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Until my wife got pregnant, I didn’t know what a baby moon was or that this even existed. But it sounded like a good excuse to get in the outdoors one last – more – time before the baby comes. It was also a perfect occasion to finally get a taste of the Broughton Archipelago https://www.google.ca/maps/@50.6390647,-126.6117081,10z?hl=en in the Johnstone Strait between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland.

Through the morning fog, a short motor boat ride lead us – and our kayaks – to a sand beach in the middle of the archipelago. Goodbye; the fading sound of the engine left room to a sea of silence – I love silence. Just the two of us, the sun, the ocean and the shore for a whole week! What an amazing prospect!

The cool thing about sea kayaking is all the comfort that comes with it. Compared to, say, hiking, one can bring so much more stuff! It’s quite amazing when you’re used to small backpacks and “light and fast” kind of expeditions. Sea kayaking has everything Canadian adventure can offer… with comfort on top of it. So we brought as much food and booze – for me – as we could, a huge pregnancy pillow – for her, solar panels, 2 cameras and so many other things we would never have considered on a normal hiking trip. But that was the whole purpose of the baby moon: have some good time, relax, eat, fish, explore a little bit and sleep -a lot. We also brought two Solite headlamps we received from our friends at Light and Motion and, speaking of comfort, that too was quite a change compared to our usual headlamps. Durable, light, waterproof and sooooo bright! All you need on a kayak trip. We didn’t kayak at night but I bet the Solite would be the perfect tool for that. This trip was also a life test for all the gear that I was going to be bringing to my film shoot in Alaska 2 weeks later.

There aren’t many places where one can spend good but comfortable adventure time in pristine wilderness so close to civilization. But the Broughton archipelago is one of them. For a whole week, we shared our time between wildlife watching, exploring, fishing and camping. I can’t think of any sea creature we were hoping to see that we didn’t see. Seals, deers, sea lions, fishes and crabs by the ton, bald eagles, humpback whales and orcas… so many orcas!

I am not sure this trip prepared us for parenthood but it did do one thing, it made us want to live the same adventures with our unborn child. We are so looking forward to show her – it’s a girl! – all these fascinating places.

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Canyoneering Cypress Creek VancouverCanyoneering is the art of descending canyon drainages. It can involve swimming, hiking, rappelling through waterfalls, jumping in pools. All in all, it’s an amazingly fun sport. But, from time to time, one can get pretty miserable in a canyon. When my buddies Jeff, Kevin and myself decided to do a winter exploration of a canyon we had just discovered near Vancouver called Brothers Creek, we knew it would be tough. That morning, slushy snow was pouring from the sky. It was wet and cold. As winter doesn’t get much better than that here, we just went for it. These were perfect conditions to put my new Lowepro DryZone 200 waterproof camera bag to the test. I didn’t get time to try it in water prior to the descent so I just had to trust it wouldn’t leak.

It was a nice little canyon and the descent went well. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a wet environment, though. There was water everywhere, flowing between our feet, falling from the canyon walls and from the sky. There couldn’t be a tougher environment for camera gear.

I like to go places where most photographers wouldn’t go because of difficult access, technical challenges or very bad conditions for camera gear. In the past few years, I’ve been into caves, canyons, ice grottos, on mountains to photograph avalanches, in deserts… All kinds of places where your camera gear suffers a lot if you don’t protect it properly. I used to put my camera bodies and lenses in separate dry bags stuffed with foam to absorb shocks. That worked but was very hard and slow to manipulate. I have the feeling the DryZone 200 will do the job perfectly and I can easily imagine it following me wherever I go in the years to come.

 

Drizone200yellowThe main compartment is 100% waterproof and closed with a very tough sealed zipper. It easily fits two camera bodies and a few lenses and flashes. The padded insert closes completely with a second zipper and makes a good protection against shocks. I like to keep some space inside for personal items like food, clothes and a cell phone I want to keep dry. There is a large external pocket that covers the entire dry bag. I use it to store all the gear that can get wet or dirty. Like climbing equipment, a knife, a rope, a shovel, you name it. The back of the bag is adjustable with a very tough Velcro to allow for a perfect fit. And the padded shoulder straps and back make it very comfortable all day long.

 

Canyoning with DryZone200 Lowepro

A few tricks to help you keep your gear dry:
– Put a piece of cloth in the dry bag that you can use to dry your hands before touching the gear.
– A few silica gel bags will always help keeping the sealed compartment dry.

All in all, a great bag made for tough environments. I am looking forward to trying it out in caves.

Canyoneering Brother Creek Vancouver

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Spent a cool afternoon shooting Rocky and Bianca longboarding in the Seymour Demonstration Forest. Pretty tough to follow these guys on my bicycle, they were amazingly faster. Can you picture me pedalling like crazy with the camera rigged on the frame? We had a few close calls but camera and people got back home safe.