Paddle British Columbia

By Mike Boisvert.

The lush, nine-mile long thumb of Vancouver Island known as Brooks Peninsula is so remote, the last ice age never quite found it. Here you'll encounter some of best sea kayaking anywhere in the world. This temperate rain forest is part of the 3 percent of Canada that's never ended up under ice 10,000 years ago, and it's like a lost world in which moss slowly devours fallen totem poles, eagles fly overhead with salmon locked in their talons, and sea otters hammer open shellfish on their bellies. Vancouver Island is the largest island of the 6000+ islands located off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.

It's the West Coast at its most wild. “The Island” as it’s known locally, is approximately 300 miles (500 Kilometers) long by 100 miles (160 Kilometers) wide, with enough coastline to offer many different paddling experiences: from sheltered bays, to rushing tidal rips, surf beaches, or the more remote shores of the island’s exposed northern west coast. For a seriously up-close and exhilarating taste, slide into the cockpit of an expedition kayak for 7 days days exploring the wilds of B.C.'s Bunsby Islands. From the massive swing of the powerful tides to the range of flora and fauna and the magical vistas, paddling in Checleset Bay is stunning and adventurous.   

You'll traverse exposed and sheltered waters through the notable territory of the Che:k:tles7et'h' (Checleset) people and experience the wild riches of the Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve that can include kayaking with whales and sea otters. 

The combination of Aboriginal cultural heritage and natural features provides rich opportunities to connect with coastal ecology. Depending on the mix of variables, this kayaking expedition often reaches as far as the Brooks Peninsula on a day or overnight trip from nearby Battle Bay or the Acous Peninsula.

Though designed for "experienced paddlers" and campers who have done a reasonable amount of paddling and camping in a range of conditions. Participants should know how to be comfortable and able to kayak for 3 to 5 hours each day, and prepared to be camping in a range of coastal weather.

Seasoned paddlers can plan their own trips into Bunsby Islands, but services are sparse and logistics daunting. West Coast Expeditions offer guided trips to Bunsby Islands in late July and early August. Most U.S. airlines serve Vancouver Airport.

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