Solo kayaker finishes circumnavigation

  • Jul. 29, 2005 12:00 p.m.

Submitted by Pat Carrie Smith–“I’ll just paddle over to Charlotte, then my goal is reached,” said Hayley Shephard as she slipped into her 19-foot, green kayak at the Sandspit marina Monday (July 25). She had just completed a 24-day circumnavigation of Moresby Island. Ms Shephard left Queen Charlotte on July 1, heading through the narrows to the west coast at the beginning of what turned out to be 10 days of rain and southeast gales as 3 low-pressure systems turned her paddling trip into a challenge. She was weather-bound for 3 days near Hibben Island.
Ms Shephard, a native of New Zealand and 9-year resident of Canada, says “the layout of the islands has fascinated me, and challenged me.” Last year she paddled around Graham Island in 19 days. Discovering near Langara Island that she needed repairs to her kayak, she stopped at Masset, then because of the delay and sore wrists, changed her original plan to kayak around the entire Queen Charlottes that summer. She was the first woman to solo sea kayak around Vancouver Island, which was accomplished in 62 days during the summer of 1999. Ms Shephard is a naturalist, photographer, sea kayaking instructor, guide, and teacher. She is now looking for slides of the west coast of the Charlottes to use in her slide shows. If you have any, please contact her at
Her website,, contains stunning photographs of wildlife, the BC coast, and scenes from her kayak trips, including Antarctica.