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Box 569 Heriot Bay, British Columbia, Canada V0P 1H0
North America: 1.800.307.3982 | Local & Overseas: 1.250.285.2121


We are here to assist you in any way we can.
North America: 1.800.307.3982
Local & Overseas: 1.250.285.2121
[email protected]



    Orca Family Tours

    The perfect family adventure in the realm of the orcas.

    Welcome to the realm of the orcas

    Length:

    4 Days

    Location:

    Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound

    For Who:

    Families, focus on wildlife and ease with kids

    Tour Price:

    CAD $1125*

    What's Included?

    Click to learn more

    Minimum Age:

    5
    Easy/ comfortable
    Scenic, mountains
    Whales & marine life
    Wildlife

    * Kayaking trips & tours are priced and charged in Canadian dollars and are subject to 5% GST and optional $20 sustainability fee. Please see our Terms and Conditions for complete terms.

    AVAILABLE TO BOOK for the 2021 season onwards.


    Make Unforgettable memories with your family!

    The Area

    Northern Vancouver Island is the best place on earth to see killer whales in the wild. Most of British Columbia’s 300 or so orcas return to these waters to feed, sleep and play. And there’s no more exciting way to encounter pods of these fascinating animals than from the seat of your very own sea kayak. Also sharing this diverse habitat are dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, harbour seals, humpback whales, eagles, and black bears, to name just a few.

    Customize Your Tour

    We understand that families will have varying degrees of comfort when it comes to camping and kayaking, therefore we offer a lot of flexibility with this trip. The amount of time in kayaks, the route, the activities, etc can all be tailored to meet the needs of your family.

    This tour offers a wide range and variety of paddling experiences all in a prime location for wildlife sightings – Johnstone Strait. As a basecamp style tour, we save time packing up camp each day and instead come home to the same campsite each night exploring by kayak during the day.

    *This tour can also be offered as an expedition-style trip where we pack up camp every night and set up at a new site – contact us to design the perfect expedition if this is your preference.

    Let Us Take Care of the Details & the Cooking!

    We take care of the details so you and your family can focus on fun and adventure. Our dynamic guide team will keep you and your family well-fed, engaged, smiling, laughing, and learning about the wonders of the BC coast.

    We also welcome participation and are happy to help share our skills and knowledge with you and the kids if you would like to learn more about kayaking, camping, and wilderness skills.

    Where We Kayak

    The Orca Family tour is based in the heart of the action of Johnstone Strait. This trip starts and ends with a water taxi ride from picturesque Telegraph Cove to our beautiful home for the next 4 days on Hanson Island. This location offers great paddling options in the west end of the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound. This area of the coast has a true rugged northwest feel with its lush temperate rain forests, rolling mountains, and an abundance of seabirds and marine wildlife including the world-famous resident pods of killer whales.

    orca family tours kayaking British Columbia Canada

    Sea lion close to basecamp

    “We had a wonderful time! This is a great introduction for our 6-year old kids to this area of the world. It is also great for my 78-year old parents to be able to see all these animals in their natural habitat. Guide Bob was so great with my parents. I know they were in really good hands and Nicole and Mackenzie were awesome with the kids and us!”  August 2019 | Alice Yu from San Francisco, USA

    Your home on Hanson Island

    We will camp at our private Hanson Island campsite which comes complete with stunning views, wooden tent platforms, an outhouse, tarped dining area, and a rustic driftwood kitchen where your guides will prepare your tasty meals that both kids and adults will enjoy. This site is tucked away in an open forest and has a gravel beach that faces west to catch the summer sunsets as they bring our exciting days to a close. This comfortable and established site is the perfect place to base ourselves for exploring the local area.

    The Orca Family Menu

    Our menu provides hearty and nutritious meals for the whole family. The meals include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and plenty of snacks for hungry paddlers. Our menu for this trip still appeals to adult palates but we also provide “kid-friendly” options and alternatives to keep everyone a happy camper! This is another area of this trip where we are love to be flexible and work with your needs as a family to accommodate allergies, dietary restrictions, and to ensure that your kids will be happy with our food.

    Listening to the Whales Sing 

    We are equipped with a portable underwater hydrophone so we can listen to the beautiful songs of the orca as they pass while we are paddling.

    Most Importantly – Fun!

    Above all else, we want to make sure that everyone in your family has fun on this kayaking trip! Our professional and dynamic guides will help to keep your family happy with games, activities, and stories around the campfire that everyone can enjoy. We hope you can join us!

    WHAT’S INCLUDED?

    Professional guiding service, all kayaking equipment including special kid-sized paddling equipment (including kayaks, PFDs, paddles, pumps, ropes, and sponges), meals (lunch day 1 to lunch day 4), camping equipment including tents and Therm-a-rest sleeping pads, camp-style pillows, activities specifically for families, a special take-home package for the kids, water taxi service and all park, and land use permits.

    WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?

    Not included in the tour cost are accommodation before or after the kayaking portion of your trip, flights, airport transfers, ferries, taxis, travel/medical insurance, alcoholic or carbonated beverages, rain gear, sleeping bags, or personal items (toiletries, clothing, etc.). Sleeping bags and rain gear may be rented if you prefer not to travel with them (please reserve in advance).

    WHAT’S INCLUDED?

    • Professional guiding service
    • All kayaking equipment
      (including kayaks, PFDs, paddles, pumps, ropes, sponges, and back support pillows)
    • Prepared, tasty Meals (lunch day 1 to lunch day 4)
    • Camping equipment including tents and Therm-a-rest sleeping pads and camp-style pillows
    • A special take-home gift for kids
    • Park and land use permits

     WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?

    Not included in the tour cost are accommodation before or after the kayaking portion of your trip;

    • Flights, airport transfers, ferries, taxis
    • Travel/medical insurance
    • Alcoholic or carbonated beverages
    • Rain gear
    • Sleeping bags
    • Personal items (toiletries, clothing, etc.)

    Sleeping bags and rain gear may be rented if you prefer not to travel with them (please reserve in advance).

     

    Spirit of the West operates in the unceded traditional territory of the Mamalilikulla-Qwe'Qwa'Sot'Em, 'Namgis, Tlowitsis, Nuu-chah-nulth, We Wai Kai, Homalco, Klahoose and Heiltsuk First Nations.

    Gallery

    Itinerary

    PRE-TRIP MEETING

    WHEN: DAY PRIOR at 6PM, WHERE: HERIOT BAY INN ON QUADRA ISLAND

    Your guides will go over the logistics of the tour and answer any questions or concerns you may have. This meeting will be held in the lounge at the Heriot Bay Inn on Quadra Island at 6pm the day prior to departure. If you cannot make it to the meeting just be sure to call in the day before departure to confirm your arrival. This allows us to confirm the exact departure time and location, or to alert you if there are have been any last minute changes.

    THE TOUR

    MEETING LOCATION
    WHEN: DAY 1, WHERE: QUADRA ISLAND at 7am, CAMPBELL RIVER at 8.20am OR Telegraph cove at 11am

    You can meet either on Quadra Island, in Campbell River or in Telegraph Cove. If meeting in Campbell River or Telegraph Cove, please call our office to let us know. Spirit of the West Adventures is based on Quadra Island (a 10 minute ferry ride from Campbell River) and this is where our tour starts. We highly recommend making Quadra Island a part of your vacation plans. Our beautiful island has a whole different and laid back feel to it, complete with endless opportunities for outdoor activities, beaches to relax, amazing accommodations and great local artisans. On the morning of the tour, your guides will pick you up from Quadra Island or Campbell River in the Spirit of the West Adventures van and transport the group up to Telegraph Cove. From here we will go over the kayaking basics and essential safety procedures before heading off on our expedition. Our first day will be spent exploring the shore of Johnstone Strait on the lookout for the Northern Resident killer whales and other marine life.

    DAY 1

    On the morning of the tour, your guides will pick you up from Quadra Island/Campbell River in the Spirit of the West van and transport the group up to Telegraph Cove. Families can also drive up to Telegraph Cove in their own vehicle and meet the guides there. From here we will go over the kayaking basics and essential safety procedures before heading off on our expedition. A certified water taxi will whisk us across Johnstone Strait to be dropped right at our camp on Hanson Island. Our first day will be spent exploring the shore of Johnstone Strait on the lookout for the Northern Resident killer whales and other marine life.

    Day 2 & 3

    On days 2 and 3 we will paddle the waters of the Johnstone Strait and possibly up to the nearby Blackfish Sound. Our route each day will depend on weather, currents and group desires. Each night we will stay at the established Hanson Island basecamp, saving the chores of packing up camp each day. There is a lot of flexibility on these days and ultimately we will choose the best route based on the weather and the group’s strengths and desires.

    orca family tours wildlife watching Vancouver Island

    1000x667-gallery-photos15

    Day 4

    On day 4, after another hearty breakfast, we will pack up our gear for the water taxi ride back to Telegraph Cove. We’ll have some time to explore the Bones Project, a museum with educational displays of coastal wildlife in BC, including whole skeletons of seals, otters, and whales. After a picnic lunch in Telegraph Cove, we will load up into our van and transfer back to Campbell River and Quadra Island.

    Our approximate return time to Campbell River and Quadra Island is between 4 and 6 pm. However, due to the number of variables with wilderness travel we recommend that you plan to stay in the area for this night to avoid unnecessarily stressful complications should our return be delayed by something out of our control. Please feel free to contact us you would like to discuss your travel plans in more detail.

    FAQ

    Below is a list of commonly asked questions. If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us.

    Where can I find updates to CORONAVIRUS from Spirit of the West?

    Please click here to read through our current updates on coronavirus, travel disruptions, practices while on trip and more flexible terms & conditions due to the COVID-19.

    To read our general Terms and Conditions, please click here.

    We also published a Travel Insurance 101 which will help you answer basic travel insurance questions, such as ‘What is travel insurance?’ and ‘Why do I need it?’

    Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any further questions. We are here to assist you every day from 9am onwards.

    Breanne, Rick and the whole Spirit of the West crew

    What is the minimum age required to join our tours?

    We cater to all ages of adventurers. Kids age 5 to 12 are encouraged to join the Family Orca Tours which have been designed with the needs of younger kayakers. For most of our other regularly scheduled tours we prefer a minimum age of 12, except for the Great Bear Rainforest trip, which has a minimum age of 14. If your child is almost 12 or your family has a good deal of experience kayaking and camping we do occasionally make exceptions. We like to assess each case individually. We can also organize private, custom style adventures. Feel free to call us and we would be happy to discuss the options.

    What is the average age of our guests?

    We have guests from age 5 and up on our family tours and ages 12 to 85 joining our regularly scheduled tours. The average age ranges between age 30 to 65. Each tour and tour date is different, but we usually get a good mix of ages. For those concerned with being in ‘their older years’ or anyone unsure of which tour fits them best, we welcome you to contact us and we will be happy to help you find the perfect trip.

    Are there any single supplement fees if I am travelling on my own?

    There are NO single supplements. We encourage solo travelers to join us and often have several solo travelers on each tour. It should be no problem to have your own tent and you will have access to both single and double kayaks.

    Can you accommodate food allergies/special diets?

    Our food preparation crew are masters at accommodating dietary restrictions. We are able to offer gluten-free, vegetarian, pescatarian, dairy light and vegan menus with prior notice. Other dietary requests may involve additional charges and need to be discussed in advance with our food crew. We are NOT a nut-free facility.

    Will I comfortably fit in the kayaks?

    If you are over 6ft (182cms) tall, if you are on the more petite side of things, have larger hips or weigh over 250lbs (115 kg) we have certain kayaks that may work best for you. Please give us a call and we can ensure we have the appropriate kayak available for you.

    What is included in the tour costs?

    We supply everything that you will need for kayaking and camping except for a few personal items such as your clothing, toiletries, sleeping bag and rain gear (sleeping bags and rain gear can be rented if needed). Please note that bedding is provided on the Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour.

    We pick you up free of charge from your accommodation on Quadra Island on the morning the trip starts and we will drop you off there when the tour is finished.

    We provide all meals from morning snack on day one to lunch on the last day. Non-alcoholic beverages including a wide variety of teas, coffee, juices, hot chocolate are provided. Alcohol is not provided on our tours and you are welcome to bring your favourite wine, beer or pop to enjoy responsibly. There is a grocery and liquor store very close to the location of the pre-trip meeting if you would like to pick up extra beverages on the evening before the tour. There are no additional costs once on our tour unless you wish to purchase souvenirs.

    What do I need to bring?

    We send you a complete packing list a few weeks prior to your tour to help you prepare. If you would like to see what type of clothing and items we recommend please click here and select your tour. (Please note the packing lists (page 4) between tours varies so choose the correct trip for the most accurate information).

    How much kayaking experience is required?

    Our adventures are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities from first-timer to expert paddler. We have several different styles and lengths of tours so that everyone can find the perfect trip.

    If you are new to kayaking and camping check out our base- camping style tours- the Whales and Wilderness Glamping and Johnstone Strait Ultimate tours.

    If you are looking for more rustic camping and more paddling check out our expedition style tours; the Johnstone Strait Expedition, Orca Lite, Nuchatlitz, Desolation Sound or Great Bear Rainforest Tours. The paddling on our Orca Family Tours will be defined based on the desire and ability of the families/children. 

    Do I need to be in great shape for this trip?

    The majority of our adventures are not considered to be overly strenuous or physically demanding and therefore do not require a high level of fitness. Each tour is slightly different in its demands so if you are concerned, please do contact us. As a general rule, you need to be capable of a few hours of moderate exercise each day and be comfortable with the uneven ground of a wilderness environment. The Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour can be suited to folks with mildly limited mobility or those who wish to be in the wilderness, but not do any kayaking (you can always choose to stay at camp on our base-camping style tours). Please keep in mind that good general health will go a long way towards the enjoyment of your tour. Most important though is an adventurous spirit.

    How much paddling do we do each day?

    Paddling time will vary depending on the trip, our destination, weather conditions and the group’s abilities and desires. Generally, we travel between 3-5 hours a day on our base-camping style tours (the Johnstone Strait Ultimate and Whales and Wilderness Tours) and slightly longer (4-6 hours a day) on all of our other tours, not including breaks and lunch. We set a pace which is manageable and enjoyable for all.

    How stable are the kayaks? What is the likelihood of flipping over?

    The kayaks we use are stable and designed for comfort. Your guides will give you through instruction on how to safely use and enjoy the kayaks and what to do in case of a capsize. For those concerned about capsizing, the double kayaks are slightly more stable than the singles and we have a variety of both singles and doubles on every trip. The likelihood of a capsize is minimal and if it does happen your well-trained guides will be there before you know it to help.

    What happens if my kayak flips over?

    In the rare event of a capsize, all of our guides are trained in rescue procedures in order to quickly and efficiently get you back in your boat. At this point, we will take you to the nearest shoreline to change into some warm clothing and carry on with our journey when you are ready. While we are out on the water, it is of the utmost importance that the group stays together for safety.

    If the weather turns bad? Will I be comfy and warm?

    Our weather in the Pacific Northwest is generally pleasant from May through until September. In the Johnstone Strait area, the weather will generally be cooler than what you may see on the forecast for Campbell River – sometimes by as much as 10 degrees. Fog is very common on summer mornings, however, this nearly always clears at midday. Although it is uncommon, it can rain in the summer. Be prepared for any type of weather and you will stay comfortable. Layering is the key. It allows you to put on or take off layers while on the water if you need to. If you are very concerned about the weather then we recommend our base-camping style tours as these campsites have covered eating and lounge areas as well as dry tents to come home to at the end of every day. On our expedition style tours we carry tarps but we are a little more at the mercy of mother nature in these more rustic style campsites.

    What sort of wildlife might we see?

    The diversity and abundance of wildlife in the Pacific Northwest is one of our great privileges. From the rich marine life of colourful plants and invertebrates, seabirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, mink, otter, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales, to the land animals of deer, raccoons, cougars, wolves, and bears, we are bound to see something.

    For those with an eye for eagles take note that they are most prominent in the earlier months before the salmon migration in the late summer/early fall.

    For those keen to see humpback whales- you are in luck. The population of humpbacks in our area is doing well and we are fortunate to often see these whales any time of the year.
    If Orcas are your main priority then we recommend traveling between mid-July and mid-September. While it is possible to see orcas outside of these times, we see them with the greatest abundance and frequency during this peak period.

    Please just remember that wildlife is just that wild and we cannot control sightings. That said the whales are the icing on the cake in this stunning, rich and diverse area.

    Where is the best place to see orcas/killer whales?

    On our tours to Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound, which includes the Whales and Wilderness Glamping Tour, the Johnstone Strait Ultimate, Family Orca Tours and Orca Lite tours, we stand a high chance of seeing whales, especially between mid-July and mid-September.

    Understandably we cannot guarantee what nature will dictate, but we can tell you that this area has one of the highest concentrations of Killer Whales on earth and this is where they spend their summer holiday. Some trips view the whales from the kayaks, some while traveling on our water taxi or from our campsites on the shore and some see all of the above.

    How close to we paddle to whales & other wildlife?

    We do our very best to provide awesome sightings of whales but all the while ensuring that we do not disrupt the natural behaviour of all the wildlife we encounter. We abide by the Canadian whale watching regulations which means we do not approach killer whales (orcas) any closer than 200 meters (656 ft) and all other cetaceans no closer than 100 meters (328 ft).

    To learn more about how we do our best to minimize our impacts on whales check out nimmsa.org the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association. Your trip fees help to fund whale research and conservation efforts through the NIMMSA fund which Spirit of the West Contributes too.

    What is the camp setup like?

    Our basecamp at Hanson Island is built up with tent platforms, and rustic driftwood counters in the kitchen for cooking. This site is tucked away in an open forest, and has a gravelly beach that faces west to catch the summer sunsets as they bring a long and exciting day to a close. A comfortable, established site is the perfect place to base ourselves for exploring the local area.

    Where do we wash and are there toilets?

    Johnstone Strait Ultimate and the Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour have hot freshwater showers and established pit style outhouses. On all other tours, there is very little fresh water to be found. Therefore, seawater is your best bet for washing up. Please use biodegradable, environmentally friendly soap brands. Toilet facilities are not common in most wilderness settings, although some areas may have pit toilets. We also carry a portable toilet system. Your guide will generally designate an area that works for ensuring your privacy. We are very accustomed to making sure all of our guests feel comfortable and informed – please feel free to ask us any questions you might have, before or during your tour.

    Where can I leave my vehicle while on tour?

    Free parking will be available for your vehicle while on tour with us. Many of the accommodations on Quadra Island also have free parking included with your stay. Parking is also available at Telegraph Cove for a daily fee. Parking details will be discussed further at the pre-trip meeting.

    If I would like to tip the guides, what is the industry standard?

    If you would like to express your appreciation to the guides through a gratuity, such recognition would be enthusiastically received. The industry standard for tipping is approx. 10% per person of the trip cost. All tips received will be collected and disbursed amongst your guides & basecrew by the trip leader.

    Reviews

    We're proud of our great reviews - but don't just take our word for it, see what people are saying over on Trip Advisor. View Reviews

    Kids' reviews

    "The best trip ever! Say thanks to the awesome guides!"

    Gabriel, 10 years

    June-28, 2016

    "We had great guides and they were super nice!"

    Skye, 11 years

    June-28, 2016

    "Very fun, exciting and so adventurous!"

    Julia, 12 years

    June-28, 2016

    "Very cool and great food and a fun experience overall!"

    Ruby, 13 years

    June-28, 2016

    Parents' reviews

    "A wonderful experience. Love learning new things and our guides were very knowledge-based."

    Misty Rorrer

    June-28, 2016

    "Excellent knowledge and skills shown by our guides!"

    Pedro Dedesma

    June-28, 2016

    Packing

    On the Family Orca tour we will be taking a water taxi to travel to our campsite. If base camping, space is not limited to what you can pack in the kayaks, so it won't be a problem to bring enough to stay warm and dry. The following is a list of suggested items that should keep you a happy camper. The key is to pack into small compact bags which we will provide. We will also provide some tips and tricks for packing when you arrive.

    Sea kayaks are oddly-shaped vessels to pack, so the key is to pack into the small compact bags which we provide. (The video to the right also provides some practical, and humorous, tips and tricks you might appreciate).

    Sea kayaks are basically watertight, although small amounts of water may get in through the rudder lines and hatches. In the event of rain or dropping gear in the water we try to keep things as waterproof as possible. We provide you with waterproof storage bags also known as ‘dry bags’ (these will be given to you at the pre-tour meeting or the following morning if you are unable to attend).

    If you prefer to bring your own dry bags, please note the largest bag should not be larger than a sleeping bag or 20 litres; several small bags are best. We will provide one 5 litre, two 10 litre and one 20 litre dry bags for you to pack into. Additional bags may be available depending on space in the kayaks. The 5 litre bag is good for storing small items such as cameras, sunscreen, glasses, etc. The larger ones will be used for storing the rest of your clothing. Please see our suggestions for waterproofing your sleeping bag.

    Shoes can generally be packed loose in the kayak. All participants will also pack some of the group gear and food in their kayak. Don’t worry, it always looks like an impossible mountain of stuff to fit in the kayaks, but with some perseverance and coaching from your guides we always manage to fit everything.

    TEMPERATURES

    Please note that our summer temperatures from July until September are generally quite comfortable with temperatures from 18-30 degrees Celsius / 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s not uncommon to find mid day summers hot enough to want to cool off in the ocean! June and later September will have cooler temperatures, and at ANY TIME OF YEAR we can have rain & wind, with temperatures occasionally as low as 13 C / 55 F. So, we say it is best to come prepared for any type of weather.

    PLEASE NOTE WHAT WE PROVIDE:

    – ALL KAYAKS & SAFETY GEAR
    – TENT & SLEEPING PADS
    – DRY BAGS
    – SMALL CAMP PILLOW

    If you have your own gear and would prefer to use it on your tour, please bring it to the pre-trip meeting so that we can make sure it is suitable and meets safety requirements. The following is a list of suggested items to bring along. If you have any concerns or questions about the list, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    • Sleeping bag – A 3-season synthetic bag is recommended. Down bags will work but please take extra care to waterproof. If you are uncertain about whether or not you have the appropriate bag just give us a call or check with your local outdoor store. If you do not have a sleeping bag or would prefer not to travel with one, these may be rented for $25 plus tax. Please reserve in advance. To waterproof  your sleeping bag line a compression sack with a heavy duty garbage bag. Press the air out of the bag with your knee and then keep it compact with the compression sac (may be purchased at any outdoor shop). This also helps keep your bag small for travel.
    • Wetshoes – A pair that can get wet such as sturdy full strapped sandals (such as Keens, Tevas or Chacos), neoprene booties, crocs, or rubber boots. Please avoid flip-flops/thongs. Spirit of the West has a wide range of rubber boot sizes (youth – men’s size 13) available to borrow free of charge if you don’t have your own wet shoes or have limited space in your luggage. There will be an opportunity to try on boots at the pre-trip meeting.
    • Camp footwear – An additional pair of footwear that you plan to keep dry. Runners, trainers or light hikers are great.
    • Hat – A sun hat such as a baseball hat or full-brimmed hat as well as a wool or fleece warm hat for evenings or cooler days.
    • Sunglasses & sunscreen (stored in a Ziploc bag) – A must for protection from sun and glare off of the water. Safety cords on your glasses are highly recommended.
    • Small flashlight or headlamp – With spare batteries. Headlamps are preferable as they allow for hands free operation.
    • Camera – In a waterproof bag or case, or you may use our dry bags.camping-2
    • Bathing suit
    • Personal items – Toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap/shampoo, washcloth, feminine hygiene products, hairbrush, etc.
    • Medication – If you are bringing medication please ensure that… 1) The name and expiry date of drug is on the container; 2) You have the detailed instructions of your dosage and frequency; 3) It is packed in a water and sunproof container; 4) You bring a full extra dosage of your medication in a separate container to leave with your guide, in case you misplace or lose yours, or are weathered in. If you are flying, please pack all necessary medication in your carry-on luggage. This will help eliminate some stress should your checked bags be misplaced in transit.
    • Mosquito repellent – Insects are not a significant concern for us in our coastal ecosystem, however for those unused to insects or with particular sensitivities some repellent may come in handy.
    • Ziploc bags & several large garbage bags – We will provide you with dry bags, but these come in handy for transporting laundry and/or wet clothing.
    • Water bottle – Bike bottles or Nalgene-style bottles work best.
    • Gloves (optional) – Biking gloves work well to protect your hands from blisters. If you are really concerned abut cold hands, and are paddling in the spring or fall seasons, you may want to invest in neoprene gloves or pogies.
    • Beverages – We supply a wide range of teas and coffee as well as juices. You are welcome to bring along soda pops or alcoholic beverages if you choose to. Please note however that we do expect our guests to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and strictly enforce a no alcohol on the water policy.
    • Fishing gear (optional) – Make sure you have a valid B.C. fishing license. These can be purchased on-line at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/licence-permis/index-eng.htm
    • Book or journal
    • Binoculars (optional)
    • Gratuity for your guides – at your own discretion.

    CLOTHING

    Clothing should be suitable for the time of year, bearing in mind that it could become cold and wet at any time of year. Layering is the best way to regulate body temperature and maintain warmth. We suggest avoiding cotton (except for those hot days). Cotton has no insulation value when wet. An inner material that wicks moisture from the body and gives a comfortable dry feeling even while wet is the best first layer (Polypropylene, Lycra, Nylon, Polyester). A synthetic material such as fleece or pile makes the best second layer to provide warmth. Wool is also suitable.

    • Rain jacket & rain pants – For the unexpected nasty weather. To test your waterproofness – jump in the shower and see if you stay dry! (we’re serious!). If you would like to rent/hire raingear from us, please reserve in advance of the tour. Tops and bottoms can be rented for $25 plus tax for the set.
    • Light windproof jacket (optional)
    • Long-sleeved non-cotton shirt (synthetic/wool) – 2
    • Long pants – 1 pair of fleece or warm comfortable pants. 2 lighter pairs made of a quick drying, synthetic fabric. Athletic style pants (running or yoga) are generally appropriate. Jeans are NOT recommended for paddling.
    • Lightweight long underwear – 2 pairs, helps to keep you warm at night or as a base layer during the day. We recommend one set for kayaking and one set which is reserved for sleeping and always stays dry.
    • Sweaters – 2 warm wool or fleece sweaters (one may be all you need, but it is nice to have a spare in case one gets wet).
    • T-shirts – 2 or 3.
    • Shorts – 1-2 quick dry nylon
    • Warm socks – 3 to 5 pair (1 warmer pair for around camp)
    • Undergarments
    • An extra set of clothes that you may want to reserve for the end of the trip.

     

    Book Now

    Our online booking system allows you easy access to booking your tour with Spirit of the West Adventures, any time of day. If you think that you would like to book a trip, but need time to look into other travel arrangements, please contact our office and we will place a temporary hold on your spaces.

    We also offer real humans to speak with if that’s your preference, so feel free to call our office at 1-800-307-3982 (from within Canada and the U.S) or 1-250-285-2121 (from overseas). We can be reached by email at [email protected] If, for any reason, you are having trouble booking your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help!


    IMPORTANT NOTE

    Cancel For Any Reason insurance is essential to protect your investment in your experience. Policies must be purchased within a limited timeframe after paying for any portion of your trip: within 72 hours for Canadians and within 1-2 weeks for Americans. Please learn more here.

    If you are booking from outside of Canada, do not use this booking form. Please contact us by phone or email to place your tentative reservation. Click here for more details.


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    Affordable and inspiring paddling in the realm of the killer whales.

    Kayaking and base camping in the realm of the orcas. Watch whales from the hot tub!

    A true kayaking expedition on the wild coast of the Great Bear Rainforest.

    Warm-water paddling against the towering Coast Mountain Range of BC.