Green Coast Kayaking is planning to offer free weekly paddles to Haida Gwaii residents, in an effort to make the sport more accessible and do something good for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The local company, based in Queen Charlotte, held an initial pop-up paddle on Monday (May 25), a free, three-hour event that started with a safety briefing at 6 p.m., including a reminder to maintain a six-foot distance from members outside of your household, handle all of your own gear, and bring your own snacks and water.
Owner Bryce Klee told the Observer he was impressed with the number of residents who RSVP’d and said about 10 kayaks got out on the water.
“It was clear people had come to get out,” Klee said. “And the kayak is such a good way to do that.”
Going forward, Klee said the community paddles are expected to take place weekly on Sunday mornings starting at around 9 a.m. Residents who are interested in participating should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With all of their Gwaii Haanas expeditions and guided tours cancelled due to the virus, Green Coast has also started promoting paid rentals — sanitized after each use — to locals.
In a Facebook post on May 22, the company announced that single and double kayaks as well as stand-up paddleboards were available at daily rates ranging from $30 to $60.
Klee told the Observer they may also begin offering a paid membership option for residents who wish to sign out equipment on a regular basis.
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