We were lucky enough to be part of the 5-day Discovery Islands kayaking expedition that got humpback whales breach really close to us (see the video on their facebook page). This was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
I would have rated the expedition 5 stars even without the whale encounter. It was the best way to enjoy nature in an active way in British Columbia.
Our tour guides (Damon and Julie) were extremely professional, attentive and cooked us some awesome gourmet food (a different item every day including pancakes and eggs Benedict for breakfast, salmon and kabobs for dinner).
They provided us with expert description of the wildlife as well as tips for optimal kayaking.
We started the trip by loading all 10 kayaks. I was amazed at the amount of stuff they can carry. You are given a small and a large (30L) dry bag to fit the belonging you take with you for the entire trip. Next you load the tent, sleeping mat and bag as well as the food, water and supplies needed for 5 days.
You really leave civilization behind. No cell signal or charging station :-).
Each day follows a similar pattern: wake up, eat freshly prepared breakfast, pack up, kayak for 2-3 hours, stop for lunch, kayak for another 2-3 hours, unload kayaks and pitch your tent. Eat a gourmet dinner and enjoy a campfire, go to bed.
I brought some books but ended up having no time to read at all. The group was fun to chat with. We also enjoyed seeing shooting stars from the Perseids.
Each day we got to another location to stop for the night, basically circling Read Island. We stopped on Quadra, Read, Rendezvous, Cortes and Breton Islands.
We saw tons of wildlife up close including, sea stars, anemones, nudibranches, crabs, jellyfish, a spotted ratfish, otters, seals, a sea lion, eagles, white-sided dolphins and humpback whales!
The best way to pack is to bring synthetic clothes that can dry fast for the kayaking part and some cotton to be comfy at the camp.
Recommendation: bring your own alcohol to enjoy for dinner and around the campfire.
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