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8 Day Broughton Archipelago Expedition

Our eight day trips typically explore as far as the islands north of Bonwick before circling back to Telegraph Cove. Approximately 4 days will be spent in areas frequented by humpback whales, orca, and steller sea lions: the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound. However, every day includes the possibility to stumble upon black bears, seals, bald eagles, dolphins and porpoises. The remaining 4 days will be spent deep in the islands of the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park. Evidence of the centuries of first nations presence within the Broughtons is obvious when you paddle by shell “midden” beaches, ancient village sites and elusive yet abundant traditional clam gardens.

Our experienced certified guides will facilitate your experience from start to finish, using top quality equipment and preparing outstanding homestyle meals for you day after day. All camping and kayaking equipment, food, fees and guides for the duration of the tour are included. We start and end the trip right at our shop in Telegraph Cove. The total distance traveled each day will vary considerably, however you can expect to paddle around 120 km over the course of 8 days! This is a nomadic trip so you will change camp almost every day, allowing you to explore as much of the area as possible.

Allow us to immerse you for 8 days in the beauty of this remote kayak paradise and we promise its impression will remain with you forever.

Trip Focus:
8 days of nomadic sea kayaking in the Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound and Broughton Archipelago with a focus on non-intrusive wildlife observation and spectacular scenery.
Start Location:
Telegraph Cove, Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Canada.
Start Time / End Time:
Starts at 8:30 a.m. on Day 1 / Returns at approx. 3:30 p.m. on Day 8.
Start Dates:
Thursdays June 8th to July 27th, August 31st to September 14th
Accommodation:
Camping on a variety of remote islands between Vancouver Island and the mainlaind. All camping equipment is provided.
Meals Included:
Lunch & Dinner on Day 1; Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on Days 2 through 7; Breakfast & Lunch on Day 8.
Experience Required:
Previous camping experience and adequate physical fitness to paddle for 8 days in a row.
Suitability:
This trip is restricted to those over 16 years.
Other Options:
This tour is available as a private adventure!

Trip Features

While we do not guarantee sightings on any of our tours, the Queen Charlotte and Johnstone Straits attract an abundance of marine mammals during the summer. Because of this seasonality, we ask guests to pair their wildlife hopes appropriately with the dates of their visit. Your guide will be using marine VHF radios to communicate with other guides regarding wildlife sightings. If there are any reports of orcas, humpbacks, bears, or other mammals in your immediate area, your guides will do their best to ensure your group does not miss the opportunity to see them!

EXPERIENCED SEA KAYAK GUIDELINES OF BC (SKGABC) CERTIFIED GUIDES

Our outstanding team of SKGABC certified guides is the backbone of our company, facilitating your experience from start to finish. On trips, our guides fill the roles of group leader, paddling instructor, naturalist, risk-manager, weather forecaster, chef, and wildlife tracker.

REMOTE CAMPSITES

Our nomadic trips camp at a variety of remote island sites between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Campsites’ amenities will vary from established sites with tent pads and composting toilets to rugged forest sites with nothing more than level patches of ground for tents. Some of the most rugged campsites are in the most beautiful locations.

CAMPING EQUIPMENT:

  • 3 man MSR Tents (One to two people per tent)
  • Exped Sleeping Pads
  • Warm Sleeping Bags

Delicious Home Made Meals

You will not go hungry on a NIK trip!

We provide homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, plus appetizers, desserts, granola bars, coffee, tea, and water. If you are still hungry, your guide will whip up something else to fill you up. Our menu is designed to be nutritious, delicious, substantial, locally sourced, environmentally friendly, and flexible to dietary restrictions. We can safely manage food allergies, as well as cater to gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian diets upon request.

All our guides are Foodsafe Level 1 certified. 

We guarantee your guide will surprise you with their culinary skills. Here are just a few examples of what you could be served on your trip:

BREAKFAST

  • Frittata
  • Shakshuka
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Granola and fresh muffins
  • Pancakes or french toast
  • Fresh fruit

LUNCH

  • Greek salad with hummus and pita
  • Chickpea salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon

All lunches include fruit, cookies, and chips

DINNER

  • BBQ salmon with risotto and roasted vegetables
  • Halibut and prawn soba noodle stir-fry
  • Homestyle chili
  • Quinoa soup and burritos

QUALITY EQUIPMENT

We provide all kayaking equipment for our day tours. Come with the clothing and personal items noted in the ‘What to Bring’ section and we do the rest. Some of the equipment we provide for our trips includes:

  • DOUBLE KAYAKS: safe and stable, the best way to enjoy your tour together!
  • DRY BAGS: Photos are a must, having a waterlogged phone is not. 
  • PADDLES, SPRAY SKIRTS, PFDS, AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT: The essentials for safety and comfort. 

FLUID ITINERARIES

No two trips are the same! We pride ourselves on our fluid itineraries. The weather, tides, wildlife, and interests of groups are different every trip. Because of this, we both trust and empower our guides to adapt the trip as they see fit, so you can have the best experience possible!

Itinerary

Overview

This trip’s ideal route is a clockwise loop around the Broughton Archipelago with a couple days in the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound on either end, camping each night at a new remote island site. The weather forecast will dictate which direction the guide chooses to take your group.

You can expect to paddle for 5-6 hours each day and stay at sites with varying types of facilities. You will stay at both rough leveled areas in the forest with no facilities and at more established sites with composting outhouses and rustic kitchen shelters. None of these sites are accessible by road!

The Day Before

We recommend you stay in Telegraph Cove or Port McNeil the evening before your scheduled departure. We will have your drybags available for pickup at our office anytime before 5:30 p.m. the day before your trip. If you are looking for places to stay please see our list of places to stay in Telegraph Cove!

Day 1

Your 6 Day Nomadic Adventure begins at 9:30 a.m. on your start date. You will meet your guide at the North Island Kayak gathering area, at the end of the historic Telegraph Cove boardwalk. Your kayaks will be set out on our dock and all of the group gear will be already loaded.

In the early afternoon, your group will stop to stretch their legs and enjoy a picnic lunch on a remote beach before paddling the last stretch towards camp for the night. 

We will pitch camp at a beachfront campsite in either the Johnstone Strait or Blackfish Sound. For the entirety of the trip you will be setting up your own tent, which you will share with one other person from your party. You will likely reach one of our six camps by mid-afternoon. You'll be able to get settled into camp with lots of time to enjoy the late afternoon sun. Orca, Steller sea lions, dolphins, eagles, river otters and seals are frequently seen hunting in the kelp forest near our camps. Keep your eyes and ears open!

Once you are settled, an appetizer will be served while your guide cooks up a homemade beachside BBQ dinner that will leave you smiling, stuffed, and nourished. 

After dinner, enjoy card games with your party, take a stroll and explore the beach, or hang around the campfire and get to know the other members of your group.

Day 2-7

Breakfast will be served between 7 and 8 a.m., and there will be lots of time to relax and get organized. 

The plan for the remainder of the trip will be to head northwards towards the mainland for 3-4 days before circling back southward through another section of the Broughtons for the remainder of the trip, ultimately returning back to Telegraph Cove. The Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound and Broughton Archipelago are three incredible areas to go paddling in, all with their own unique characteristics. On this trip, you will experience them all.

The tidal currents in Blackfish Sound are one of the factors that contribute to the diversity and quantity of marine wildlife in the area. It is not uncommon to see humpback whales feeding on herring or sea lions and orcas gorging on salmon in tidal passages that link the Sound and the Strait. During the course of each of these days, you will stop for delicious picnic lunches on a variety of remote beaches.

The Johnstone Strait is home to the largest summertime concentration of Northern Resident Orca. Sightings are not a guarantee, but your guide will know how to put your group in a great spot to increase your chances.

The Broughton Archipelago Marine Park is a region of hundreds of islands and passages between Vancouver Island and the Mainland, a true kayak paradise. Depending on the weather forecast, your guide will opt to take you through the western islets on the edge of the Queen Charlotte Sound, or into the more sheltered eastern channels. Either way you will be exploring remote clusters of islands, each section with its own beauty and interesting history which your guide will acquaint you with as you go.

Days 6 and 7 will be spent meandering homeward through the half of the Broughtons you have not yet explored. Your guide will have a great feel for the interests of your group by this point and will be able to make the most of your last days. On your 7th day you will re-enter whale territory. Perhaps you and your group will be lucky enough to have a sighting before the trip is over!

Day 8

On your final morning you will wake up to another sizzling breakfast paired with hot coffee and the companionship of your wonderful guide. No matter how many days you spend in this area there always seems to be one day too few. Your last day will be spent paddling to the Plumper Islands for lunch before making your final crossing of the Johnstone Strait.

You will arrive back in Telegraph Cove around 3:30 p.m., after which you may simply grab your belongings and be on your way. We do the entire cleanup! However, many guests choose to stay a while, reminiscing on the adventure with new friends and exchanging contact information so photos may be shared. Be sure to take time to visit the Whale Interpretive Centre’s incredible collection of skeletons before leaving this little slice of ecological paradise.

Our guides love this trip and we know you will too. We hope you consider joining us for an unforgettable 8 day adventure in the Broughtons!

This is an example of our typical itinerary, however on some occasions we need to make changes due to weather or tidal considerations. Our goal will always remain to provide you the best possible experience. On some occasions it may not be practical or desirable to change camp every day.

What to bring

Multi-Day Tour Packing List

Tour Map

overnight tour map
Starting From
$2,599
CAD/ADULT
+ Tax. Seasonal rates may apply.
This nomadic round trip adventure is designed for those who want to explore the Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound and Broughton Archipelago as deeply as possible. You will carry all of your own gear, pitch tents on remote islands and paddle through areas far beyond the reaches of our basecamp network. This magical trip requires you to be physically fit and possess previous kayaking and backcountry camping experience; you will be setting up camp and paddling for 8 days in a row.
June 8 - July 27, August 31 - September 14
8 Days
Abundant Wildlife
Historic Telegraph Cove, BC
Experienced Certified Guides
Quality Equipment
Fluid Itineraries
Book now
Starting From
$2,599
CAD/ADULT
Book now

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