If you crave adventure, and a desire to kayak and explore an area that few ever get to, then this west coast sea kayaking expedition is for you. You can sign for an expedition with expert guides know the area, the currents, winds, and of course the best camping and sunset spots! Together with your group, you will see sites and visit places that are outside the realm of the modern world, and accessible to only a select few.
The dramatic seascape of the wild northwest coast of Vancouver Island provides the setting for one of the finest sea kayaking destinations in Canada, Nuchatlitz Marine Park. Balanced on the thinnest of margins, between two enormous biospheres – the endless blue sea and the green temperate rain forest – the outer coast can be at once terrifying and profound, volatile and serene. The area is sheltered from the open ocean by small and enchanting islands. This string of islets gives the adventurous kayaker an opportunity to experience the rugged coast while paddling in relatively protected waters.
This remote area is one of the few places where you can escape the crowds. Getting out to the park can be difficult for the solo paddler or independent group as the distance is far from the launch site and and headwinds are often encountered deeper in the inlets. Raked by winds, pounded by mountainous waves, dotted with jagged headlands and submerged reefs, perpetually doused in foam and mist, the outer coast does not, at first glance, appear enticing to the kayaker.
Once there you can establish your first night’s camp on a secluded beach among old growth forests. Each day is good to explore the numerous islands and beaches, marvel at the natural rock formations like sea caves and towering rock pinnacles, and reflect on the rich west coast First Nations culture. The sunsets on the West Coast of Vancouver Island are simply stunning. Watch as the sun sinks over the horizon to the west and beautiful colours illuminate the skies. Most of the campsites on the Nuchatlitz tour offer west facing beaches where you can enjoy these amazing spectacles.
Most sea kayaking areas on the Inside Passage, between Vancouver Island and the mainland, have landing areas that range from rock to pebbles or gravel due to the lack of consistent wave action. Here on the outer coast we are treated to numerous beaches where you can walk barefoot and really get the sand between your toes.
Formed by time, wind, and water, stacks are formed when part of a headland is eroded by hydraulic action. The force of the water weakens cracks in the headland and causes them to collapse, forming free-standing stacks and small islands. These formations, along with the numerous sea caves in the area, make for some of the most picturesque and interesting paddling on the coast.
The Nuchatlitz is home to one of the largest sea otter populations on the west coast of North America. Once hunted to extinction in this area, the sea otter was reintroduced in the late 1960’s and now thrives. Their extinction caused considerable upheaval in the natural world, however with their return the area is returning to ecological health once again.
June to August is the most popular time for sea kayaking in Canada, especially if you’re heading for the west coast and the waters around Vancouver Island. With luck the weather will be dry or drier and summer like. The big question is where you should go when there are so many fantastic spots around Vancouver Island to paddle.