5-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour - Kayaking Spring Island, Kyuquot, BC
5-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour - Base Camp
Recharge while sharing waters with sea otters and other marine life. Experience the welcoming wonder of this remote part of Vancouver Island and the local Indigenous culture.
This trip has been selected by Destination Canada as a "Canadian Signature Experience"! These trips conveniently begin and end from your accommodation in Comox/Courtenay or Campbell River on Vancouver Island, include van transportation, a scenic boat ride to our Wilderness Retreat Base Camp, and the perfect mix of personal and group time on the west coast.
|Our daily routines flow with the tides, weather, Indigenous cultural and community opportunities, and wildlife. Taking full advantage of the comforts and conveniences of our base camp, each day's outings by sea kayak and foot allow us to share nearby highlights, including:
Our professional sea kayak guides enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills. We learning together with you! We are committed to helping you to feel comfortable if in a kayak for the first time, or to further develop your competence if already an experienced paddler.
- curious sea otters, sea lions, and possibly of kayaking with whales, which can include humpback, grey, Minke & killer whales
- tufted puffins, bald eagles, osprey & other marine birds
- black bear viewing from kayaks while they forage along the shoreline
- Indigenous cultural interactions and traditional salmon feast around an open fire
- paddling through and learning about historic and current sites of the local Kyuquot-Checleset First Nations people
- inviting shell beaches on rocky islets laden with marine life in tide pools
- giant Sitka spruce trees topped with the massive nests of bald eagles
- some of the most spectacular rugged surf-pounded shores
- incredibly picturesque sunsets and sunrises
When on interpretive walks, if we don't have answers for your many questions, we'll try to find out more from our resource library in the dining and activity shelter at our island retreat.
Dates and Rates
If these dates don't work for you, consider our 4-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour or 6-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour trip dates! Each of these base camp sea otter kayaking trip options feature sea otters and other diverse marine life, majestic temperate rainforest, secluded islets, and the perfect balance of base camp comforts with flexible daily itineraries that suit all levels of kayaking experience and interest.
|5-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour - Base Camp
These 5-day (4 night) kayaking tours allow you to truly get away, relax, absorb, and fully enjoy a diverse west coast holiday.
Transportation: includes two-way ground transport from Comox/Courtenay or Campbell River, and two-way water taxi from Fair Harbour.
Rates & Details
from Comox/Courtenay or Campbell River
CAD$2399 + 5% GST (per person)
CAD$2039 + 5% GST (children 5-12 yrs)
CAD$800 deposit reserves seat; full payment is due at least 75 days before trip start
Rates are based on double occupancy. A $300 single occupancy upgrade may be available if wanting to guarantee having your own tent.
JUNE 8-12 *FULL*
JUNE 25 - 29 (Thur-Mon)
JUNE 29 - JULY 3 (M-F, incl. Canada Day!) Custom One-of-a-kind Instructional Trip in partnership with Ocean River Sports, featuring Gordon Brown, together with our WCE team!! Perfect for those with previous kayak training who want to build and apply skills.
JULY 6 - 10 (Mon-Fri)
JULY 11 - 15 (Sat-Wed)
JULY 16 - 20 (Thur-Mon)
JULY 20 - 24 (Mon-Fri)
JULY 27 - 31 (Mon-Fri)
AUG. 13 - 17 (Thurs-Mon)
AUG. 24 - 28 (Mon-Fri)
AUG. 31 - SEPT. 4 (Mon-Fri) - tentative custom group; contact us to be waitlisted
*ALSO CONSIDER OUR 4 & 6 DAY "SEA OTTER" TRIP OPTIONS IF THESE DATES DON'T FIT YOUR SCHEDULE!
|My hat is off to the entire staff. You made my first kayaking experience fabulous!
All that you really need is your personal clothing and a sleeping bag (which you can also rent from us) - we take care of the rest! A detailed packing list is included in your pre-trip information package provided after registering.
- Two-way ground transportation with professional drivers (van shuttle) to/from your overnight accommodation or vehicle parking location in Comox/Courtenay or Campbell River; parking available.
- Two-way water taxi transfer from Fair Harbour to WCE Spring Island Base Camp
- Diverse fleet of new, high-quality fibreglass and Kevlar single and double kayaks and all related kayaking equipment
- Hot Shower! (beachfront)
- Walk-in waterfront tents with beds, pillows, fitted sheet, and fleece blanket (just bring your sleeping bag...or arrange to rent one from us)
- All scrumptious meals and snacks once with us in Kyuquot - everyone is pleasantly satiated!
- Traditional Indigenous cultural salmon dinner, prepared around the fire with a local First Nations family
- Professional guides and all group safety gear
- Use of paddling jackets and dry bags for day trips when kayaking
- Engaging interpretive programs (rainforest, intertidal, marine, cultural) tailored to your interests
- Comprehensive resource library of reference and reading material about the coast
- Complimentary use of Stand Up Paddle Boards or "Window Kayaks" for exploring in our sheltered bay
- Innumerable other things - big and small - that make your experience with us feel comfy and complete!
- We are happy and able to accommodate a range of dietary restrictions and allergies. Depending on what works best for you, you may also choose to bring a few snacks or supplements - please make sure you discuss this with us well in advance so we have your needs covered.
- Please bring your own sleeping bag, or arrange to rent one from us
- Alcoholic beverages not provided or served - please bring your own favourites!
- Consider bringing a sketch book, paints, photographic equipment, or that book you're itching to dive into - it's your holiday!
- If preferred, you are welcome to bring your own PFD or paddle, and there is space for this in the van shuttle to Fair Harbour. You are also welcome to bring your own kayak if driving yourself to Fair Harbour, with a savings of $125/person for providing your own kayak and transportation.
- Morning van transportation from your accommodation in Comox/Courtenay or Campbell River (unless you've arranged float plane transportation); four to five hour scenic drive on northern Vancouver Island to remote Fair Harbour; chartered water taxi transportation to our Wilderness Retreat base camp on Spring Island - on the outer edge of Canada's west coast!
- Early afternoon arrival with a light lunch, welcome orientation and tour of base camp facilities; time to settle into your waterfront tent accommodations.
- Start enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds while getting used to the 24/7 flow of tea, coffee, or juices and the always available bowl of fruit and snacks.
- We listen to the interests of each guest - "what are you most looking forward to experiencing, trying, or learning about?" ... and then begin activities that will suit the collective and individual interests: maybe a guided forest walk to stretch travel legs and enjoy beach-combing on some of British Columbia's most magnificent shorelines, or maybe an introduction to the kayaks with basic strokes and an afternoon paddle among sheltered islets.Relaxing introductory kayak outing or forest trail walk to spectacular and rugged exposed west coast shoreline and scenery - use your arms or legs and get your bearings! You've arrived!
- Yummy appetizers lead to a satisfying dinner well beyond what most expect while on a kayak trip and camping.
- Prepare for the next day's kayaking. Possible evening paddle in sheltered bay.
- Evening activities are usually less structured, providing you with time to fully experience what you're after - social time around the fire or on the beach with friends, family and staff; games in the dining shelter or meadow (bocce, croquet, or ladder golf!); sunset walks; reading, sketching, or journalling; or sitting still in a quiet place, watching the gentle rhythm of the waves.
Day 2 onward
- You might be woken by the caress of waves on the cobblestone beach, the morning mew of a Sea Otter pup in the bay, the call of a bald eagle overhead ... or simply the need to stumble out of the comfort of your tent to find a coffee to say hello to the day.
- After a tasty wholesome breakfast, we typically head out mid-morning to kayak tour through islet clusters, destined for an island, beach, forest trail, or nearby estuary to explore. We are surrounded by a myriad of route options, most offering perfect sand and crushed shell beaches for breaks, lunch stops, beach combing, exploring tide pools and rocky outcrops, or "savage lounging" (the paradise of a rejuvenating afternoon nap on an island in the pacific!).
- You may choose to take the day off from kayaking to just relax or explore Spring Island by foot while others paddle.
- On the water, we are likely to encounter Sea Otters while paddling near the calm waters of prolific kelp beds. And we may be greeted by jumping Salmon, snorting Sea Lions, squadrons of Black Oyster Catchers, or low-flying Tufted Puffins.
- Our sea kayaking options include a variety of day-trip routes, distances, shoreline types, and sea conditions to satisfy the range of guests' interests and comforts.
- Arriving back at the quiet bay of our camp around 4:00 p.m., there may be the opportunity to practice specific kayak skills (strokes, or for the hardy, re-entry techniques or the basics of rolling a sea kayak). Alternately, for those still wanting to play on the water, have fun with one of our stand-up paddleboards or "window" kayaks in the sheltered bay.
- After some evening appetizers, you may choose to go for a refreshing swim, wander the trails, settle onto the warm beach stones with a drink in hand, enjoy a hot shower, or visit by the fire (or if it's cooler and raining, by the warmth of the wood stove in our dining and activity shelter).
- On one evening, a traditional Aboriginal cultural salmon dinner and visit, prepared around the campfire by local Kyuquot-Checleset First Nations hosts.
- With a scrumptious dinner in belly, evenings are often enjoyed around the campfire, or with a sunset walk to the exposed west side of Spring Island.
- We also have the option of using the kayaks for sheltered and unparalleled sunset paddling, full moon paddling, or night-time paddling with the darkness lit up by the magical underwater sparkles of bioluminescence swirling off each paddle stroke.
- Your 3-4" foam mattress and bed will eventually lure you to rejuvenate for the next day's adventures.
- As per previous days, we have the morning to explore a little closer to camp: possibly a sunrise paddle (optional for early birds!), or a kayaking circumnavigation of Spring Island or nearby Aktis Island if the conditions are suitable.
- We can also enjoy a morning walk through a moss-laden old-growth forest trail to visit ancient Western Red cedar trees - this feels like you're stepping into another world on Spring Island.
- After our last lunch together and goodbyes, it's time to take the spirit of your Spring Island experiences home. This is also a good time to start scheming and planning your next visit and kayak trip - many of our guests have returned over 6 times, and some even 15 times!
- Depending on your travel arrangements, you will depart from our beach in the early afternoon by water taxi or float plane, ready to return for your next west coast kayaking adventure with us! ... And feeling like you've truly had a kayaking vacation full of holiday memories to carry you through the year.
- Return van transportation to your accommodation or connecting travel plans in the Campbell River or Comox/Courtenay areas.
|What a fantastic week! Thanks for the exceptional hospitality – no detail was overlooked.
|Tymkin Family, Coldstream, BC