Keegan Taberner

Round-the-Island trip raises $10,000

Aside from sharp rocks and a bout of homesickness, it was smooth sailing

Everything was going well for Keegan Taberner – almost too well for the young seaman sailing to raise awareness for an organization close to his heart when he heard a loud ‘thunk.’

Taberner’s beloved cruiser Themistocles had hit a rock while sailing into Sooke.

“We got pushed around by the currents and ended up somewhere not quite where we were supposed to be,” Taberner said recounting his 39-day adventure circumnavigating Vancouver Island.

The mishap forced Taberner, 18, to re-evaluate his mission, dubbed Keegan Taberner’s Sail for Juvenile Diabetes, which was supposed to take this year’s Timberline graduate 1,700 kilometres around Vancouver Island and down along the Washington coast, into Seattle.

“It’s not a big deal but I wanted to get it repaired and I wasn’t sure the extent of the damage,” Taberner said.

So the trip was cut short by just more than two weeks, and the American leg of his journey had to be scratched.

But aside from sharp rocks and a bout of homesickness, it was smooth sailing for Taberner and his friend, Carsen Black, 18, who accompanied Taberner the entire journey.

“On the entire trip we only had six hours of rain,” Taberner said. “We had foggy days of course on the West Coast but the six hours of rain were actually when we were in port. When we were sailing we had wind and fog but not a drop of rain. I don’t know how we managed that.”

Even the challenging areas like the famous Seymour Narrows, were no big deal for Taberner.

“There was a slight ebb-tide and it scooted us through it, so that was perfect,” Taberner said.

The toughest sailing conditions came around Nahwitti Bar, just north of Port Hardy.

“These massive rollers off the Pacific roll in and hit the sandbar which turn them into these hug swells and hitting that was pretty nerve-wracking,” Taberner said. “The first ones were 12-to-13 feet tall and they just got bigger and bigger.”

Taberner was most impressed by the beauty and ruggedness of the west coast – and the people he met along the way.

“We kept meeting people from Campbell River,” he said. “These are tiny little communities on the west coast that are relatively inaccessible and we met people from Campbell River. It was so weird, but so cool. Campbell Riverites really get around!”

Making contacts with the locals was key to Taberner’s mission. In each community, he would pre-arrange to meet with local media to talk about his journey and the goal – to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes, a disease Taberner has lived with since he was two-years-old. He has to give himself four insulin injections each day but Taberner’s never let that slow him down.

And being so far away from home on a 34-foot sailboat didn’t change anything.

“The weather was kind to us so it was easy to keep meals on schedule, because I have to eat on a fairly tight schedule,” Taberner said. “You have to be on the ball at all times. If my blood glucose starts crashing, I have to be on it because it could turn into a dangerous situation. Luckily I didn’t have any issues with it.”

Taberner also came away with around $10,000 for Juvenile Diabetes, but that number could still rise. He’s still collecting donations through his website, www.keegantaberner.com.

Just Posted

Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

Organization asks City of Campbell River for more land to build homes for young families

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Leigh wants Strathcona Regional District budget amended over water rates

Area D Director cites punitive water rates as a reason to slow down process

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read