Vancouver Island

Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
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1,485
Well, I've already changed my mind about my international trip this year.

Has anyone ever done any kayaking at Vancouver Island?
 

powderglut

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Oct 17, 2012
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We went to a floating lodge in Nootka Sound. It was more about fishing than kayaking. Wife and I were just paddling around the inside areas not far from the lodge.


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Way inside on Nootka Sound.
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View from the lodge.
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I think an ultimate experience would be going out of Winter Harbor or Port Hardy and paddling around Cape Scott Provincial Park. This is all the way north on VI. Nootka Sound is Located a little above center on the west coast of VI. I will try and post you some other info later. There's Clayoquot and Barkley Sound too. Bring fishing rod. Coho and King salmon for fresh food.
 

powderglut

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Oct 17, 2012
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As you can see I've made most suggestions for the remote west coast. Just crazy wild coastline. The access on the Pacific side is extremely limited (compared to the Inside Passage) and the ocean outside of the sounds can be huge at times. The easiest places to get to are Tofino and Ucluelet; Tahsis and Zeballos, or Winter Harbor and Cape Scott.
I guess the question is..are you bringing your own kayak or renting? want to go on your own or guided?
Paddling the Inside Passage from Campbell River up towards Port Hardy or Port McNeill would be another awesome trip too. You'd see orcas, and the salmon fishing off the beaches would be amazing. You'll get strong tidal surges going north and south, but not the surf you'd get on the Pacific side.
Out side of Barkley Sound
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Sea stacks in Cape Scot Provincial Park

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An Orca in the Haro Strait


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baltocharlie

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Dec 21, 2012
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Vancouver: One of my favorite cities, make sure to visit. More nationalities than any other North America city I have ever been to including NY, DC and LA. Fascinating experience in culture, foods and nature. I looked into paddling there a few years back. I can’t tell you much other than to check out the tidal pools at low tide and look for Orcas.I did not paddle there, shameful.
Also be careful, the water temps are very cold, the tides can be extreme. They can be hard to paddle through if you are not experienced. I saw a lot of kayak rental places so there must be places for novices as well, sheltered coves I imagine. When I was researching the area I remember a place called God’s Pocket. Apparently it is very beautiful but I can’t remember if it difficult to paddle. You’ll have to search. Enjoy!
 

Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
I guess the question is..are you bringing your own kayak or renting? want to go on your own or guided?

Dang it...I just deleted my long post...let me try this again...

I will be flying, so I'd have to rent kayaks there if we do the kayaks. Last night I started toying with the idea of taking a float plane up Knight Inlet and using the packrafts I plan to buy this year. But I'm a little worried that would get boring on open water since we couldn't get very far. And it wouldn't really be Vancouver Island, either.

The more I read the more I like the idea of the inside passage to look for orcas. We kayaked in Alaska a few years ago to look for whales and we didn't see any, so I'd like to try that again.

And I would do unguided. They generally require you to prove your experience before they'll rent you a kayak up there, but I think we'll be fine with that.

So, if you had to pick between the inside passage and Cape Scot, which would you pick?


Also be careful, the water temps are very cold, the tides can be extreme.

I'm definitely thinking about just going ahead and investing in dry suits, once and for all!
 

powderglut

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Oct 17, 2012
Messages
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The more I read the more I like the idea of the inside passage to look for orcas. We kayaked in Alaska a few years ago to look for whales and we didn't see any, so I'd like to try that again.

And I would do unguided. They generally require you to prove your experience before they'll rent you a kayak up there, but I think we'll be fine with that.

So, if you had to pick between the inside passage and Cape Scot, which would you pick?
I love the pure wildness of the pacific side. I have a vision of going back to the floating lodge I stayed at in Nootka Sound just after the salmon season. Fishing is still good, the fisherman pretty much quit coming after the end of Aug early Sept. The lodge becomes available at a cheaper rate. I'd love to rent it for 6-7 days and fish and kayak around all the islands on the outside edge with a group of 6-8 people. It's in the future.

About the Inside; I do think a paddle from Campbell River up to Port Hardy, or to the very top of VI on the border of Cape Scott, would be an excellent adventure. I am sure you'd see Orca's, Humpbacks and dolphins on this trip. This would have a pretty remote feel to it because the towns are far and few between on the northern end. Fishing should be good too. Beaches on this side are loaded with oysters.
This is a site about this guy paddling around the island. http://www.topkayaker.net/Articles/Destinations/Vancouver.html
This is the equipment he suggests. http://www.lyonexpeditions.com/equipment.html
This is an outfitter in Port McNeill. I would talk to him and tell him what you have in mind. He will either line you up to make this trip work, or at least turn you onto someone else who can. http://www.kingfisher-adventures.com/?gclid=CKihpsSj47sCFepaMgod-VcA_Q This site is for the Inside. He may be able to give you some outfitters for the Pacific side too. This guy is really helpful.
Let me know how this progresses. I think this is one of the sweetest islands on the planet.
 
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