These 4 days of kayak instruction and camping in the beautiful Gulf Islands are a perfect way to learn the skills you need to be confident in a kayak on the water. Learning the theory portion of this course in a beautiful Gulf Island Park and practicing the skills on the water during your 4 days of paddling, makes this course a great way to take that step towards your confidence in your kayak on our beautiful ocean.
We will be covering strokes, braces, rescues, weather, charts, tides/currents, safety and navigation. This expedition course is appropriate for beginner to intermediate paddlers who wish to gain knowledge and become more confident and competent.
Successful completion of this course will certify you with Level 1 Skills through Paddle Canada and provides the skill and knowledge necessary for daylong sea kayaking trips in sheltered waters in the company of one or more paddlers with equal or greater skill and knowledge.
On this kayak course/expedition, we will be kayaking over to Prevost Island, just South East of Ganges Harbour, to spend 3 nights in a beautiful beach access only campsite, where your course will be held.
Prevost Island, or Hwu'eshwum ("Place of Seals") as it is known by the Hul'q'umi'num First Nation, is a fantastic kayaking destination offering abundant wildlife (the possibility of Orca sightings if you time it right), pristine forest wilderness and incredible vistas!
**The route options offered are not guaranteed. Our route is determined by wind, weather and other factors our guides take into consideration. There are many gems to explore and every route has amazing things to offer.
We will launch our packed boats from our private dock at the Salt Spring Marina, paddle past the Chain Islets, stopping at the beautiful Chocolate Beach for lunch. After, we will carry on out to James Bay on Prevost Island. We will set up camp and a kitchen in the old apple orchard in James Bay, part of the Gulf Islands National Park system. We will then proceed to enjoy a glass of wine and some delicacies while watching the sunset over the Coast Mountains.
Time to get this course going! For the next 2 days you will be in and out of the water, spending time on land with your theory and then getting in the kayak and practicing all those skills! The things you will cover during the two days are: strokes, braces, rescues, weather, charts, tides/currents, safety and navigation. Prevost Island offers a great diversity in paddling conditions, and a ton of wildlife and scenic beauty to enjoy during your course.
Things to see: Ecologically significant Hawkins Islets next to Prevost. Meandering kelp beds and shallows of the islets, a plethora of small fish, crabs, sea stars, otters, seals and bird life. Portlock Point lighthouse, built in 1895 on three sides, protecting the most visible part of Prevost Island seen by ferry passengers as they exit Active Pass on the way to Victoria.
After a world-class breakfast, we pack up the boats and head to the Mid Channel Islands on the opposite side of Ganges Harbour. The Mid Channel Islands are protected islets deemed of high ecological importance. They are one of the last places in the region you will find the threatened Prickly Pear Cactus. It’s also a valuable seal haul out and a nesting site for Oystercatchers. We end the trip back at Salt Spring Adventures beach in Ganges Harbour before 5:00 pm.
A fully catered tour complete with the best organic, local ingredients and wines BC has to offer. A typical first night’s meal on the Gulf Islands Explorer tour includes:
A self-catered tour where you plan and create your meals. Self-cater tours cost about 20% less and are a great option for budget-minded paddlers who want the professional leadership and local knowledge of our guides, but would like to save a few bucks making meals for themselves.
Please alert us of any special dietary concerns when booking your tour.
Instructor Student Ratio:
1:4 (MAX) to ensure you of the best instructional experience possible! Another Undercurrents advantage!
What to Bring:
Chart number 3442, some pencils, notebook and compass would be an asset, but not necessary. Bring immersion gear such as a wetsuit or drysuit, to allow or more play time in the water! A shorty or Farmer Jane/John wetsuit would do for this course as well.
Kayak and related gear is provided. You are encouraged to learn in your own kayak, if you own one and if it has sealed airspaces at each end and a perimeter line.
This clinic is designed for adults and all participants must be at least 16 years old. Children 12-15 are welcome to participate if a parent is also registered in the clinic.
All participants are required to complete and sign our standard waiver.
If you seek further development after this course, you can take the Paddle Canada Level 2 skills course, or become a Paddle Canada kayak basic skills instructor. We encourage all paddlers to use the time between courses to nail-down their newly learned skills.
Paddle Canada Basic Skills or equivalent is an asset, but there is no prerequisite for this course. You will learn more and enjoy it more if you have done some kayaking previously.
Our guides are certified in Wilderness First Aid, have been trained by the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC, and are well-learned nature geeks who know their stuff. All tours prices include use of life jackets, spray skirts (they keep the water out), and paddles. Our guides carry a wide array of safety equipment, including first aid kits, cell phones, VHF radios, spare clothes, and more. Your safety is our highest priority.
Some of our kayaks fit two and a half people! They are very stable boats, equipped with a middle hatch seat designed to carry your 2-3 year old special someone, who then has the important job of being "the look out" for BC wildlife. Your child will have an incredible time, making memories, exploring the natural world with you!
Child Age 4-6 FREE with two adults
Child Age 7-11 10% OFF with one adult
We do our very best to give every customer their money’s worth, which is why on any Salt Spring Adventure Co. Ltd. Expedition there is the opportunity for you to learn more about the finer points of kayaking such as: