History, remote coastlines, secluded beaches, sea otters and humpback whales.
Our guides have watched sea lions coral salmon in a cove only to have one of the resident humpback whales steal their meal. Sea otters are routinely spotted and tidal pools team with life. The beaches are secluded and pristine. Wolves howl and bear tracks meander down the beach.
And then there is the history: Nootka Sound is a site of 18th century contact between Spanish and British explorers with the Mowachaht people and where Captain James Cook first came ashore in 1778. Later Spain and England almost went to war here fighting over sovereignty over this region.
The south end of the sound offers a long white sand beach protected from the open Pacific where you can explore sea caves, secret gardens and pristine water falls. You’ll need good weather to get here, but when our guides see a window you’ll be rewarded with one of the best campsites on the west coast. You’ll also visit Yuquot (Friendly Cove), an ancient First Nation village site and now home to a small Catholic church, a toppled totem pole and a lighthouse.
Campsites are rustic, beachside affairs with driftwood campfires and wholesome meals. We usually have the islands and beaches to ourselves.
- Expect to paddle for four or five hours a day. The water ranges from lake flat to rolling ocean swells and exposed coastline. No prior sea kayaking experience is necessary but you should be fit enough to paddle for two hours without getting out of your kayak. Give us a call if you have any questions about your fitness.
- First and last nights at The Lodge with 5 nights camping.
- Accommodation (double occupancy), meals and out-trip food (from dinner on arrival day through breakfast on departure day), all group equipment including single or double kayaks, PFDs, tents (two-person), transportation within the package, instruction and guiding services of an experienced outdoor leader(s).
- Group size is a maximum of ten. Clients will be sent an equipment list and a medical/liability form prior to arrival. Paddling itineraries and destinations are weather and water condition dependent.
- All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person (based on double occupancy), and subject to applicable taxes.
Arrive at Strathcona Park Lodge between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Relax, settle into your room and swim in the lake. At 5:00, meet your instructor and group. Dinner. After dinner jump into the kayaks to practice your skills (strokes, rescue techniques and safety procedures) in the sheltered waters of Upper Campbell Lake. Complete out-trip preparations.
Day 2 & 3
Depart by SPL transport to Tuta Marina on Muchalat Inlet. Load the kayaks for an easy paddle to a secluded campsite on Bligh Island. Here, Captain Cook and his crew, who included William Bligh of Bounty fame, spent one month repairing a mast in 1778. Explore a variety of rocky coves, pebble beaches and the tide pools of the Pantoja Island all within Bligh Island Marine Park. (Paddling time is approximately 3-4hrs)
Day 4 & 5
In favourable weather, paddlers continue to the south end of the sound to the beautiful pebbled beach at Burdwood Bay. Swim and play in the surf and explore the isolated area with its incredible beaches, sea caves and secret garden. Camp amongst the driftwood, with an uninterrupted view of the sound. (Paddling time is approximately 5hrs)
Early morning will see the group off to Yuquot (Friendly Cove) to explore this First Nations site where Chief Maquinna of the Nu-chah-nulth people welcomed Captain Cook. Ample time will be allotted to hike the beaches, swim, and visit the lighthouse and historical Catholic church and graveyard. Paddle to the Spanish Pilot Islands to camp for the night. (Paddling time is approximately 4-5hrs)
Paddle to Tuta Marina and return to SPL by 4 p.m. (Paddling time is approximately 3hrs) This is a sea kayaking destination guided by no other company. Nootka Sound has whales, sea otters, First Nation culture and totem poles and European history. Paddling destinations include pristine white sand beaches, secluded coves and remote islands.