I will do this again. I enjoyed the peace and quiet and solitude out on the water and at the remote campsites. The possibility of seeing wildlife, especially whales, is a draw for me. To watch birds swooping in the sky or sitting in the sun, or seals warming themselves on the rocks, or sea lions chomping on their lunch brings me such awe that I need to see it all again.
Kayak touring is far easier for me than backpacking with a 30 lb pack on my back. I would do the kayak tour in a double kayak next time though. I will leave my ego at home and team up with Murray. John tells us that it is easier in a double (doing half the work) and the distances covered can be farther. He says the distances to get into Desolation Sound are farther each day than we kayaked on this tour. Okay, a double it is.
It is worth paying more for experienced and high quality guides. Both John (Footprint BC) and Richard (Island Romer Adventures) are experienced, high quality and enthusiastic guides. I wouldn’t hesitate to use either again.
Finally, if you are thinking about doing a kayak tour on the West Coast, do it!
Smoke, it is the first thing we noticed. Not a standard condition, but when we arrive the winds are from the south and the fires across the border are raging. The smoke obscures our views, then invades our nostrils.
Nature, one of the first things I note after we leave the marina is we are smack dab in the middle of a natural environment. There are very few signs of civilization.
Scenic, even with the smoke the scenery is awesome. The west coast rain forest meets the oceans edge on every island and islet we pass. It is sooo green.
Paddling, the repetitive motion instills a sense of Zen. There is only the moment I am in. Spilish as the paddle enters the water, splash, drip, drip, as the paddle exits the water.
Seclusion, the farther we paddle the less humanity we run into. We meet very few, the occasional motor launch passes at a distance, sometimes a fisher might go by, and only couple of times did we come across other kayakers.
Animals, there are so many and they are not as shy as the land animals we might be more familiar with. Seals, I knew they lived in the strait but there are so many, two eyes just above the surface of the water checking us out as we pass. Sea Lions, curious beasts, and so big. Birds by the bucket load, I’m not a birder and don’t know what varieties we pass each day but I am constantly amazed at how a flock can maneuver in unison with no observed crashes and so close to the waters surface. AND whales, we spent an afternoon watching as humpback after humpback passed by us perched on the elevated view point of our campsite.
Campsites, they are amazing. Location, location, location. They are very basic, the most important aspect being a spot to land the floating craft. Once on land nearby is an open area with a few flatish spots big enough to pitch a tent to sleep. There are a enough logs or rocks about to fashion a kitchen. Find another rock to sit on and we have a home for the night.
Quiet, the most striking attribute of the area we traveled. My ears ring and it is loud. The saying is “the silence is deafening” and it is so true. Any noise is amplified by the lack of other ambient sounds.
I too will try to return. There is the little matter of Toby Inlet and a trip into an area much less visited then the one we just traversed. Barring the advent of smoky skies, heading in a more north-easterly direction has been added to the bucket list.