6-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour on Canada's West Coast
6-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour - Base CampImmerse yourself in this longer base camp kayaking experience with more opportunity to explore, truly connecting with the forest and ocean surroundings.
|Already know that you love sea kayaking, sea otters, and Canada's remote west coast?! This trip is simply one day longer than our most popular 5-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour that is recognized by Destination Canada as a "Canadian Signature Experience"! This allows more time to go further afield, or to explore Spring Island more intimately: favourites include paddling and hiking on Lookout Island, kayaking through the Paxton Caves, or circumnavigating Spring Island on foot through the headland trails.
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:
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.
|6-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour - Base Camp|
|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.
- Morning van transportation from your accommodation in Comox/Courtenay or Campbell River; 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 welcome snack, 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 are frequently 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 Indigenous cultural salmon dinner and visit, prepared around the campfire by local Ka:'yu:'k't'h' / Che:k'tles7et'h' (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, 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.