June 19, 2020
With this objective in mind, we will not be running trips this summer for the health and safety of the remote community where we operate. We will be welcoming guests again in summer 2021 and hope you can join us to celebrate WCE's 50th anniversary!!
This decision has come after MUCH deliberation, examining our unique location and situation from every possible angle before determining that it is not appropriate or feasible to set up our base camp and run trips this summer, For us, this respectfully honours:
- community health and relationships, and
- the integrity of guest experiences through evolving protocols and expectations.
In the coming months we anticipate having more clarity and understanding about COVID-19 in general, as well as how best to move forward so we can once again feel confident welcoming individuals, friends, and families to share space and enjoy being together, interacting as visitors in Ka:'yu:'k't'h' / Che:k:tles7et'h' First Nations' lands. We remain actively engaged in local, provincial, and sector-wide conversations about best practice guidelines for operating during COVID-19. These will be shared on our website and in future correspondence.
We have communicated directly with guests who had reservations for this summer, and others who've been on standby, keen to join us. Refunds or credits have been arranged as appropriate for each guests' circumstances. We are extremely grateful for the many ways that people are being supportive, patient and understanding throughout this complex period while we prepare for when the time is right to adventure together again.
Please get in touch if you'd like to be one of the first to know once our summer 2021 schedule is ready. We truly hope you will be able to join us on Spring Island next year!
In the meantime, if you haven't yet seen this, please enjoy watching this short video of stunning wolf and sea otter footage from Spring Island and the surrounding area. May this offer a virtual taste of the West Coast to whet your appetite!
May 25, 2020
What we do – and don’t yet – know about the implications of COVID-19 for our 2020 summer season:
- Based on directives from the Province of BC, there will be no international tourism this summer; we have communicated with all affected guests and share in this disappointment.
- BC is discouraging inter-provincial travel for tourism and instead encouraging that people from BC gradually travel further afield from their home communities while still staying within the province for summer tourism and outdoor adventures.
- The leadership of the Kyuquot-Checleset First Nation (KCFN) have the goal of zero COVID-19 infections in the community; as such, they are maintaining a State of Emergency that tightly monitors essential travel in/out of the community for residents or services. The Nations will be taking a more precautionary approach to BC’s already thoughtful and cautious re-start plans.
- At this point, through a mix of international, domestic, and local travel considerations, individual guest decisions, and practical limitations, we are unable to run trips that were scheduled for June to late July, and in September. We are currently in a holding pattern for late July and August. This is similar to many other highly respected colleagues in our sector.
Throughout, we have been engaged in collaborative conversations between tourism lodges/businesses and the Kyuquot-Checleset Executive Council regarding shared concerns and tactics, all of which prioritise the goal of zero transmission to the community.
Our base camp on Spring Island is located on KCFN Treaty Settlement Land, and access to the area is through Fair Harbour, which is also Treaty Settlement Land. As such, our top consideration remains supporting the KCFN in their decision process. If they allow tourism activities within their territory this summer, we also need to ensure that our staff, infrastructure, systems, and partners can fully comply with all associated health and safety protocols, which are all in development.
We are also working closely within the sea kayaking and adventure/wilderness tourism sectors, as part of regional, provincial, and national efforts to create clear COVID-19 health and safety protocols for staff, guests, and remote communities. These protocols span a detailed spectrum of considerations including transportation, food, accommodations, equipment, back-country travel, and evacuations.
As we adjust daily and weekly to the ongoing uncertainty and associated disappointment, we very much appreciate the many understanding and supportive conversations that we’re having with guests, staff, sector partners, and our friends and family from the KCFN. To date, all family and friends in Kyuquot - including precious elders - remain in good health, with many strong community supports enacted.
We remain grateful for the wonderful people attracted to West Coast Expeditions. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we adapt to the evolving circumstances and do all that we can to welcome folks back as soon as possible.
March 25, 2020
More than ever, we have irrefutable evidence that we are all connected.
We are deeply concerned about everybody's health and well-being.
We are currently focused on actions that support collective societal interests, which ultimately also serve individuals' interests:
- staying at home, with strong hygiene practices;
- sharing compelling information and messaging that help to contain the spread of the virus, including to remote locations and communities like where our friends and family live in Kyuquot;
- reducing pressures on health care workers and systems, while activating supports;
- taking inventory of what we have to offer others, and acting on this; and
- encouraging our WCE staff, colleagues, and friends to think laterally, recognizing how they can support essential services.
Please contact us if you know you are interested in joining us once more is known, if wanting to share ideas/expertise (for us, Kyuquot, or that we can share) , or if we can offer you our support.
We are in this together. And we are grateful for the many incredible communities that connect us,
David Pinel, Managing Owner
Caroline Fisher, Co-owner
Beverly Michel, Co-owner