The Inside Passage is one of the world's most popular marine routes in the world, legendary among paddlers, and even so... it doesn't formally exist.
At least not yet.
John Kimantas, editor of Wild Coast Magazine, author of The Wild Coast guide books and owner of Wild Coast Publishing, is hoping to change that by a project called the Inside Passage Marine Trail. On behalf of the BC Marine Trails Network Association, Kimantas will travel by kayak from Prince Rupert to Vancouver to connect the coast, survey the trail for suitable sites and liaise with First Nations along the length of the route to begin discussions on creating the trail to link Alaska and Washington States.
The trip will take place September 2017.
Kimantas first kayaked the route in 2005, and was inspired to do it in part to document the route, which has only ever been traveled informally and at a higher level of risk due to the uncertainty of camping locations and safe havens along the way.
He was particularly inspired by a segment described by Jessica Hahn in the book Spirited Waters where she was at risk and unable to find a safe location to pull out, and so dragged her loaded kayak up two fallen logs to escape the water. Napping above the kayak, when she awoke the tide had dropped, leaving her and her kayak suspended in the air.
This is the type of scenario he wants to avoid. His first transit of the BC coast over a 92-day expedition led to publication of The Wild Coast Volume 2, and detailed routes and safe camping locations along British Columbia's north and central coast. In addition, the site selection provided the foundation for the fledgling BC Marine Trails Network Association, founded in 2009 to formalize routes through the BC coast. Kimantas was a founding director of that group.
Kimantas is also project manager of the Salish Sea Marine Trail, a 257-km paddling route that will link Victoria and Vancouver as part of the Trans Canada Trail. He is proposing the BC Marine Trails Network Association next tackle the Inside Passage Marine Trail, and is undertaking this journey to spearhead that project.