A Complex Coast
A Kayak Journey from Vancouver Island to Alaska
About the Book
SHORTLISTED, 2023 BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK COMPETITION – ADVENTURE TRAVEL
A BC Bestseller
A soul-searching personal account of a young man’s 1,700-kilometre kayak journey from Victoria, BC, to Gustavus, Alaska, illustrated with whimsical watercolour maps and illustrations of local flora, fauna, and landscapes.
In 2014, twenty-four-year-old geography student David Norwell set off on a daunting kayak journey in search of purpose in his life. A jigsaw puzzle of jagged mainland and over 50,000 islands—stretching from southern Vancouver Island to Alaska—lay in front of him. A self-described ordinary kid from small-to-medium-town, British Columbia, David had paddled through the Gulf Islands and guided youth groups on a nine-day journey from Nanaimo to Victoria. But nothing could prepare him for this.
For the next several months, David navigated the waters off coastal British Columbia, recording his observations, musings, and daily activities in a notebook. The result is this one-of-a-kind travelogue, filled with more than 700 whimsical watercolour illustrations of coastlines, local plant and animal species, camping supplies, and portraits of people he met along the way. He wrote about the nature of solitude, the search for meaning and adventure, the wildlife he encountered, the survival skills he acquired, and the existence of his own privilege. A Complex Coast is an unforgettable coming-of-age story that will appeal to kayakers, naturalists, and anyone looking for adventure.
—Kevin Callan, award-winning author of Another Bend in the River: The Happy Camper’s Memoir
—Colin Angus, award-winning author of Beyond the Horizon: The Great Race to Finish the First Human-Powered Circumnavigation of the Planet
—John Kimantas, author of the Wild Coast Series