Written on June 27, 2014 at 3:00 am, by Scott
Written on June 28, 2013 at 3:30 am, by Scott
Nootka Adventure – Sea Kayaking
AGE GROUP: 14-16
Length: 8 DAYS
Dates: July 20-27, 2013
Skills: Backcountry Basics, Kayak Strokes & Rescues, Ocean Travel, Marine Navigation and Weather, Surf Landings and Launchings, Trip Safety
A moderately challenging sea kayak trip in Nootka Sound, a little known remote and wildlife rich destination on Vancouver Island’s west coast.
We’re not sure why more people don’t sea kayak in Nootka Sound, but we’re not complaining. The rugged coast near Gold River on the west side of Vancouver Island is a sea kayaker’s dream. There are dozens of islands, empty beaches, tidal pools galore, coves, inlets and passages to explore and resident whales, sea lions and sea otters to spot. On this 8-day adventure we’ll learn about thousands of years of First Nation history, hundreds of years of European occupation, the tides, weather and ocean navigation all while visiting some of the best campsites on the coast.
Day 1: After arriving at Strathcona you’ll meet your fellow Expedition members and your instructors. As a group you’ll begin planning your trip, including an introduction to sea kayaking skills, strokes and rescues. Dinner is in the Whale Room and the group will sleep at the lodge’s base camp.
Day 2: The adventure beings after breakfast with a van ride to the Nootka Sound. In a quiet marina you’ll pack your kayak and set off across the sheltered waters following the coast of Bligh Island. As you paddle past coves and small beaches you’ll begin to get comfortable in your sea kayak. By late afternoon the group will begin looking for a good place to camp for the night.
Day 3-6: Over the next several days time is spent learning the backcountry basics as well as exploring the islands, beaches and shores of Nootka Sound. You may spend time fishing for dinner, or scrambling around tidal pools teeming with new and exciting sights, or you may just lay back and float, enjoying the peaceful solitude of the Sound. You may visit Friendly Cove where Captain Cook landed in 1778. Here you are introduced to the First Nations people and culture of this region. Being in the wilderness means attending to the essentials. As days pass you will find you have honed many of your camping skills and your group begins to take over more responsibility from your instructors, taking over the navigation, campsite selection and set-up, and meal planning and preparation. It is your opportunity to use everything you have learned to finish your journey and succeed as a team.
Day 7: The last strokes return you and your group to the marina where a van will be waiting to take you back to the Lodge, a warm shower, a celebratory meal and a final night with your group.
Day 8: On your final day campers clean up, pack up and head home knowing you have accomplished more than you likely thought possible; proud of your new skills, increased confidence and shared memories.
Written on June 6, 2013 at 3:30 am, by Scott
New for 2013!! Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Adventurous Journey
AGE GROUP: 16-18
Length: 6 DAYS
Date: July 2-7, 2013
Skills: Trip Planning and Preparation, Backcountry Basics, Paddle Strokes, Canoe Tripping, Map and Compass, Navigation
The Gold Adventurous Journey will take participants on a multi-day canoe trip of the scenic Sayward Canoe Circuit on Vancouver Island. This 48 km chain of lakes, creeks and portages is an ideal destination for the aspiring canoeist. The trip is designed to specifically meet the criteria of the Gold level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and includes the preliminary training, practice journey and expedition. The journey is supervised by two Strathcona Park Lodge outdoor instructors and all group gear, canoes, meals and shuttles are all included.
Prior to the trip participants will receive a worksheet to complete and bring with them to help get started with the preliminary training.
Day 1: Participants will be met in Campbell River or can be dropped off at Strathcona Park Lodge. The first afternoon will be spent getting to know other members of the group and the instructors while getting right into planning for the expedition. Going over gear, discussing the route and getting on the water the first day will build excitement for the trip ahead. A hearty dinner in the Whale Room will fill you up and prepare you for the first night camping on property. This night counts as the first practice journey for participants entering directly into Gold.
Day 2: Final preparations in the morning, loading the canoes on the trailer, lunch in the Whale Room and then into the van for the short drive to the put-in for the start of the journey. A short paddle to a campsite is perfect to hone paddling and steering skills. The first night out with the canoes will count as the second practice journey.
Days 3 – 5: According to the Duke of Ed participant’s record book, the expedition is to be a demanding journey – and these days will be. From the time you break camp in the morning until you lay down in your sleeping bag at night, you can expect to paddle, portage and work together to travel over the water and land of this scenic area. Along the way you’ll check out small islands, isolated beaches, stands of old growth trees, and old trestle bridges that are remnants of the logging railroads that used to crisscross the landscape.
Day 6: Your final day begins in camp and ends when you board the shuttle for the trip home. By now your packing and paddling skills will be dialled in and the last few kilometres will glide by. Back at the lodge there will just be time to clean up, change and fill in your record book before heading to Campbell River on your return journey. All that is left for you to do is write up your trip report and enjoy the rest of the summer.