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 the 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.