Kayaking the Calm Protected Waters of the Gulf Islands
A perfect introduction to sea-kayaking for those unsure of a longer expedition. We enjoy a delightful route through the scattered islands of the Stuart and Pylades Channels. Embarking from Cedar-by-the-Sea, just minutes south of Nanaimo, well explore the DeCourcy Group where calm waters, gorgeous shorelines, sandy beaches and a variety of sea/wildlife await our pleasure.
3 Day Gulf Islands Camping Tour
If the islands of the DeCourcy Group in the Pylades and Stuart Channel could speak, what strange and bizarre tales they would tell—of Brother XII and his religious cult, The Aquarian Foundation, buried gold, strange disappearances and smuggling. The calm waters and stunningly beautiful shorelines along these islands of this gorgeous archipelago make this expedition a superb weekend of adventure and discovery. We’ll spend three days exploring these island gems and venture across to the virtually uninhabited Valdez Island with its magnificent sandstone cliffs, inviting hiking trails, fantastic beaches of Blackberry point, and mysterious caves which await our pleasure. Soaring eagles, ever curious harbour seals, promising fishing and shellfish gathering, and snorkeling (for those willing to brave the chilly waters) are just some of what’s in store.
2023 Tour Dates
Offered every Friday-Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday from mid- April to mid-October.
Price: $850 Cdn. plus 5% GST
Place: We launch from the boat launch/beach at the end of Nelson Road in Cedar-by-the-Sea, just minutes south of Nanaimo, at 10:30AM and return to the same at 2:30-3PM on Day#3.
3 Day Itinerary
All participants meet at the Cedar by the Sea boat launch/beach at the
end of Nelson Road in Cedar by the Sea at 10:30 am. on Day#1 (15mins. south of Nanaimo.. Here the guides will assign you to a kayak and help you get your personal gear stowed away. When everyone is ready, we’ll go over some basic paddling fundamentals and a safety orientation and then launch into the waters of Stuart Channel. With helpful advice and instruction from your guides, it won’t take long till you feel you’re getting the “hang of it” as we paddle through a maze of islands making up the DeCourcy
Archipelago. These waters are home to inquisitive river otters and harbor seals, and it is not uncommon for us to encounter these playful mammals within the first few hours of our day. After a couple of hours, we’ll land on one of the gorgeous islet beaches and you can sit back and enjoy a delicious lunch the guides will prepare. After lunch we’ll launch the kayaks and make our way across Pyladdes Channel to the coastline of Valdez Island where we’ll camp for the next 2 nights. After landing the kayaks, having a
tour of the area and getting your tent site picked out, your free to unpack and explore the area, go for a
swim or just lie back with a book and enjoy. For those wanting to use their leg muscles, several gorgeous hikes through a maze of trails on the Island is an option. A sumptuous dinner, roaring fire and a canopy of
stars above is the evenings entertainment to the end of a fantastic first day.
You’ll wake to the sounds of gentle waves breaking calmly on the beach, mere metres away from your tent…what a great sound! After a delicious breakfast, we’ll pack up a lunch for the day and set out into
the spectacular Pylades and Trincomali Channels. We’ll enjoy another great day of paddling, lunch on one of the many islet beaches in the area and for the intrepid adventurer, we can climb/scramble to the highest peak on Valdez, Mexicana Hill, where an awesome view of the entire Channel and islands of the Strait is visible. Time to relax those muscles with a swim, sip a glass of wine and relive the day’s adventures over some refreshments while the guides whip up another great culinary creation.
We’ll wake to the aroma’s of coffee, cooked breakfast and the sounds of the lapping waves for our final day in the gorgeous Gulf Islands. After breakfast, we’ll break “camp” and load up all the kayaks with our gear…”this stuff should all fit, shouldn’t it?”. We’ll then bid good bye to our lovely Valdez Island and make our way back. Along the gorgeous route back, we may be spoilt again with a “show” of otters, ever curious seals following behind or an eagle perched above. We’ll stop on one of the beaches along the way for another great lunch. With the tides in our favor and sunshine and warm breezes on our faces, we should arrive back at our embarkation point of Cedar by the Sea between 2:30pm and 3:00pm. We’ll then haul the kayaks back up to the launching area where we’ll unload our gear, exchange emails and bid our goodbyes and adieus.
What our client say!
“…Everything was great – the food, the people, the activities…overall it was a great vacation and we managed to even forget the day of the week and lost total track of time…what a great feeling!”
– Kevin and Heidi Heidrich , Portland, OR.
“…a short note of thanks for such a wonderful time in your company. My daytrip with Wild Heart has rekindled a love of the water and reminded me how much I love the outdoors. I never would have thought it possible to see otters, seals, deer, eagles by the dozen and so many colourful starfish all in the course of a days outing…the lunch was outstanding…I know that I will return to take a longer trip with you soon.”
– Allan Drysdale , Chicago, IL.
“Thanks so much…The George family had a great time and will hold fond memories of our trip with you for a long time”.
– Rick George and Family, Calgary, Alberta
“Thanks for a great kayak trip. Keith and I had an excellent time! Now I’m hooked on kayaking!”
– Deb Parliament , Calgary, Alta.
“…the food, the experience, so say nothing about the fantastic weather, was just what I had hoped for. Thank you to all of you.”
– Gina Jarvis, Victoria, B.C.