Paddling a boat another form of human power transportation. I've thought about doing this, commuting to work by kayak, that is. I work right on San Francisco Bay, but kayaking is a slow way to go.
The BBC article calls it a canoe, but the watercraft pictured is actually a kayak though this might be a case of UK vs American terminology. You kneel in canoes and usually use a single-ended paddle, while in kayaks you sit with your legs extended and use the double paddles.
A lot of web resources tell you the difference is in the decking -- kayaks have a deck while canoes are open, but this is incorrect. There are closed deck canoes complete with skirts, and in fact my wife used to run Class III and IV rapids on closed deck white water canoes. Kayaks also come in open deck "sit on top" models.
Not surprisingly, there are some "kayak commute" websites out there:
Can I kayak to work in the San Francisco Bay Area? Answer: "Kayaking the bay is not very difficult in the mornings or evenings, when the water is calmest, as long as you steer well clear of the Golden Gate Bridge. The currents are very strong there because all the tides come in and out only through there -- that's a lot of water. Probably a good idea to stay south of Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge, too. It will take you at least an hour in ideal conditions unless you're a really strong paddler. And then you'd have to stow your boat and gear, not to mention desweatification."
art's nearly right. In UK usage one you kneel in and use a single ended paddle is a Canadian canoe, one you sit in (or on) and use a double ended paddle is a kayak, and both kayaks and Canadian canoes are canoes. Then there are sailing canoes....