About Us

Guest Testimonials

We LOVED our guides! All three were fantastic! Ryan is a great cook; we don’t know whether to watch him on the National Geographic TV channel or the Food Network channel!

Cindy Whiteaker, Johnstone Strait Ultimate September 6-9, 2012

Thank you all very much. The food was wonderful and the guides were amazing. I really appreciated how much knowledge they had to share about the Desolation Sound Expedition.

Josh Stumpf, Desolation Sound September 10-14, 2012

Really every comfort was considered in allowing us to experience the gorgeous wilderness as fully as possible. Can’t say enough about how excellent those guides were.

Jennifer Johnson, Johnstone Strait Expedition September 9-14, 2012

Ryan and Robin were brilliant. They both knew a lot about the area and wildlife which really adds to the experience. Food incredible.

Vicki Stokes, Johnstone Strait Expedition September 9-14, 2012

Spectacular, very safe, informative, fun – I especially appreciated learning about the environmental issues.

Anne Simmons, Johnstone Strait Expedition September 9-14, 2012

I am very happy I came on this trip. Not only did I have fun, but I learned a tonne about the area and how precious it is. I’m so happy to be a resident of BC and be so close to pristine wilderness.

Colleen Budzinski, Johnstone Strait Expedition September 9-14, 2012

The calibre of our guides was exceptional; the “extras” like hot water bottles, shower and bathroom were wonderful touches. Can’t wait to spread the word in New Zealand.

Jo Small, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 19-22, 2012

I highly recommend your paddling company. My experience was superb, food and guides were exemplary. I always appreciate a personal, yet professional approach and you have this mastered. Excellent job. Thanks so much for a wonderful time- it was good for the soul.

Joni Grundy, Johnstone Strait Ultimate July 20-23, 2012

Thank you for all the memorable experiences. We will recommend you to all our friends. I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream on this trip.

Ben Butts, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 22-25, 2012

Absolutely perfect trip; guides were exceptional and also explained a lot about wildlife and ecology.

Wolfgang Wellinghause, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 28-31, 2012

Far exceeded my expectations! Good life altering experience.

L. Richmond and K. Luby

Thanks for the memories that will last a lifetime! I will definitely recommend Spirit of the West tours to others.

Glenna Banda, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 28-31, 2012

Your environmental integrity was obvious and attractive- great aspect of your website.

Ross Wheaton Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 28-31, 2012

On a scale from 0-10 every day was 10. The guides were high on the scale of social skills- aware and responsive to all needs. The guides gave us more information on improving kayaking skills than the other 6 trips I’ve been on. They not only offered great meals and fantastic island stops, but coaching as well.

Terri Hollingsworth Desolation Sound September 3-7, 2012

Thanks for this wonderful experience, I’m going to remember this for a very very long time, you guys are doing a great job! Thanks again and enjoy the whales.

Mirthe Ontenk Johnstone Strait Ultimate September6-9, 2012

We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend this trip to anyone!

Bridget and Ray, Orca Lite August 11-14, 2012

Very friendly, fun and laid back. Excellent knowledge and companionship from the guides!

Justine Chmelyk, Orca Lite August 11-14, 2012

We had a great time on the trip!! The guides Ryan and Robin were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic! We would definitely come back!

Kristen, Nicole and Cecilia? Orca Lite August 11-14, 2012

Saw a lot of wildlife and the food was great!

Matthew Mulholland? (Age 16) Hanson Basecamp Custom August 6-9, 2012

Enjoyed the experience. All 3 guides were wonderful and a terrific asset to your company.

Ross Mulholland, Hanson Basecamp Custom August 6-9, 2012

Graham and Gen made the show. Always available, friendly, happy and so knowledgeable about the environment, wildlife and culture. They were great with our 13 year old son. It couldn’t have been better. Also, thanks for the birthday and anniversary presents.

Mike McGravey, Johnstone Strait Expedition August 15-20, 2012

Far exceeded my expectations! Good life altering experience.

L. Richmond and K. Luby

Luke, Erin and Gen were enjoyable, worked well together, and made the experience incredible. Having a hot shower was awesome.

Joe Wentworth, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 7-10, 2012

This was a wonderful 4 days with your team. I’m ready to do it all over again. Hopefully my next holiday will be something similar.

Tony Luckhurst, Johnstone Strait Ultimate July 20-23, 2012

An experience of a lifetime – the environment, scenery, kayaking, the camp, guides, fellow campers, and… the whales!

L. Richmond and K. Luby

A very polished, well-organised experience that made it easy for me to enjoy the trip without the bother of worrying about the trip logistics.

Anon, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 10-13, 2012

We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend this trip to anyone!

Bridget and Ray, Orca Lite August 11-14, 2012

Very friendly, fun and laid back. Excellent knowledge and companionship from the guides!

Justine Chmelyk, Orca Lite August 11-14, 2012

Far exceeded my expectations! Good life altering experience.

L. Richmond and K. Luby

A trip of a lifetime, unless I am fortunate enough to come out again. Wow! Beautiful!

Crystal Nuchatlitz August 2-7, 2012

Amazing guides and camp, such a special way to end an amazing holiday!

Hannah Jackson Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 4-7, 2012

We had a fantastic holiday in Canada built around the Orca Lite. As a centre piece it was the highlight and we all loved it, thank you so much.

Chris and Jacky Ruddock, Orca Lite July 18-21, 2012

From the first contact to this moment, every member of the team has been amazing! The guides are knowledgeable, fun, and outstanding!

Rebecca Wentworth, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 7-10, 2012

Luke, Erin and Gen were enjoyable, worked well together, and made the experience incredible. Having a hot shower was awesome.

Joe Wentworth, Johnstone Strait Ultimate August 7-10, 2012

Far exceeded my expectations! Good life altering experience.

L. Richmond and K. Luby

Best Trip Ever. Meredith is super personable – I would do a trip with her any day.

S. Sherba Nuchatlitz July 28-Aug 2

Meredith and Pat were a fantastic combination, and it was such a plus to have guides who clearly enjoyed what they were doing and where they were. Really can’t recommend Meredith in particular highly enough – so friendly, knowledgeable and competent!

G. Permandand (wants to be anonymous) Nuchatlitz July 28

Great pleasure to have unlimited access to great energy of Gen and Graham. Tireless, cheerful, attentive.


I’ve tripped twice with you and I’d come again. Fantastic.

K. Koeffer JSE July 26

Bruce gave me the best massage I’ve ever had! Anywhere on the planet!

K. Koeffer JSE July 26

We’ve had an incredible 6 days and have loved the experience!!...totally awesome!

S. Flowers

Far exceeded my expectations! Good life altering experience.

L. Richmond and K. Luby

Can’t thank you all enough – will honestly never forget these inspiring few days.

Katie and Rosie B. JSU July 20-23

The trip was excellent! The guides were superb and made kayaking great fun.

E. Ancrenaz

Really impressed with the knowledge of both Graham and Asher-especially their enthusiasm and passion for the wildlife and environment and their willingness to share their knowledge.

N. Moran JSE July 16-21

The hot tub was beyond amazing.

S. Singleton

Really nice mix of experiences with history, marine life swims, relaxation.

R. Wood Nuchatlitz July 23-28

Kind of hard to advance perfection.

J. Nelles JSE July 31-Aug 5th

Exceeded expectations – will definitely recommend SOW to others. Asher and Ryan had so much knowledge and were so much fun.

R. Murphy JSE July 31

Strong reputation for sustainability was a factor in choosing the trip.

D. Dudgeon

Amazing… gorgeous scenery, dream location, great wildlife, accommodations, food and service.

J. Lee and T. Tan JSU Aug 1-4

Fantastic honeymoon. Amazing to wake up and look out across the strait. A trip never to forget.

J. Pearce JSU Aug 1-4

It was way beyond our expectations. Our guides were really nice as well.

S. Singleton

Thank you Pat and Caitlin for a wonderful, wonderful experience. You will be recommended to all of our contacts and friends.

D. King

We had a great trip. The guides were fabulous – helpful, friendly, extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

J. Carby

It was way more educational about the area and marine life than I thought! I loved that!

B. Hilfiker

Professional, inspirational, and full of good times and great adventure.

M. Follet

Everything was perfect from initial email to the end of the trip. Would not change a thing.

A. Thoriocius

Fantastic guides, knowledgeable, experienced fun and great company.

S. Leeson

Absolutely great experience and will recommend to others. Thanks SOW team!!

M. Rangecroft

“It was nice to have guides that gave you info on wildlife, habitat, geology etc.

S. Robert

All three guides were fantastic: very friendly, knowledgeable etc. Thank you.

C. Ross

“Totally awesome saw more whales than expected. Great spirits in the rain.

B. Thomas

Exceeded our expectations! The educational shared knowledge was superb.

K. McCauley

Loved this trip. Will recommend it to friends and colleagues for sure!

K. McCauley

Would never have imagined that this trip would be so memorable, organised relaxing and all encompassing.

I was very impressed with Meredith’s organizational skills, and the level of professionalism displayed by Pat and Meredith. It felt like our every need was anticipated and met before we even knew we had it!

D. Friesen, Kelowna BC

Most comfortable camping ever – wow! Great shower!

M. Birch, Quadra Island

Great to see how our impact here has been reduced by all the great techniques and being careful.

J. Lock

It was a great way to experience the wildlife and the area in such a low impact way.

J. Vanbeek

The food was amazing and Meredith and Patrik were extremely knowledgeable about the environment. Jess and I are absolutely happy with our choice of Spirit of the West and will consider another trip in the future.

J. Vanbeek

We will recommend this trip to anyone who will listen!

J. Vanbeek

Even though we didn’t get to see any orcas, the trip was definitely worth it. The abundance of other wildlife (dolphins, porpoises, eagles, ravens urchins, birds etc.) was great. And the stars are fantastic in the clear dark sky!

L. Van Eldik

Trip was fantastic, views are amazing and the guides are lovely.

C. Sinfield

How can you improve on this? I certainly can’t think of anything.

J. Brindley

Loved the quality of food and the fresh baked cookies. Hot shower with a view was great. Loved the hot tub. Really can’t think of anything to change.

D. Farnell

I had the most amazing time and just want to come back again and again.

H. Beever

Life changing! Exactly what I wanted and more.

M. Aycock

One of the best vacations I have ever taken.

M. Courts

Superb guides, just the right blend of safety, humour and detailed knowledge of the local area. We plan to become repeat customers your website is very good.

M. Courts

Thank you, thank you, thank you, got to be the best 4 days and 3 nights ever!!

R. Sleney

We’ve had an incredible 6 days and have loved the experience!!...totally awesome!

The Petrick Family
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 29-August 1

Unforgettable! Great people, great location and amazing natural environment.

Andrea Hansen
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 26-July 29

Everyone very helpful and patient. Food, kayaking, accommodations all great. People before trip on phone very helpful. A trip we will always remember. Thank you!

Ruth Gilmour
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 17-July 20

Change nothing, its perfect!

Jean Luc Bohn
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 23-July 26

Friendly guides, fun, great food, and group was super too! Hot tub and shower unreal!

Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 2-July 5

This trip exceeded any expectations. (have been on another kayak trip with another company) We were put at ease right away. Pace was very relaxed (loved that)

Pam and Terry
Johnstone Strait Expedition, July 21-26 2011

Flights and trip were expensive from Finland but I'm very happy spending the money on this tour.Fantastic! I will definitely recommend your tours.

Hannu Liljemark
Johnstone Strait Expedition, July 21-26 2011

We both really enjoyed the trip. The guides, area and wildlife were amazing. Great balance between organized time and "own time" Guides were very accommodating, relaxed, made all feel welcome!

Heather and Mark Elliott
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 23-26

We were pleased with attitude, knowledge and camaraderie. We have wanted to come on a tour for a long time and yours topped our research.

Lois Dobson
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 23-26

This was a great experience - Humpback heaven!

Orca Lite, July 11-14

Really good people. Very well organized. Felt like guides really knew what they were doing. Good shower, good hot tub, good tents and shelter.

Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 17-20

Great service, knowledgeable, friendly, competent staff, comfortable kayaks. Appreciated the environmental philosophy and practice.

Sandra and Bernie March
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 11-14

Wonderful! Guides were fabulous.

Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 17-20

Great experience! 4 day trip was a perfect time for my 11 year old son and I.

Patrick Hanlon
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 11-14

With my dietary limitations, everyone at Spirit of the West went out of their way to make delicious food. I have never gotten service like that before.

Carmen Petrick
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 29-August 1

Unbelievable experience. From the camp setup to the guides, it was an amazing. Beautiful landscape, the staff was so great it made the lack of orcas ok.

Kathy Gilmour
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 17-July 20

We had a great time and will be recommending it highly!

Sean Fast
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 20-July 26

The best ever! I had the time of my life.

Chayton Skye (age 12 years)
Johnstone Strait Expedition, July 16-July 21

Amazing experience, fun, well organized, well cared for. Graham and Mathew were fantastic guides, they could not have done any more-fantastic.

Judy Wigfull
Johnstone Strait Expedition, July 11-July 16

It was great to see and learn about all of the marine life. Our guide ran after supper talks about what we had seen.

Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 1-July 6

Idyllic setting, great staff, great food, great wildlife sightings.

Martin and Bex
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 8-July 11

We were looking for a special adventure and you exceeded our expectations.

John and Shanni Ballani
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 8-July 11

Beyond expectations - deluxe guiding, accommodations, food and hot tub! The kayaking was amazing.

Lynn Rutley
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 2-July 5

Very friendly, very competent, very authentic. The birthday cake for the last dessert was truly very sweet. The perfect touch to give our group the perfect vacation.

Kim Feltham
Johnstone Strait Ultimate, July 2-July 5

We had a fantastic trip and were very lucky to have 3 guides. Rick, thanks so much for all your knowledge.

Lisa Dyer
Johnstone Strait Expedition, June 26-July 1

It was so much fun and I loved the info given by the guides, they were very knowledgeable.

Madeline Pellicore
Desolation Sound, June 13-17

Trip of a lifetime. Great vacation. Well organized. Everyone friendly and helpful

Karen Pellicore
Desolation Sound, June 13-17

It was really special, exceeded what I had imagined.

Emma Frank
Desolation Sound, June 20-23

Excellent! Great staff, good food, absolutely wonderful... Your concern for the environment is deeply felt and genuine. It definitely helped me choose your company over the others.

Seema Gadarki, New Jersey, USA

It was excellent! Fantastic scenery, delicious food, cool wildlife.

Amanda Regan and Stephen Baily, Australia

The trip has given me a deep appreciation of the natural beauty, the sea life, and vegetation of the area. I feel truly enriched by this experience.

Linda Doctoroff, Victoria, BC, Canada

A very competent and safe trip led by great people. Unless you could control the weather...it can't get much better.

Jeff C. Pole, Chico, California, USA

Positive, low key, eco-friendly, supportive.

Janet Laver, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The level of knowledge and teaching ability of the guides for both nature and kayaking was astounding.

Earl Morris, Coquitlam, BC, Canada

Phenomenal area to kayak. The guides were knowledgeable and friendly. The food was way beyond expectations.

Dick and Kathy Stone, Desolation Sound Expedition

As usual, outstanding. This is the best vacation we have been on. Jake and Sheldon were great, well informed and fun to be around. They were focused on us at all times. We are on the second round of your trips already.

Sandy and Per Johnson, Desolation Sound Expedition

Experience of a life time. I will be back with my family. Your dedication to your company "shined" through your staff.

Marty, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

It was all and more than we expected.

Fred and Kitty Van Zijl, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

This trip was one of the best holidays I ever had. I am impressed with the professional yet warm manner of everyone at Spirit of the West, and the help that you provided prior to my arrival at Quadra Island. The food was plentiful and delicious. Thanks for accommodating my vegetarian diet. See you again for sure, I'll recommend this to all of my friends.

Adarsh Mehta, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Enjoyed the wildlife, scenery, food, people, history of the area and the wonderful guides. Always helpful and full of information. Keep up the good work. The calm informative nature of our guides added to the enjoyment. The stellar sea lion encounter will be talked about for years.

Barbara and Mike Busch, Johnstone Strait Expedition

It was a great adventure from the beginning to the end! Keep it this way.

Yvonne and Didi, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

This was an absolutely wonderful trip. Excellent organization, knowledgeable friendly guides, spectacular scenery, and a huge number of killer whales that swam right past us over and over again. We even had an Orca swim right into the bay where our tents were. We were also fortunate to see Stellar sea lion, harbour seals, swooping bald eagles.

One of the best animal viewing was from our kayaks of a mother bear on a beach with two cubs. She would turn over rocks and the cubs would dive in and scoop up and food that was underneath. ........ The food was also magnificent.

On the first day we had wild caught sockeye salmon cooked three different styles. The tents and boats were first class with excellent safety equipment...

Orlay Johnson, Washington

Great service from start to finish. Very detail oriented (hydrophone, whale book library, etc.) I love the travel mug we got, a great souvenir! the guides always made us feel super comfortable, they were competent kayakers, knew a lot about the marine environment, ecosystems, going green...

Martina and Patrick, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Very enjoyable, very impressed with organization, equipment, people and scenery. Thanks for a great holiday. I hope Leif and Rachel enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs.

Nic Fielden, Johnstone Strait Expedition

The food was outstanding. The guides were awesome and so much fun. The "Happy Hour" snacks were such a welcome treat! The information sent before hand of things we needed was perfect. The tents at base camp were great - including the mattresses, pillows and fresh pillow cases. The kitchen eating area was perfect including the tarp covering the area. Again the gourmet healthy meals were delicious! You all have a great thing going for you!

Barb and Mike Schmidt, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Exceeded expectations, guides were 200%!! Great cooks!! All facilities were top notch and equipment too! Food and Dietary accommodation was superb. Our group had gluten, dairy and fruit allergies, all were well fed (an understatement).

Andrea Vinet and Rod Stiebel, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Very pleasant and memorable trip; location stunning, base camp wonderful - your guides were really excellent

Sarah and Mansur Darlington, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

We had a lovely time and the children found it enjoyable and educational. It really helped the the guides were used to dealing with children. The base camp was in a beautiful setting and the guides made it a lovely holiday.

The Womersleys, UK, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

The trip was perfect, beyond all expectations - more enjoyable than anything else I have ever done before - so breathtakingly beautiful I wanted to cry. We had fun and laughed the whole time. A wonderful guide with a great personality - perfect food - no need for improvements, I would do it again. Simply brilliant.

Heather Hopkins, Johnstone Strait Expedition

It was a great trip, I loved it... The entire trip was well planned and everything was well organized - Great guide - beautiful locations - My best trip ever - all over awesome blast of a trip.

Kartiki Gonsalves, Johnstone Strait Expedition

I had a great time. I enjoyed all the camp sites the food was great and the scenery was awesome. Dave was a great guide and cook. I really enjoyed meeting Billy Proctor and going to his museum.

Caral Van Dyke. Johnstone Strait Expedition

It is obvious that every one at Spirit of the West works hard to provide clients with an outstanding experience. Guides were competent, knowledgeable and friendly while maintaining their professionalism at all times. The food was great. It was a wonderful experience.

Carol Heinricy, Desolation Sound Expedition

The trip was perfect!

Jeff Dufresne, Johnstone Strait Expedition

Great fun because of the knowledge of the guides and the attitude of the company.

Brandon Sadlowski, Johnstone Strait Expedition

The group was excellent from the moment of pick up to the drop off. We have all got memories to last a lifetime. The camp area was spectacular. The hydrophone was brilliant, seeing and hearing Orcas was incredible. The guides knowledge was really broad, all of them were so enthusiastic and willing to share their knowledge.

Mike, Caroline and Family Watchorn, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

This was the experience of a life time! Meeting Billy Proctor was a treat, I have enjoyed his book. Leif and Ailish are such great young people and hard workers.

Rex Maddy, Johnstone Strait Expedition

It was a wonderful experience. The guides were exceptional. They were always willing to share their knowledge and had lots of it to share. They were particularly good with our children. They made the extra effort to connect with the boys and were mindful of their needs. The food was even better than we anticipated we had high expectations given the description on the web site.

Dave, Ann and Boys, Johnstone Strait Expedition

The entire trip was excellent, I can not wait to come back and do the Johnstone Strait.

Kate Withers, Desolation Sound Expedition

An experience of a life time. Well organized trip, awesome guides, great food, and excellent equipment. Rick and Dave are knowledgeable and always available while giving us alone time and privacy.

The Gileads, Desolation Sound Expedition

It was great, the base camp has great views the crew is fantastic. You have to visit this camp!

Doris Blieberger, Johnstone Strait Ultimate


Gretchen Stephens, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Nice people, Great base camp, very very good food. Excellent kitchen. Thanks Rachel, James and Genvieve.

Katrin Wachter, Johnstone Strait Ultimate


Angie Holland, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Wonderful trip, great guides, food, good knowledge of area. Spectacular...

Kari Highes, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Awesome, such a great time.

Craig Black, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Beautiful Base Camp. Terrific food. Ailish's artistic food preparation was pretty upper class. I slept like a baby - the cushiest camping trip.

Carol Woolsey, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

From beginning to end, exceeded all expectations. Offer a trip with extra days at base camp because that place rocks. Having a lot of restaurant experience and rafting guide experience I have to say Dave, Ailish and James were F$%@ing brilliant. Their attention to every detail was great.

Raymond Aylward, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

I had an amazing experience meeting kayaking and meeting a fabulous group of characters. Excellent Guides!! Shower was the best.

Andrea Sorolan, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Great guides, great food, Awesome people. All in all a successful trip.

Janine and Matt, Johnstone Strait Ultimate

Excellent instruction made the kayaking enjoyable and the commentary on Nature and wildlife was a great bonus. Guides were excellent. Never seen so much energy put into a job by our guides. Dave and James were the heart and soul of this wonderful experience.

Ian and Lorna Hill, Desolation Sound Expedition

Well organized and competent guides who were always ready to help and tailor the trip to our interests. The weather was really crappy yet the trip was still tons of fun. Lots to do and see. We saw orcas but even if we did not the trip was still a blast. All the guides were tons of fun and had lots of facts and information about the area, sea and animals. The food was unbelievable.

Jill Weatherby and Brad Bouchard

National Geographic
National Geographic Ultimate Adventure Bucket List!!
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"Best Tour Operator - Western Canada."

Sea Kayaker Magazine 1984-2014

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