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Your Great Bear Rainforest Kayaking Adventure begins in the remote town of
Bella Bella, about 250 miles north of Vancouver on British Columbia's Central Coast.
- On the first day of your tour, the Columbia III will depart from Shearwater at
4pm, then travel to Bella Bella (approx 30 min) to meet guests at the
Bella Bella fuel dock. We will depart Bella Bella at approx. 5pm. Rest assured, if
your flight is delayed, we will NOT leave without you.
- You may board in either Shearwater or Bella Bella.
- The taxi meets every flight (there is only one taxi in town). The driver knows
us and will deliver you to the fuel dock (a 10 minute drive) where you can catch
the water taxi to Shearwater or meet the Columbia III.
- A water taxi has regular sailings between Bella Bella and Shearwater.
- On the last day of the tour the Columbia III returns to Bella Bella in time to
meet the first flight of the day south, usually about 10am, but depending on the
airline's (Pacific Coastal) schedule.
- The Columbia III cell phone number is 250-202-4745 (The ship is only in cell
coverage on the first and last day of each tour)
Getting To Bella Bella and Shearwater
The simplest way to get to Bella Bella is to fly directly from Vancouver,
Campbell River or Port Hardy. You can also take the ferry from Port Hardy.
Flying time from Vancouver to Bella Bella is approximately 2 hours.
A water taxi makes regular trips between Bella Bella and Shearwater.
-Pacific Coastal Airlines runs
daily flights from Vancouver, Campbell River and Port Hardy. 1-800-663-2872.
-B.C. Ferries travels between
Vancouver and Vancouver Island. They also travel from Port Hardy to Prince
Rupert, stopping in Bella Bella (called McLoughlin Bay on ferry schedule) on
their way. Crossing time is approximately 7 hours. Contact B.C. Ferries for schedule. 1-
888 223-3779 or outside B.C. 250-386-3431. Unfortunately the B.C. Ferry schedule
to Bella Bella rarely coincides well with the Mothership Adventures' schedule.
Bella Bella/Shearwater Accommodation and Services
Shearwater Resort 1-800-663-2370
Whiskey Cove Bed and Breakfast (Shearwater) 250-957-4234
Annette's Beach House (Bella Bella) 250-957-2206
Shearwater also has a restaurant, pub, grocery, laundromat and hardware store.
Bella Bella has a grocery store.
Meeting Columbia III
On the first day of your tour, we will depart Shearwater at 4pm and travel to
Bella Bella (approx. 30min) to meet guests at the Bella Bella fuel dock. We will
depart Bella Bella at approx. 5pm. Rest assured, if your flight is delayed, we
will NOT leave without you. You may board in either Shearwater or Bella Bella.
Most of our guests get to Bella Bella (map) on the daily Pacific Coastal Airlines flights from
Vancouver, Campbell River and Port Hardy. You may catch either the morning or
afternoon flights to Bella Bella. Upon arriving in Bella Bella, take the airport
taxi to the "fuel dock." Here you can either wait for the Columbia III or take
the water taxi to Shearwater, depending on the arrival time of your flight.
Shearwater's amenities make it the preferred place to wait for longer durations.
On the last day of our trip we will return to Bella Bella so guests can catch
the morning Pacific Coastal flight to Vancouver.
If you choose to travel to Bella Bella by ferry, we will do our best to
accommodate meeting you but because the ferry schedule is varied, a good
connection is not always possible.
Contacting Columbia III
The Columbia III can be contacted at 250-202-4745. The Mothership office can be
reached at 1-888-833-8887 or 250-202-3229 or 1-250-202-8773. In the case of an
extreme emergency, the boat can be contacted directly by calling the Canadian
Coast Guard in Prince Rupert (250) 339-3613. Ask them to send a message to MV
Columbia III (quote this number: MMSI# 316-003-614) sailing in the Central Coast
area. We are often off the boat so expect a response to take 12 hours. The
ship's phone is not for guest use. For more contact information see our website
We are happy to accommodate any personal dietary needs including vegetarian and
vegan. Wine will be served with the evening meal. If you would like an
alternative to alcohol please let us know. Please note any food allergies or
needs on the medical form well in advance of your departure date.
Please read our liability waiver closely. We require a signed waiver for you to
be able to join our tour. You can send a copy to us by email or regular post.
Your signature must be witnessed but not notarized. A friend, partner or
relative can be your witness.
Medical, Allergies, and Other Concerns
Mail us your completed Medical Form ASAP. Your tetanus vaccination must be up
to date (less than 10 years old) before you leave.
Be sure to bring enough
of your required medications as you will be far from any drug stores. We may
encounter minor ocean swells so if seasickness is a concern, please bring anti-nausea
medication. But rest assured, we travel in very sheltered areas and
overnight in calm, protected bays. We do our best to avoid swells and waves!
Weather , Clothing, and Packing
Our skipper and certified guides will not take you in any weather conditions
that are dangerous to you or the group. We will likely encounter some wind and
waves (the ocean is not always flat!), but nothing that would compromise the
safety of a beginner kayaker.
For maximum comfort, a layering system of lighter "quick-dry" and warmer fleece
clothing works best. Merino wool is excellent as well. Avoid cotton which stays
wet for a very long time. Waterproof raingear is essential. When getting in
and out of your kayak on shore your feet WILL get wet. We suggest a pair of
sturdy water sandals/ shoes. Sports gloves for paddling may add to your
comfort and help prevent blisters. Proper protection from the sun is
essential so bring sun glasses, a sun hat, sun block and lip screen.
Bring a water bottle. Staying hydrated in the outdoors is very important.
When aboard the mothership, comfortable casual clothing is nice to change into
Consider bringing the items listed on the packing list we provide.
We have waterproof bags (dry bags) onboard that you can use for your cameras or
other small items in your kayak if you like. Large Ziploc bags work as well.
Hard suitcases are difficult to fit into the small storage compartments on the
Columbia III, so if possible, bring your things in soft duffel type bags.
NOTE: Although not required, if you'd like to express your appreciation to the
guides through a gratuity, such recognition would be enthusiastically received.
The industry standard for tipping is approximately 10 percent of the trip cost.
All tips will be equally distributed among your crew.
- Sun Hat / Warm Hat
- Fleece Jacket
- Windbreaker or Shell
- Waterproof Rain Gear (jacket and pants)
- T-shirts, Shorts, Swimsuit
- Warm Layered clothing
- Shore Shoes (for walking or hiking)
- Sturdy water sandals/shoes (for kayaking)
- Medications, prescription and non prescription
- Beach towel (optional)
- Day Pack
- Sunglasses, Spare pair of Eyeglasses
- Sun block, Lip Screen
- Insect Repellent
- Water Bottle
- Sports Gloves (for use while paddling)
- Binoculars, Journal, Sketchbook (optional)
- Waterproof Bag
- A Good Book