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Pam Martin & John Kernaghan

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☘️ Happy St. Patrick’s Day ☘️ Saying goodbye to Ireland is never an easy thing to do. It is a country of vast beauty, culture and heart 💚See the link in our bio as we finish up our countdown to St. Patrick’s Day. Sending you all a big thank you for following along on our paddling adventure ☘️ * * * @tourismireland @discoverni @canadaonboard @bluejellyfishsup @fitforanythingadventures @cascadiaboardco @redpaddleco #tourismireland #discoverni #bluejellyfishsuptravel #canadaonboard #canadaonboardsuptravel #sup #standuppaddleboard #paddleboarding #magicalireland #storytelling #adventuretraveller
A little paddling, a little sword play...all in a day’s adventure while exploring St. Patrick’s Country⚔️ Check the link in our bio to read more ☘️ * * * @fitforanythingadventures @bluejellyfishsup @life_adventure_centre @wild_rover_adventures @tourismireland @dufferincoachinginn @killyleagh_castle @dufferinarms @starboardsup @fodder_ni #discoverireland #starboardsup #saintpatrick #sup #standuppaddleboarding #bluejellyfishsuptravel #roadtrip
The Lower Bann in Northern Ireland flows from Lough Neagh to the sea and the river channel is an important conduit for migrating eels 🐍 Join us on our quest for a wee taste of history and eels (they’re actually yummy). See link in bio☘️ * * * @canadaonboard @bluejellyfishsup @fitforanythingadventures @farandwildadventure @redpaddleco @ballymaloefoods #armaugh #sup #standuppaddleboard #paddleboarding #canadaonboardsuptravel #eels #gameofthronessites #loughneagh #slemishmountain #ballymena #canadaonboard #eelfishery #sargassosea #riverbann #marinebiologystudent
Paddling along the Causeway Coast was anything but coasting as Pam paddled past caves and castles while John scrambled through lush fields along the cliff edge 🏰 Link in bio for full blog post of The next keg of Seven Days of St. Patrick ☘️ * * * @bluejellyfishsup @fitforanythingadventures @alivesurfschool @discoverni @visitportrush @giantscauseway @gameofthrones #dunlucecastle #coastalcauseway #discoverni #sup #standuppaddle #paddleboarding #supsurf #stpatrick #saintpatricksday #ballintoyharbour #portballintrae #coldparadise #elephantrock #whiterockbeach
Bedevilled by winds of Hurricane Hannah then beguiled by the mythical Irish Sea god Manannan McLir, Pam scrambled onto the stanchions of the Derry Peace bridge with the help of Lawrence McBride of @farandwildadventure while John worked behind the camera ✌️ Check the link in our bio for Day 3 of Seven Days of St. Patrick ☘️ * * * @farandwildadventure @discoverni @bluejellyfishsup @fitforanythingadventures @bishopsgatehotelderry @pykenpommes @visitderry @govisitdonegal_ @gameofthrones @dartmountaincheese @broightergoldrapeseedoil #derry #stpatrick #bluejellyfishsuptravel #riverfoyle #hurricanehannah #history #peacebridge #sup #standuppaddleboarding #roadtrip #goodcraic #loughfoyle #moville #donegal #manannanmaclir #seagod #gameofthrones #localfare #beachlunch #beachbreak #herdingdogsdaily
Day 2 on our wild Irish adventure takes us to Purgatory and back...but to the plush luxury of a Fermanagh resort. See the link in our bio. to follow along ☘️ * * * @bluejellyfishsup @fitforanythingadventures @tourismireland @discoverni #tourismireland #loughderg #finnloughresort #purgatory #stationisland #stpatrick #roadtrip #sup #standuppaddleboarding #suptraveling

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The stubby branches of the submerged tree menaced so close they felt like they were reaching out to grab me. And no matter how hard I paddled, I could not seem to put any distance between my board and the dilemma of these two horns a mere metre behind me.

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A misty morning view from the wharf at Wild Renfrew. Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park & the trailhead for the West Coast Trail can be seen across Port San Juan.

We were on the San Juan River on the edge of the wilderness where the road from Victoria, on Vancouver Island, B.C., ends. And a howling wind hit peak velocity as Pam guided me closer to shore where there was a respite from wind and tide.
If only I could gain a few precious feet and pop free of this watery treadmill I was on. And my mind raced. We were off the grid with no cell service and only a footpath running alongside the river for an exit.

Stand Up Paddler in Training

This was not quite what we had in mind for me to gain more confidence in the buildup to our cross-country trip to celebrate Canada’s 150th and the nation’s waterways.
But it’s not an adventure if it doesn’t throw a scare into you and this was both test and slight fright.

So the wind abated enough to get clear of the threat and we settled down (on knees and butt respectively to minimize the wind’s resistance) to a slow, determined paddle back to our launch point.
Pam plotted a path along seams of slack water between the chop of incoming tide and the bridge where the river spilled into the estuary of Port San Juan began to take shape. I will forever call it A Bridge Too Far.

The joy of the easy ride on the tide up the river was lost in that slow slog home and I cursed my impatience in not simply idling away another hour on a pristine bar of sand while the tide turned.
Anyway, it is a sweet little river to meander along, alive with bubbling water and birdsong and almost totally ours one glorious afternoon save for a few kayakers.

Wild Renfrew – “Wilderness Within Reach”

We were able to put in about a five-minute drive from Wild Renfrew where we stayed. It was a small but well-appointed accommodation called a Wharfside Studio, with either sunrise or sunset views and little patios with gas fire pits to ward off the evening chill. There’s also cottages which enjoy bay and mountain views and lodge accommodation with kitchenettes.
Port Renfrew, which is a 90-minute drive from Victoria, has been rebranded as Wild Renfrew and recreation outfits like Pacifica Paddle Sports are setting up shop to serve leisure and adventure paddlers.

 

Local Gastronomy

The dining options are limited in this area, but the three options all scored good marks.
Renfrew Pub at the West Coast Trail Lodge offered the widest range of food and is open later, to around 8 p.m., while the Coastal Kitchen, also operated by Wild Renfrew, and Tomi’s are breakfast and lunch places.

Renfrew Pub

Renfrew Pub – an outdoor patio with stunning views & scrumptious fare, hardy enough for West Coast Trail thru hikers.

 

But there’s food for the stomach and food for the soul. Wild Renfrew delivered plenty of the latter.

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