A Broughton Archipelago Paddling Adventure
May 9 to 13, 2019
With Simon Whitfield and Fraser Murray
Join Fraser Murray, the owner and general manager of the Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort (nimmobay.com), and stand-up paddleboarding guide and Olympic Gold medalist Simon Whitfield (simonwhitfield.com) on the ocean in view of Ursa Major in an Archipelago.
When Debbie and Craig Murray towed a refurbished float home across Queen Charlotte Strait, to a bay by a waterfall, nestled into the base of a mountain, under a sky known as Ursa Major in the heart of the Broughton Archipelago young Fraser, Clinton and Georgina, the Murray family, called it home. The refurbished hut is now a lodge and the waterfall a power generator, with all the amenities of a world class retreat the float is now a lodge with waterfront cabins and is known as the Nimmo Bay Wilderness resort. Immersed in wilderness with curiosity embolden with youth Fraser and his siblings began to explore, they are of the archipelago, with internal compasses tuned to unearthing the unexpected, the Murray’s know where the locals play music, and always know how to find their way home. Fraser will be your guide.
Simon Whitfield grew up in Kingston Ontario by the lake, a Paddle Canada-certified SUP guide and instructor, a four time Olympian and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Triathlon Champion, he has a good sense of direction and is content sleeping beside his board, paddle in hand, in proximity of people, or otherwise, ready for anything, and will be your paddling guide.
So, what’s a “Broughton Adventure”?
We'll pick you up in Victoria on May 9 and arrive in Port McNeil late afternoon that day. Debbie and Craig Murray, who have been hosting people at the Nimmo Bay wilderness lodge for nearly 40 years, will be our hosts. An evening of food, music and stories, after dinner, we’ll pull out the sea charts and play the weather wheel — which is essentially the Murrays saying, “if the weather does this, then we’ll do that, but if it’s this, then that. Or: just in case it’s this, then that, there, and then this, before that, all to see this, that, and the other thing.”
Be ready for three days of paddling in the archipelago, in amongst the wildlife, with a boat and guide support, food and coffee.
In the Broughton, in search of nothing, ready for anything.
As for accommodation, it’s do as the guides do. We’ll be sleeping on the occasional dock, perhaps on the zodiac, possibly on the beach, possibly in guide huts, and maybe, if the weather wheel permits, at Nimmo Bay, sharing meals with the staff and visiting the woodstove-fired floating sauna. Meals will be provided and dietary restrictions can be handled; the folks at Nimmo Bay are experts at packing lunches and dinners (and the occasional bottle of wine and/or growler) for guests all season long.
We’ll provide a list of gear you’ll need to bring, and have you covered for boards, paddles and PFDs, (with drysuits available for rent). We have a Quiver: racing SUPs, touring boards and mulit-person boards all of which are top notch. You’ll want to bring appropriate outdoor and cold weather gear, a sleeping bag, a therma rest, etc.(list provided) we’ll provide shelter and cooking gear.
May 9: travel from Victoria to Port McNeill (accommodation provided)
May 10, 11 and 12: play the weather wheel!
May 13: travel back to Victoria (arriving mid- to late-afternoon)
Who else is coming? When we put out the call, Dan Rubinstein (borntowalk.org) and Jeremy Koreski (jeremykoreski.com) put their hands up right away.
Dan is a writer who works at Carlton University in Ottawa, where he admits to mostly playing pick-up basketball and skipping out to paddleboard in the middle of the day. He loves paddling — absolutely loves it! His first book was about walking; his second will be about SUP. On his first trip to Nimmo Bay, last fall, to write a cover story for an upcoming issue of Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine, he paddled first thing in the morning and as much as he could throughout the day, then snuck off for a paddle at night. (He also took in all the amenities a luxury resort has to offer: massage, floating sauna and an open bar.)
Koreski, who grew up in Tofino and has spent a lifetime exploring the great outdoors, spends most of his time behind the camera taking spectacular photos, which often win awards and hang in galleries. After five minutes with Jeremy, you realize that he just gets it. He is perpetually present, finds beauty in the unexpected, and knows when to put the camera away. He also knows when to proceed with caution, and when to put one foot in front of the other and simply proceed.
Claudia, a veterinarian from Victoria who is fairly new to paddling, (but loves it just as much as we do), has also signed up because that’s just how she rolls, “count me in! what are we doing?” (with her authentic Jamaican accent) which means there are just two spots remaining.
If this sounds like fun, or if you’re curious and want to know more, put your hand up, and then put it back on the keyboard and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh.
Cost: $950. This includes your board, paddle, PFD, accommodation for four nights, food, boat transfers and transport from Victoria to Port McNeill and back. Bring an instrument, or a poem, or a story you would like to share. Or don’t. That’s an option too. But bring your sense of adventure: it’s the Broughton, and if you love paddling, and appreciate the “how did we get here” moments in life, apply within.