Re: cruising dinghy in currents and beach camping
Don't listen to the naysayers on here. Last summer in Prince Rupert I met two gentleman who kayaked up the coast from Vancouver independantly of each other without any problems. One was from Scotland, had zero experience in a Kayak or on the water in general. He flew into Van bought a Canadian Tire kayak, filled it with food printed some maps from Google Maps and started paddling for the inside passage. He didn't even realize that currents exisisted until I asked him about them. He made it all the way to Alaska then back down to Rupert.
The other guy was from New Zealand, basically same story except he had considerable more marine experience from being on a Monster Energy drink sponsered SeaDoo demonstration team. He didn't take any maps, got lost once, but still made it safe and sound.
As far as currents go just hit up Capital Iron. They sell the current atlas as well as the schedules you need to make it usefully and no harder to understand then reading a tide chart.
DON'T where a drysuit. If you are rowing, paddling, doing any sort of physical activitey you are going to get very sweaty and uncomfortable. Both the before mentioned people wore wetsuits and found them adequate.
You could also try a sailing kayak. I can't find it now but I have read of people doing at least portions of the NWP in those. Heck the Inuit used seal skin kayaks with great success for years up there.