WATCH: A wild west coast storm that’s left tourists awestruck in Tofino has also left a kayaker stranded on Hot Springs Cove. Skye Ryan reports.
When 40-foot swells began crashing ashore over the west coast of Vancouver Island on Thursday and onlookers rushed to rocky cliffs to see it first-hand, Calvin Croll was counting his blessings that he got out of the way of them in time.
"Wow, that was just incredible watching the waves hit Sharp Point," Croll recorded himself saying from Hot Springs Cove. "I mean, what a show!"
Croll has been holed up in Hot Springs Cove since Tuesday as the biggest storm in decades bared down on the Tofino/Ucluelet region in the middle of his attempt to circumnavigate Vancouver Island in a solo sea kayak.
"It was a big surprise, actually," Calvin Croll told CHEK News via Skype from Hot Springs Cove. "I knew that the winter storms could be huge but to actually be there on the edge of one was pretty incredible."
The Washington State man hopes to be the first person to do a winter circumnavigation of the Island in a solo sea kayak. He says he was expecting a tough journey but no one could have prepared him for what hit this week.
"Doing a good assessment of the risks and whether to get on the water each day is the most important thing I do," Croll said.
With big swells and continued debris posing dangers Friday, beaches across the region remained closed to the public so Croll is hunkering down on Hot Springs Cove until the waters are calmer.
The 35-year-old expects to be back in his kayak Sunday or Monday to continue his record attempt, which he is now half-way through.