Day 1: The Columbia III will be awaiting your arrival in the coastal Canada sea-side town of Port McNeill. Boarding time is 6 pm. Here you will be greeted with a warm welcome from the Columbia III's captain and crew as we prepare to cast off. Our first night aboard will find us in the BC First Nations village of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, home of the renowned U'Mista Cultural Center.
"We knew this would be a wonderful way to spend our holiday, and it was better
than that. What is that elusive word for 'better than wonderful'? Well, anyway,
thanks for everything. I think we have all learned so much."
- Shawna and Steve, Alberta
Day 2: At 9 a.m. sharp we will visit the U'mista Cultural Center, a short walk from the dock where the Columbia III will be moored. This will introduce us to the local First Nation's people in whose territory we will be travelling through. The center contains a wealth of current and historical information, as well as beautiful carvings and pieces of art. A short film will give us further appreciation of their complex and vibrant culture. Back onboard the Columbia III a delicious lunch will be served as we cruise down Johnstone Strait towards the Broughton Archipelago, always keeping a watchful lookout for wildlife. We will then review kayak orientation and safety procedures before setting off on our first paddle.
Day 3-6: Each morning after breakfast we will launch our kayak flotilla and begin our day of exploring the channels and island mazes of coastal Canada's Broughton Archipelago and Johnstone Strait. The geography of the Broughton is quite varied with vistas of Queen Charlotte Strait's open waters contrasting with the dozens of narrow, secluded, winding passageways. These diverse landscapes are all easily accessible with the mothership, and you will find them to be a kayaker's paradise. Wildlife we are likely to see include orcas, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall's porpoises, humpback whales, harbour seals, sea lions, bald eagles, black bears and numerous seabirds. At low tide we'll discover the rich variety of marine life on the rocky shorelines. Our guides are continually scanning for wildlife and are eager to share their knowledge of the area's natural history. Lunches will be savoured as we sit and enjoy a spectacular view or snooze in the sun. The afternoons will be spent kayaking, visiting a whale research station or walking in the rainforest before boarding the Columbia III, waiting for us in a new place. The mothership will then travel to the night's anchorage, often spotting whales along the way
Day 7: Our last morning in the Broughton Archipelago will include a short paddle and if the orcas or humpbacks are in the area, some whale watching from the Columbia III. We will serve lunch on route to Port McNeill and arrive there about 2 p.m.
We also offer a 4 night kayak tour. The itinerary is a similar but condensed version of the description above.