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BC Desolation Sound Sea Kayak Tours, Sea Kayak Trips Vancouver Island, British Columbia Kayak Tour, British Columbia Whale Watching,
BC Kayak Tour Directory, BC Tourism Travel, BC Adventure Touring, West Canada Outdoor Adventure Trips, British Columbia Kayaking Trips
05 Day Desolation Sound Kayak Trip
KBC#04 Desolation Sound Kayaking
Desolation Sound is a coastal haven of majestic fiords, towering 7,000 ft. peaks, cascading waterfalls, and pristine lakes providing countless grounds to be explored. The almost complete absence of development or settlement results in a superlative "wilderness" feeling. This quality, which led Captain Vancouver to name the area "Desolation Sound", is the quality that many people today wish to experience. Sea lions and seals can be found sunning on the rocks, dolphins are often sighted and occasionally Orcas (killer whales) will also visit the Sound. Even the great grey whales can be seen in the Strait in the early part of the year. Warm summer temperatures and the meeting of the tides jointly cause the Comox-Desolation Sound region to enjoy the mildest climate, richest sea life and warmest water on the British Columbia coast. This phenomenon is just one example of the uniqueness of Desolation Sound. Oysters grow in abundance in these warm water areas. Water temperatures in the Sound often exceed 75ºF from June through September and opportunities for saltwater swimming are numerous.
Our tour begins on Quadra Island where we meet in the morning to catch the ferry that takes us to Cortes Island. The ferry ride to Cortes is great fun and offers a view of the waters surrounding Rebecca Spit, Quadra and Read Islands. Once on Cortes we have a short but interesting drive to our launch point at Squirrel Cove where we go over a safety and instructional talk on the beach. We’ll eat a hearty lunch in the cove, then your guide/s will explain, and show how to effectively pack your kayak, and before you know it we are on the water paddling our way toward the majestic Coast Mountains. This leg of the trip is almost always a great photo opportunity. With the mountains coming into view, they make a picture perfect backdrop for photography. We’ll stop for a shoreline snack and get out to stretch our legs along the way. Depending on the group’s speed and desires, we may camp on the Martin Islands or a little closer to Desolation Sound Marine Park. We set up camp for the night and snuggle in for a sumptuous dinner and campfire.
Fresh air and the sounds of birds and seals are the morning wake-up call with a hint of fresh Starbucks coffee brewing on the camp stove. After a hearty, delicious hot breakfast served with fresh fruit and hot Starbucks coffee (or hot beverage of your choice from the pantry,) we pack up our boats and head off for a day of adventure. Depending again, on the groups desires we can base camp for a few days from one exceptional campsite or move about each day with a new site for each evening. Either way, we have our lunch with us and always eat somewhere different. Likely, we would explore Tenedos Bay which is on the mainland inside the marine park. It is accessible only by water, and here we hike along a clear babbling stream up to a stunning fresh water lake that begs you for a swim, which almost everyone obliges. By the end of the day we’ll be camped again, enjoying surrealistic views abound, while sampling the smells and sounds of another gourmet dinner, and desert. Another night of fresh air and solitude, and a usually cloudless sky displaying a multitude of stars to inspire awe.
Before the morning sun rises from behind the mountains it creates a glow that begins as a sizzle of light silhouetting the highest peaks with orange-red rim. Then, slowly, the light increases in intensity, as if turning up the volume and the world around us awakens to another day. The Black Oyster Catchers with their bright orange beaks and flesh coloured legs begin flying from rock to rock while whistling that wonderful call that makes them irresistible. The Ravens, a highly intelligent and problem solving bird, soon begins its clucks, giggles and metallic clunks as if it were showing off its wide range of vocabulary just for us. This will be followed by the load splashing sounds of nearby Harbor Seals diving into the water for a morning meal, and in the background is the slight waft of breakfast cooking and coffee roasting to greet your day. Another day of adventure will probably find us paddling up to Prideaux Haven, a wonderful collection of islands and islets that are clustered together in just a couple of square nautical miles. Shallow passages between many of these islands boasts some of the warmest waters in the Pacific Northwest. The tides that go around Vancouver Island enter from the top and bottom and meet approximately at Desolation Sound. This means there is not as much water transfer here, as there is in the rest of the coastal waters. And as such it gets plenty of time to heat up in the hot sunshine of this dry area. We spend the day kayaking through these channels, swimming and exploring depending on your interests. The shallow channels and clear water makes bottom viewing fantastic. See Star Fish, seashells and a virtually endless collection of sea life from the comfort of your kayak.
Of course another hearty, delicious hot breakfast is the dawn of a new day. Today we may find ourselves paddling to the mouth of Waddington Channel to explore Roscoe Bay, another gorgeous spot. On the paddle across Homfray Channel to Waddington we experience a view of the coast mountains that is unsurpassed. In front of us is East Redonda Island, the highest island for its circumference on the coast and impressive it is! In less than three kilometres inland on the island, it rises from sea level to over 1500 meters in height creating a formidable challenge to a hiker. Almost splitting the island in half is the world famous Pendrell Sound, a dead end inlet that holds water even warmer than Prideaux Haven due to its long length. This is a view we often reflect on as one of the few that reproduces in photographs with reasonable reflection of what is was actually like to be there -Stupendous. As we round the corner of Marylebone Point at Roscoe Bay it immediately becomes apparent why we came. The bay is cut deep into the high mountainous sides of West Redonda island with a waterfall crashing down the rock face except during the driest times, that you can paddle your kayak almost under to cool off. At the far end of the bay is a small river flowing vigorously out of Black Lake which is just a few minutes hike on a flat trail inland. The lake is another fantastic swimming exercise, which is an activity we invariable we find ourselves partaking in. Occasionally we have portaged the kayaks up to the lake for a fresh water journey on the remote unpopulated lake.
By the time day five comes along the talk of leaving is almost enough to bring on mutiny. We have all fallen into the syncopated rhythm of natures land and sea, and it feels "right" to be living outdoors in a nomadic lifestyle that encourages ones connection with the land in which we come. It is this day that brings guests back for another tour, next year. We eventually find ourselves back at Squirrel Cove, in no real hurry or schedule except meeting the ferry in the late afternoon. The ferry ride back to Quadra Island is the best of the two in that we usually sit outside on the deck at the rear of the ship, facing the mountain vista that we have been living amongst these past days. The view is, well, we don’t want to give away the ending.
Rates per Person in CAD$
5 Day Clayoquot Sound Kayaking
 Departure Dates
June & September
Services Included
Transportation from/to Quadra Island
4 Night Kayak Tour
Professional Guide Service
Single & Double Fiberglass Kayaks
All Kayak Related Equipment
All Meals & Snacks
High Quality 3-Season Tent
Sleeping Bag
Mattress Pad
Max 10 Clients per Tour
2 Guides per Tour