The wildlife can be spectacular; in fact, the Nuchatlitz is one of the few places on Vancouver Island where you can reliably view sea otters. After being hunted almost to extinction in the last century, their population is steadily growing, and now in the Nuchatlitz we can view large rafts of these playful creatures. But that’s not all - nearby Nootka Island has a healthy population of black bears that are often seen foraging along the beaches at low tide. The occasional late night howling of wolves can be heard and humpback whales are once again being seen more regularly. If you’re looking for a tour that encompasses sandy beaches, west coast scenery, and fantastic wildlife, try our five-day Nuchatlitz exploration.
We first meet the evening before the trip starts at 8:00 pm for a short pre-trip meeting with your guides. They will provide you with an overview of what to expect on your trip, provide you with dry bags to pack your personal items and to answer any last minute questions you may have.
We are picked up by van at 8:00am for the 90 minute ride to the town of Zeballos. The van departs promptly so you will need to ensure you have already had breakfast and checked out of your room by this time. If necessary you will be able to store extra luggage at the hotel during your trip and leave your car parked in their lot free of charge . In Zeballos we will load our gear, kayaks and ourselves onto a boat for the ride to Nuchatlitz Inlet.
We will be dropped off at a protected beach in Nuchatlitz Inlet. This will be our camp site for the next 2 days. After setting up camp we will go over basic kayak instruction and safety considerations on shore. We will spend some time practising our kayak skills in sheltered water and once everyone is comfortable in their kayaks we will go for an afternoon paddle. There is a healthy population of sea otters in the Nuchatlitz area and we will be on the lookout for these furry creatures.
On day 2 we will paddle deeper into Nuchatlitz Inlet. The shallows are home to a dizzying array of sea stars and other inter-tidal life. Black bears are common on Nootka Island and if we are fortunate we may spot one foraging along the tide line.
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On the third day we break camp and begin to head towards the mouth of the inlet. This stretch of coastline is quite beautiful with many tiny pebble beaches and sea caves. As we get closer to the open ocean we may also spot sea lions on some of the tiny reefs and islets.
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We are able to avoid paddling the exposed coast by weaving through the many islets and reefs. It is in these more protected waters that we will most likely see the sea otters in their highest concentrations.
When conditions are favourable we may also explore some of the more exposed islets and see some sea life that only lives on the exposed surf swept rocks.
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After breakfast we will break down camp and pack all of our gear one last time. We will return to Zeballos by water taxi and our van will be waiting to drive us back to Port McNeill at 2:00pm
Guests usually have time to catch the last flight out of Port Hardy or to catch a late evening ferry back to the mainland but if anything delays our plans you will miss your connections. For this reason we suggest that guests spend the last night at the Haida Way. Most guests choose this option and decide to get together that evening for a no-host farewell dinner in the hotel’s restaurant or pub.
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Canada British Columbia Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting Wildlife Viewing
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