— Travel professionals combine air travel, RV’ing, and boating
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.
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.
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.
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.
What’s the next adventure vacation for the McCannas? “Maybe a tour down the Amazon or the Nile,” says Mark. “Or maybe kayaking at
Kalalau Beach on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.” Aloha!