We know you have questions. Please take a look through these as they respond to those we are most frequently asked. Should your question not be addressed, please contact us so we may address it.
I have never sea kayaked before how safe is it?
Ocean touring sea kayaks are surprisingly stable and comfortable. A pre-launch training session will give you some of the basic skills that will help keep you safe while your guides are well versed in paddling, the area and general safety. They are right there with you the whole time to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
How many people are usually on the trips?
Our average group size is 5 people, however we conduct our tours with as few as 2 and as many as 12.
Who will be on the trip with me?
Our customers come from all over the world. They may be younger or older than you but you can be sure they are just as excited to be here as you are.
How much paddling will we do?
The amount of time on the water will vary but will typically be in the region of 5-6 hours per day.
What will my kayak be like?
It will be a fully enclosed fiberglass Sea Kayak from one of a variety of manufacturers including Seaward Kayaks, Necky Kayaks and Current Designs. We prefer to use tandem (2 seater) kayaks for our multi-day kayak tours as they provide maximum speed and stability along with plenty of room for the gear. Single seat kayaks are available on request for a small supplement.
Can I bring my own kayak?
Of course you may. We do require it be an appropriate kayak for the type of trip you are undertaking and we will need to utilize space within it for the group gear. Contact us, identifying kayak make and model and we will see what we can do. We do reserve the right to inspect the kayak prior to departure and have you paddle one of our kayaks if necessary.
Should I tip the guides?
Our guides work very hard to ensure you enjoy your trip with us. Tipping is appropriate and forms an integral part of the guides earnings. As a general guidline a tip of 10-15% is the industry norm and will be very much appreciated.
How do you choose your guides
We choose guides based on many variables. Naturally they must be appropriately qualified and able to kayak, provide instruction and keep you safe on the water, but we demand much more than this. We employ guides from Canada; Many of them have grown up around our coast or have migrated to BC as they have grown up. We employ guides who can interpret our environment; They need to be able to identify our local fauna and flora and communicate their knowledge to you. We look for language skills; Many of our guides are fluent in both English and French, while others bring Spanish or German to the mix.
Has North Island Kayak been providing these trips for many years?
North Island Kayak on northern Vancouver Island has been providing kayak tours since 1991. The current owners took over in 2006.
Do you have insurance and all appropriate permits?
Yes! To legally conduct these kayak tours, one needs permits from many different organizations including BC Parks, to operate in any of the local marine parks; The BC Minestry of Natural Resource Operations, to utilize any of the government owned lands, Private Individuals and businesses to utilize launch sites, water, etc. and our many North Island First Nations in order to utilize their lands and traditional homes. You can be assured that we have covered all bases.
What kind of physical condition do I need to be in?
People of all ages enjoy ocean kayaking and fitness levels as it can be a very low impact activity. You need only be in average physical condition – For our multi-day tours, if you can manage an easy day hike, you will likely be able to participate comfortably. Should you have upper body conditions affecting arms, wrists or hands, please contact us.
Does anyone ever tip over?
It can happen – but it is not likely on a guided trip. Part of your pre-launch training session is instruction and demonstration of what to do in the event of capsize. Should it happen, uur qualified guides have had extensive training in rescue and have the skills to deal with any situation that may arise. Their focus is on prevention rather than cure.
Will the whales bother the kayaks?
There have been no incidents involving wild whales and humans or kayaks. On occasion they have come very close and even under our kayaks but we have never had one actually touch us.
When will we return to Telegraph Cove?
You multi-day tour will be returning to Telegraph Cove typically between 3 and 4 pm, however it can occasionally be erlier or later due to weather or logistcal reasons. Should you have tight connections to be made on the day of return, please let us know at booking or prior to departure so we can try to meet your expectations. After your trip, why not visit the Whale Museum or relax on the deck of the Old Saltery and watch the comings & goings of Historic Telegraph Cove.
What about children?
We welcome children on the tours, however we try not to mix adult groups and family groups on the same trip. We can accommodate your children in a number of ways; triple kayaks or paired up in a double with a strong paddler. It is a safe and wonderful experience for kids and as family! We offer discounted rates for children on some tours. For multi-day kayak adventures we have found it is typically best to schedule small family groups, please contact us for further information.
What should I wear?
We recommend that you bring two sets of clothing for your kayaking tour. One set that you will primarily wear while in the kayaks. This should consist of layer-able clothes that will cope well and remain comfortable should they get damp or even wet. The second set of clothing is for around camp and should be selected to keep you warm and cozy during the evening. Again layers provide maximum flexibility. Avoid jeans and cotton shirts or sweaters,as once they get damp they can be very tough to dry and provide you with minimal residual warmth. If you can stick with synthetic quick dry materials or wool for your clothing, you will likely have a much better experience in our wilderness. Please take a look at our “What to Bring