, making our trip to Black Lake very brief. For our final dinner of the trip our group made Uncle Ben’s Rice with some pepperoni sticks. After dinner we played some games with the group, and presented our final reflections together. My tent group, consisting of Michael, Matt hew, and myself, presented a collection of poems we had created during the course of the trip entitled, Cringes: The Anthology. After looking upon some of my peers reflections in pictures, speeches, and much more, it had only now settled to me how much fun I have had on my final outdoor expedition with Mulgrave School. In a rather mellow and sentimental mood, I slept early that night, excited to return home.
On our 5th and final day, we had a very brief 1 and a half hour kayak back to the Powell River Sea Kayak launch area. We unpacked our kayaks for the last time, and we relieved to finally be homeward bound. Although happy to be leaving and to return back to ‘civilization’, it was a bittersweet feeling knowing that this is one of the last memories I would have of my time at Mulgrave. However, the skills I have acquired and friendships I have formed will last a lifetime, and I’m sure not going to forget this trip anytime soon.
My break was relatively quiet, I was home in Vancouver for the majority of the time and went up to Whistler for a few days. For Christmas I just had some family over for a Ham dinner. For the most of the break I just relaxed and made sure I kept in shape for the upcoming Rugby and Basketball seasons. For New Year’s I went up to Whistler with Judson and his family. The skiing was really good comparative to the year before, so I was quite happy about that. Just a day after I came down from Whistler I had BC Elite Youth 7’s Tryouts for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas and tournament in Vancouver, both in March. The tryouts were long and hard, not to mention very cold as well! After working hard, I felt good about my performance at the camp and had to await the selections. Just this past week I received an email informing that I had made the team, so I hope to be travelling to Vegas in March.
Now that I am back at school after a restful and relaxing break, I am ready to get back into my routines once again!
After a one year leave from Mulgrave, I’m back. Upon spending one year at St. George’s School in Vancouver I decided that Mulgrave is my true home. From the many experiences that I had over the past year including a remarkable rugby your to Ireland and Wales, it was very hard, yet fulfilling decision to come back to Mulgrave.
Now that I’m back, I’m ready to take the DP program head on, and continue where I left off with all of my friends, and teachers. For the beginning of the year I have started to create my goals in order to successfully plan out the upcoming year. When making my decision to return to Mulgrave, I did take into consideration how strenuous the IB Diploma would be, and I thought it would be great to challenge myself in my academics, arts, and athletics.