Eight Day Sea Kayaking Expedition
Mid June to September
June 16th - June 30th
July 7th - September 1st
This nomadic, all inclusive trip requires previous experience in a sea kayak and with wilderness camping. You will pitch tents on pristine beaches every night and sleep under the stars, lulled by the night sounds of the ocean. All camping/kayaking equipment, meals, fees and guides for the duration of the tour are included. Optimal for those who have a passion for kayaking, wildlife photography or an appetite for the great outdoors.
The 8 day Humpback Island Wilderness Sea Kayak Adventure is a nomadic 8 day/7 night sea kayaking expedition that starts and ends in the tiny North Vancouver Island town of Telegraph Cove
We paddle directly from the boat ramp in Telegraph Cove on the morning of Day 1 and return to this same location on the afternoon of Day 8. Total distance paddled each day during the trip will vary considerably, however the approximate straight line distances will accumulate to be in the 120 km region for the full 8 days. As a nomadic trip, we expect to change camp each day so we can explore as much of this area as possible.
Approximately 5-6 days will be spent in areas frequented by Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, Minke Whales and Steller Sea Lions. Every day will bring opportunities for seeing black bears, seal, bald eagles, dolphins and porpoises. We spend approximately 2-3 days deep in the territories of the ancient First Nation bands (tribes) who have thrived in this area since before recorded history. Evidence of their centuries of habitation is obvious from the midden beaches of ancient village sites to the almost unknown traditional clam gardens.
8 Day Humpback Island Wilderness Sea Kayak Adventure – Day 0
We recommend you arrive in Telegraph Cove the night before your scheduled departure. There are numerous places to stay locally or there is a great campground 1km from our boat ramp.
8 Day Humpback Island Wilderness Sea Kayak Adventure – Day 1
We meet at the kayak boat ramp adjacent to the our store in Telegraph Cove at 9am. Your guides will introduce you to your paddling companions for the adventure, help familiarize you with your kayak, assist with any packing questions and go through the days plan. As this trip is intended for those with previous sea kayaking experience, we hope to be on the water for 10am! From Telegraph Cove we paddle out into Johnstone Strait and the wilderness beyond. Meals included = Lunch & Dinner.
8 Day Humpback Island Wilderness Sea Kayak Adventure – Day 2 - Day 7
Our detailed itinerary will vary depending on our long range weather forecast but our plan is to head almost due north towards the outside edge of the Broughton Archipelago, through small channels with tidal currents teeming with wildlife, out into Blackfish Sound and the eastern edges of Queen Charlotte Strait. The plan is for a huge circular clockwise route that takes us around the very perimeter of the Broughton Archipelago, while making forays in and among the most remote western islands of the park. Expect to visit and camp in islands with names like Owl, White Cliffs, Leone, Insect, Wolf, Mars, Eden and others who names appear on no maps you will find.
Once around the top of the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park we will discover the little know Burdwood Conservancy and the spectacular shell beaches created by countless thousands of years of First Nation native use. See evidence of ancient fish wiers and clam gardens that still belittle modern anthropology and assumptions about the nature and culture of those that have always called this area home. Our meandering route home will take us past tiny settlements of immigrants and First Nations who still to this day live, work and love this remote, sometime difficult paradise. We will visit the abandoned ancient villages, see rock painted petroglyphs left as messages and reminders of languages that have never been written.
Did we mention wildlife? This wilderness expedition will pass through many different habitats in which a huge variety of wildlife thrives. From the well known Orcas and humpback whales to the lesser known Minke whale; from eagles & loons to sea gulls and Rhinoceros Auklets; from deer to bears and occasional cougars. An intertidal ecosystem that still remains as it has since the last ice age and ancient islands forested by greenery that encroaches to the very edges of the tidal reach.
We plan to move camp each day, however on occasion we may decide to spend two nights. Camps will vary in facilities from a rough, leveled area in the forest with no facilities to more established sites with composting outhouses and rustic kitchen shelters. None of them are accessible by road.
Sea 8 Day Humpback Island Wilderness Sea Kayak Adventure – Day 8
Our last day of paddling will have us heading home to Telegraph Cove. We will arrive around 3-30pm.
Over 200 Northern Resident Killer Whales call this area home for the summer. These fish-eating mammals forage Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Strait for their favorite food the Chinook Salmon, the largest of the salmon species.
An increasing number of Humpback Whales also inhabit these waters, feeding on the abundant krill and herring Queen Charlotte Strait & Johnstone Strait provides. These giants arrive in the Straits in late May and stay until October.
The Stellar Sea Lion, the largest of the sea lions, calls the area home year round as does the Harbor Seal, Bald Eagle (and many other sea birds), Pacific white-sided dolphin, Dall’s porpoise, Black bear, mink and salmon while the cold, nutrient rich waters create an incredible inter and sub-tidal invertebrate ecosystem to explore.
A few times a year we will see Minke whales and on rare occasions Fin whales or Cougars.
See our tour Wildlife Tab for further details.
The Best Start Location – Telegraph Cove, British Columbia
Telegraph Cove is the departure and return point of choice for north island sea kayaking tours and North Island Kayak is based in Telegraph Cove – No time wasted on a bus transfer – Be first on the water. Relax and unwind in the peaceful haven.
Visit the Whale Interpretive Center at the end of the ‘old time’ Telegraph Cove boardwalk. You will frequently see Bald Eagles, Mink, River Otters, Black Bears or even whales before we leave the dock!
Wonderful food – You will not go hungry
Picnic lunches, hearty breakfasts and spectacular dinners plus delicious deserts, snacks, coffee, tea, various juices and water. Our menus have been specially developed to provide great taste and variety while being safe to carry and nutritious. Don't worry, we bring some chips and other snacks too.
Ingredients are sourced first from our local communities.
We provide all of the camping and kayaking equipment. Come with the clothing and personal items noted in ‘What to Bring’ and we do the rest.
We even provide you with quality dry bags to keep your clothes and gear dry.
What to bring
What do I need to Bring on my multi-day kayaking adventure?
Kayaking is an outdoor activity and the part of the world you will be visiting is identified as being within a Temperate Rainforest. Our summer daytime highs are rarely much over room temperature and our nighttime lows can be described as cool. It also rains on occasion, sometimes for extended periods.
If you are familiar with spending time outdoors then you are likely already equipped with most of the clothing and accessories that you will need to bring with you. Likewise, you are aware that cotton is not your friend when there is any chance of getting wet.
We recommend that you bring two sets of clothing for your kayaking tour. One set that you will primarily wear while paddling. 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.
What you need while on the water
- For your head; A Hat, cap or tuque – something with a peak or brim is ideal in the rain.
- For your upper body; A base layer, a long sleeve mid-layer and a light Fleece or other warm non-cotton sweater.
- For your lower body; Non cotton underwear & shorts or long pants – long synthetic or wool underwear under shorts can be a great combination.
- For your feet; Wool or synthetic socks – bring a few pairs, your feet will get wet. Water shoes or sandals. Rubber boots can also be good unless you have big feet.
- Consider a pair of quality, light-weight rain pants. Frequently you will sit on something wet.
- Gloves – Look for paddling or cycling gloves to keep hands dry & blister free.
What you need while at camp
- Your normal outdoor camping wear will typically work fine but remember it is always cooler near the water. Synthetics and wools are again better than cotton.
- We provide you a jacket for paddling but bring rainwear or other outdoor jacket to wear at camp.
- A base layer, a long sleeved mid-layer and a warm sweater, sweatshirt/hoody or outer layer fleece. Warm pants. Bring one layer more than you think you need!
- Hiking shoe or running shoe & warm wool socks. Do not bring thongs or flip-flops.
- Warm nightwear & a Pillow Case (to stuff with clothes, etc. for your pillow)
- When we have campfires, they frequently emit sparks; consider bringing an old top layer.
Comfort and convenience items
- A water bottle.
- Camera and binoculars.
- Small hand towel and a face cloth.
- Sunscreen, lip balm & bug repellant.
- Sunglasses and a retainer
- Head Light (for reading in your tent and to light your way to the washroom)
- Book/magazine, writing materials or other personal entertainment.
- Personal toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, biodegradable soap, feminine hygiene products, etc.) – A packet of Wet Wipes works great to help personal hygiene.
- If bringing any electrical/ electronics, bring spare batteries or a portable recharging unit. There are no power outlets.
- If you must bring your phone, consider investing in a waterproof case for it.
- If you have allergies for which you carry an EPI Pen – Bring it!
- An extra set of any essential medication and correctional lenses.
- Alcohol and/or Pop. We do not supply this and there are no stores after we leave Telegraph Cove. The general store in Telegraph Cove sells beer, wine, spirits & pop.
Please try to avoid bringing too much as space is limited.
If you do not have your own sleeping bag or prefer not to bring it, we have one pre-packed for you to use at no charge. Our bags are cleaned after every use and are rated to 0°C (32°F) or lower.
If you choose to bring your own sleeping bag, please make sure it has no cotton in the lining and that it has a compression style stuff sack. Place a garbage bag inside the compression sack and stuff your sleeping bag inside the garbage bag, inside the compression bag. Squeeze out the air, twist the neck of the garbage bag to keep out any moisture and close the compression stuff sack.
Did we mention to avoid cotton?
Honestly and joking aside, we cannot overstate this. Once cotton gets wet it stays that way and provides minimal residual warmth. Synthetic materials and better yet wool, are your best bet.
Do not forget to check the label on your underwear, virtually everything you choose to sit on will be damp. Wet cotton next to your skin will become very unpleasant very quickly; ask any toddler.
How to Pack for my Multi-Day Kayak Tour
We provide you two dry bags; one 10 and one 20 litre bag per person. When you arrive in Telegraph Cove before your trip, please feel free to come pick them up so you can pack in the comfort of your room.
The 10 litre dry bag will be your day bag, in other words the bag you will have access to on the water. We suggest you put the following items in your day bag:
- Small camera and/or binoculars - If bringing a large or expensive camera, see below.
- Extra sweater
- Sunscreen & lip balm
The 20 litre dry bag will be your overnight bag, put things in here that you will want once you get to camp and won’t need access to on the water.
- All camp clothes and spare clean, dry paddling clothes
- Personal toiletries.
- Towel, book/magazine
- Head light, spare batteries, car keys, money & travel documents, etc. Place these items in zip-lock bags for extra protection.
- Do not put shoes, rain jackets, drinks, etc. in the dry bag.
Do not fill the dry bags more then 3/4’s full in order to properly close them, squeeze all the air out, roll the top over itself 3 times and do up the buckles. Your bags will now keep your belongings dry!
How to pack my Camera
Salt water & DSLR can spell trouble if not looked after. What to carry it in becomes a compromise between ease of access and security. The most secure way to carry it is in a hard shell waterproof case; an otterbox for instance, however this can be difficult to stow and awkward to open while on the water. Next best would be a good quality dry bag. Take your camera with the lens you expect to use to a good outdoor store and find a dry bag that fits your camera well, but leaves enough room for you to get your hands in and around it. There also needs to be enough room to have a small super absorbent cloth so you can ensure your hands are dry when inserting and removing the camera. Both these options would have the camera and case strapped to the deck of the kayak under bungee lines. Consider adding a carabiner or similar locking mechanism to ensure the container remains secure.
When you want to take a photo, you remove the camera from its protection, take the photo, replace the camera and reseal it. Never put it down on the spray skirt or kayak deck. We usually recommend against changing lenses while on the water.
It is also worth checking your home or travel insurance policy. Most camera equipment can be covered for loss or damage by this policy. You may need to register serial numbers, etc. with the insurance company.