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Where the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.

 

 

 

What Our Guests Say

  • We truly had a fantastic hike! We appreciate all the organizing and coordinating in making it a wonderful time. Thank you for all of your lugging and slugging! It was an unforgettable time!

    --Carol, Carla, Liz, (Ontario) and Sabine (Austria)
  • I also very much appreciated both your help (and patience!). It was definitely an incredible trip and one I won't ever forget.

    --Tracy, British Columbia
  • The guides were very very professional and I felt very safe in terrain which is different from North Yorkshire. They produced meals from those rucksacks which my husband thought I was pulling his leg. We did see some envious looks from fellow campers too.

    --Kate, Scarborough, Great Britain
  • Thank you for an excellent West Coast Trail trip. I really appreciate all your hard work and guiding skills. It is what made the trip so memorable.

    --Kevin, Northwest Territories
  • We had a great time and all the aches and pains were worth it!! By the time we got back to my house we were feeling great. Elaine felt very proud of herself. Anyhow, I think you are amazing guide and I hope we didn't wear you out!

    --Denise and Elaine, Calgary

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The Tour

The Southern Gulf Islands are partly situated in the Gulf Island National Park Reserve, partly privately owned, partly First Nations Reserve, and partly provincial park. The diversity of experience possible in the Gulf Islands is very broad. In the rain shadow of the Vancouver Island mountains, the eastern side of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands enjoy a much drier climate than most of the rest of the province.

The landscape is a mixture of sandstone and arbutus, both of which give a rich experience of shapes and colors. Interesting currents flow between some of the islands, providing a little rush of excitement to those who are up to it.

The southern set of islands has more current areas and more boat traffic. The landscape here is very beautiful and dynamic. The northern group of islands has calmer waters and less traffic. Both areas are full of wildlife and beautiful land and seascapes.

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Itinerary

These are sample itineraries. (Because we are travelling in wilderness, itineraries can change. There are many factors that can affect how a tour actually runs.)

These trips begins in Victoria, where we will arrange your pickup to drive to the beginning tour.

The Southern Gulf Islands tours depend on conditions, length of the tour, and use by others in the areas. The following itinerary synopses are subject to change for these reasons.

Day 1: Meet, drive to put in location. Orient to kayaking, launch and paddel. We will stop for lunch along the way, arriving at our camp early afternoon, as the winds build. Afternoon in camp or exploring on foot.

Days 2, and/or3, and/or 4: Depending on trip length, we may establish a base camp and kayak around the area, returing to camp before any winds appear; or we paddle to a new camping location, exploring along the way.

Last Day (Day 3, or Day 4 , or Day 5): After breakfast, we pack up and begin our journey back to the put-in location, exploring along the way. Once we reach the put-in, we are unloading, packing up, and then leaving for hotels ferries, or vehicles.

Northern Itineraries:

Our Northern trips leave from Cedar-by-the-Sea or Yellow Point, both of which are located off the Island Highway between Nanaimo and Ladysmith, or Salt Spring Island. Depending on the number of days and conditions, we explore the bays, channels, and islands mainly to the north of Salt Spring Island. There is a wealth of paddling opportunities in this area. Most of the paddling here is very calm and protected, with little interaction with currents. Some of the possible stops include Pirate's Cove, Blackberry Point, Dionisio Point, Wallace Island, Tent Island, and Montague Harbour. Our trips end from where we start.

Southern Itineraries:

Our Southern trips leave from Sidney, Swartz Bay, or Oak Bay near Victoria. The Southern trips explore the islands south and east of Salt Spring Island. Some of the stops we may make are Portland Island, Fulford Harbour, Prevost Island, Montague Harbour, Mayne Island, the Penders, and Saturna Island. Most of the paddling here is calm and protected, but we have more considerations with currents, and certainly more considerations with large vessels, like ferries. Our trips end from where we started.

Day Trips:

Our Day Trips leave from either one of the Northern put-ins or from a location near Duncan, such as Maple Bay or Cowichan Bay. We paddle to one of the local "spots" that has something special, stop for a bit of light lunch, provided by Coastal Bliss, and head back to the put-in to finish the day, exploring the shores and sea life along the way. (All kayak trips are weather dependent.)

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What's Included

Coastal Bliss provides the essential elements of the trip for you:

West Coast Trail sample menu
SAMPLE MENU
  • Transportation from and to the departure location
  • All kayaking gear
  • Dry bags to keep your things dry
  • All park fees for the adventure
  • Professional guides
  • All meals (except on any travel days)             
  • tent (shared)
  • gear rental options
  • A substantial preparation guide

We can't provide everything. You will have to provide:

  • Water Boots or shoes
  • Some food (on travel days)
  • Your transportation to the departure location
  • Accommodation before or after the trip
  • Sleeping bags or mats (available for rent)

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Getting There

If you are travelling into the Vancouver, Victoria, or Nanaimo area from afar, you should arrive at the departure location for your trip the day/evening prior to the trip start date and plan to leave the day following trip return.

You can fly to Vancouver (airport code YVR) or Seattle (airport code SEA) then connect to Vancouver Island using ferry, bus, or air, or arrange flights directly to Vancouver Island.

Flying to Victoria (Airport code YYJ)

Flying to Nanaimo (Airport code YCD)

Nanaimo Airporter shuttle service.
Servicing all of Vancouver Island from airports to ferrys to cruise ship terminals.  Tel: 1 250 758-2133

BC Ferries 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779)
We will let you know the ferry to take for travelling to Vancouver Island, but if you want to check out times, you can go the the BC Ferries website at:
www.bcferries.com/schedules/

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Where to Stay

Victoria Pick up & Airport Hotels
Pick up: Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal, or the following Accommodations near the ferry or airport:

Travelodge Sydney Airport Hotel
Travelodge may offer Coastal Bliss Guests a lower rate per night (ask for us for the code before you book) and is an easy place for us to pick you up/drop you off before and after your tour with us.
2280 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC, CA, V8L 1X1
Phone:1 250 656 1176
Fax: 1-250-656-7344
Reservation: 1-866-656-1176
info@airporttravelodge.com
http://www.airporttravelodge.com/


If you are staying in Victoria after the tour, consider these near downtown Victoria accommodations:

The Strathcona Hotel
Address: 919 Douglas Street, Victoria B.C.
Phone: 250.383.7137
Website: http://www.strathconahotel.com/TheHotel.aspx

Ocean Island Inn
Address: 791 Pandora Ave. Victoria BC, Canada
Phone: Toll Free 1.888.888.4180
Website: http://oceanisland.com

Travelodge Victoria
229 Gorge Road East
Victoria, BC V9A 1L1
(250) 388-6611
Toll-Free Reservations: 1-800-565-3777
travelodge.com

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Preparing

How you prepare for your adventure is important. Being well prepared will enhance the quality of your experience. Because we are travelling in wilderness, it is very important for you and for the rest of your adventure group that you are fit enough to handle the level of difficulty and demand with no problems. Our guides know how to minimize the impact of these demands as much as possible, but they cannot remove them. The depth of your experience can only increase if you have made sure that you have prepared well.

Your preparation will be different for different activities. Preparing for a kayak trip is different from preparing for a hiking trip. We have provided some basic information that can be downloaded through the following links to pdf documents. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download it from the Adobe site by clicking here.

Use the links below to download some of the preparation files for this hiking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready. We've also included a couple of infographics to help you along.

 

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Need Gear?

We have gear available to rent if you don't want to buy a particular piece of equipment, or need to travel without it. 

Look over the following list to help you decide whether you want to rent. If you decide to rent gear, you can tell us on the phone or book it online with your tour.

Kayaking Tours:

Item  Cost
 Sleeping Bag Rental  $55.00
 Thermarest Rental  $15.00
 Rental Bundle 4-sleeping bag+sleeping pad+water booties  $65.00
 Helmet Rental  $10.00
 Water Booties Rental  $10.00
 Wetsuit Rental  $20.00

 

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We have rental gear available for most trips, in case you cannot bring your own.
Beginner: No kayaking experiene necessary. We work with you to make sure you are stable and safe. Typically, beginners kayak in double kayaks. If you are experienced, you may request a single kayak.