Connoisseur of wine and water

Edible British Columbia in partnership with Blue Planet Kayaking Adventures hosts three-day west coast explorations of camping, kayaking and cuisine

Snuggled in for an afternoon nap, the rain lulled me into daydreams of the early morning: sea otters popping up to see what all the splashing was about, paddling along honey-combed sandstone cliffs and fueling the day’s adventure on a wild smoked tuna nicoise salad of organic greens prepared by a culinary master.

“Isn’t camping great?” said my tent buddy settling into a book a few hours before dinner.

Camping is downright brilliant when you get to hideout from the rain while an executive chef whips up a magical meal of confit chicken on two camping stoves for nine people.

Camping is a vacation when a guide packs the equipment needed for your kayak adventure and reads currents, maps and weather, leaving you free to paddle along B.C.’s oceanside worry free.

Unencumbered, you breathe in B.C.’s rugged coastline without concerns about an unintended underwater viewing and fueled by gastronomic wonders rooted in locally sourced ingredients and wines, the body and spirit meets the three-day paddling challenge with vigor.

The Gourmet Kayak Adventure hosted by Blue Planet Kayaking Adventures and Edible British Columbia is the exact balance of ruggedness and comfort — leaving the rough to the landscape and comfort to camping and dining.

I have to admit my inner foodie rather than my inner adventurer agreed to the leisurely three-day paddle through the Gulf Islands. The adventure of both palate and the wild West Coast links professional kayak instruction, a three-day paddle adventure, fine cuisine and comfortable camping — I’m still dreaming about their princess-in-the-pea-thick thermarests.

With Eric Pateman, both critically acclaimed chef and founder of Edible B.C., at the helm, I was assured if the “killer” whales got to me, I would at least say farewell with a last supper worth dying for.

Thanks to the wile of kayak guide Alex Blais-Montpetit and chef of the two-burner Coleman stove Steven Elskens, I received the last supper fanfare without plunging into a watery grave.

“The Gulf Island trips are set up for the novice kayaker, so people who have never seen the ocean can come out on the trip,” said James Bray of Blue Planet Kayaking Adventures.

Despite having paddled a few air mattresses in my time, I invited a former white-water raft guide to ride shotgun for the trip, just in case.

The Gourmet Kayak Adventure begins Friday morning in Nanaimo. A two-hour a.m. ferry ride from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal will land guests on Cedar by the Sea just south of Nanaimo’s downtown core, where they will confidently learn the ins and outs of kayak navigating in only a few hours.

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