Put Some Adventure in Your Next Vacation!

— Travel professionals combine air travel, RV’ing, and boating

Out for a paddle on Chilcoot Lake Alaska. The McCanna’s own a Sea Eagle 370, 2 person inflatable kayak. It just fits the 50-lb bag rule for airline luggage. “Always nice to have your own boat to get out on the water!”

Travel means business in the McCanna household. Chantal works for Air Canada in Montreal, and Mark is a project manager for a subsidiary, Air Canada Vacations.

But travel also means personal adventure. When the McCannas aren’t on the job, they’re off on their own adventures to far away places including China, Hawaii, Australia, Germany, South America, the Caribbean, the Gaspe Peninsula, Corsica, and more.

A grizzly bear catches salmon at a fish weir on a river near Haines, Alaska. The McCannas saw so many grizzlies on their adventure vacation they stopped counting.

Mark and Chantal have developed an ingenious way to combine air travel, RV’ing, and boating into fascinating adventure vacations. They pack up their Sea Eagle inflatable kayak; check it as airline luggage; fly thousands of miles to an interesting destination; rent an RV; and enjoy 10 days or so of rambling, sightseeing, adventuring, and boating on the open highway…and open water.

50-lb. airline baggage limit

“Many airlines have a 50-lb. limit on baggage,” Mark told us. “Our Sea Eagle, lifejackets, and paddles fit in one 50-lb. bag. We got a bag with wheels so it rolls through the airports easily.”

The idea of combining air travel, RV’ing, and boating came to them on a trip to Canada’s Kathleen Lake a few years ago. “We were sitting on the shore wondering what was on the other side when a couple drove up in their van, took out an inflatable kayak, pumped it up, and paddled away,” says Mark.

“We just sat there with our mouths open.” Back home, a quick search on the internet got them a Sea Eagle 330 inflatable kayak of their own. “It’s nice to have your own boat on vacation,” says Mark.

“You must see the Alaska Highway once in your lifetime”

“We’ve flown from Montreal into both Calgary, Alberta, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, rented an RV, and headed north,” says Mark. “You have to see the historic Alaska Highway at least once in your life.” But Mark prefers the Stuart Cassiar Highway in British Columbia because, “there’s less traffic and more wildlife there.”

One of their adventure vacations took them all the way to the Arctic Circle via the Dempster Highway — about 800 kilometers of well-engineered gravel highway. You may feel you’re a thousand miles from civilization but, “you can get gas at Dawson City, Eagle Plains, and at Inuvik” at the Arctic Circle.

RV’s and inflatable boats are made for each other

An RV and a Sea Eagle give you your own portable adventure vacation. Many RV’ers pack an inflatable boat in their rigs so they can enjoy fishing, paddling, and exploring lakes and rivers while RV camping.

An RV and a Sea Eagle inflatable kayak – the perfect combination for an adventure vacation.

And because it’s a full-sized, two-passenger boat that packs into a suitcase-sized bag, an inflatable kaysk fits perfectly in space-restricted RVs.

“On the road, we stock up with a few days’ food and water and drive into the wilderness where we find a spot by a lake to set up camp,” says Mark. “We’ll go for a paddle in the Sea Eagle, then cook a nice dinner and have a campfire.” The McCannas are up and out early the next morning and start scouting that night’s lakeside campsite by afternoon.

Travel professionals recommend…

“One of our favorite place to go is Haines, Alaska because of the grizzly bears there. You can also see the bears at Fish Creek at Hyder, Alaska, but you can’t see them as well,” Mark reports.

The McCannas prepare to explore Kathleen Lake by inflatable Sea Eagle kayak

In Haines, there’s a fish weir in the river and it takes the salmon a while to cross it. The bears know this and come out of the forest and onto he weir to get the salmon.

In the Tlingit Indians region of Alaska, says Mark, “We put out boat in at Chilkoot Lake and found a very shallow sandy area where we could actually see salmon spawning. You can only do that in a non-powered boat like the Sea Eagle. It’s very quiet so we could watch the fish spawn for quite a while.”

“We enjoyed Barkersville, British Columbia,” says Mark. “It’s an old, restored Gold Rush town.” Mark recommends Liard River Hot Springs as another interesting stop. There’s a boardwalk, changing rooms, and the hot springs are free…and never freeze in winter.

Next adventure?

What’s the next adventure vacation for the McCannas? “Maybe a tour down the Amazon or the Nile,” says Mark. “Or maybe kayaking at

Aloha, from one of the McCanna’s trips to Hawaii.

Kalalau Beach on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.” Aloha!

 

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12 Responses to Put Some Adventure in Your Next Vacation!

  1. Hi there,

    I followed your twitter link.

    I’ve always wondered what the Sea Eagle 330 was like. I saw a utube clip on it and thought it didn’t look as solid when in was inflated as it should. The photo of yours does though. Yes, I read that more and more people are doing what you are doing. It’s a great way to take a vacation.

  2. Mark says:

    Even after we piled a bunch of rocks from the ‘beach’ into the boat to make innukshuks the boat was still very rigid.

    It’s nice to be able to bring the boat with you and not have it take it up a lot of space, and the airlines will take it as it fits within the 50lb checked bag limit. It takes us less than 10 minutes to unpack, pump and have the boat ready for the water.

    If my wife could be ready in the same amount of time it would be great. :-)

    Mark

  3. Brian J. Boland says:

    Mark, I entertain myself making lite portable gear (Hot air Balloons,Airships and now a whole series of custom different 3 wheeled open,semi open and enclosed motor scooters) I,ve made about 10 electric powered boats . I have an idea for a couple inflatable Kayaks. just before end of year sea eagle had a sale on their 330 …guess I hessitated and missed it as I stumbled on a zillion other inflatables out there and got stuck. Also our water here in Vermont does not become fluid until Aprilsomething. What made you go with the sea eagle 330 vs. the competition?

  4. Mark says:

    Hi Brian, some sort of solar/electric drive inflatable kayak sounds great. Not sure about transporting big batteries on the airlines for trips but I guess you could always buy one at your destination.

    Probably the chief consideration in buying the seaeagle was stability. My wife does not want to get wet unless there is a spigot in the wall and a drain in the floor. We saw a picture of someone standing on the 330 so it looked pretty stable. The higher sides than the aire and other kayaks also means a dryer boat when in a chop.

    In 2003 we flew from Montreal to Calgary and drove north to Whitehorse in late May. Many of the lakes were still ice covered, others a little open water but ice here and there so it was not opportune for any sort of kayaking. Although there are more animals to see in the spring, we like the fall because you can kayak without worrying about ice covered lakes.

    cheers, Mark

  5. Emil says:

    Beautiful photos and great post. Kauai is where my wife and I spent our honeymoon. It was very nice being in a part of Hawaii that had just the right balanace (at least for us) of tourism and tropical island as opposed to Oahu and Maui, don’t you think so?

  6. This article is very nicely written. I love the quote that you have to Alaska Highway at least once. I wish I am able to do that in the near future, yet with the economy still so bad, things dont go in my favor.

    • Mark says:

      I wouldn’t do the Alaska hey again if I could do the Cassiar hwy, it was much nicer in our opinion. Fewer (if any) big trucks, closer to nature and a better road.

  7. Arinna says:

    The seats in your pictures don’t look like the ones that come with the Sea Eagle 330 package. What seats are you using?

    • Mark says:

      We had the stock seats in this picture. We have since bought a fastrack and have the deluxe seats and the black seats. We like the inflatable deluxe seats better.

  8. Pingback: RV’S & INFLATABLE BOATS ARE PERFECT PARTNERS for idyllic family vacations | Sea Eagle Boating & Kayaking Blog

  9. Greg says:

    How do you like your fast track? Which one do you have?
    Thanks, Greg

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