Now a BC Marine Park, The Broughton Archipelago is rich in First Nations culture; the Kwakwaka'wakw have called this area home for countless millennia, and the abandoned villages and other cultural sites that we visit attest to this. An important ecological area that acts as a nursery for millions of fish, it’s also abundant in wildlife, with bears, eagles, deer, and seabird colonies all feeding off its’ plentiful waters.
These six-day tours will focus on exploring these areas from a series of island campsites. Highlights include: visits to abandoned First Nation villages, rich wildlife encounters, and traversing a tranquil wilderness area. This tour is scheduled during the first three weeks of June and can be added as a private trip anytime form May to September. From late June to mid-September we schedule our similar 6 day Orca Waters Explorer tour that combines a portion of the Broughton Archipelago tour with Johnstone Strait where we have greater chances of viewing orcas.
If you're looking for a quieter voyage in protected waters, with subtle beauty and a haunting resonance, perhaps the Broughton Archipelago is for you.
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 meet at 9:00am to begin our trip. All your gear is taken to our awaiting water taxi by our van and a short 5 minute walk takes us to the harbour where we board the water taxi to take us to our camp site (in inclement weather our van will return to drive you to the water taxi). 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.
At our first camp we go over basic kayak instruction and safety considerations on shore and then spend some time practising our kayak skills in sheltered water. Once everyone is comfortable in their kayaks we begin our journey.
During this tour we normally break camp three times, allowing us enough time to explore the areas surrounding each of our campsites before moving to the next. Our exact route and campsites will vary depending on the opportunities of viewing wildlife, current and tide conditions and the weather.
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The archipelago has been home for eons to the local first nations and more recently has also been home to fisherman, hand loggers and homesteaders. Throughout the islands evidence of past use are evident and we will visit the small community of Echo Bay and visit Billy Proctor’s Museum which is home to thousand of artefacts that Billy has collected throughout his life in the area. If the local native guardian is present we may also visit and tour the abandoned native village of Meem Quam Leese.
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Much of our paddling will be in the more protected inner passages of the archipelago but if conditions are favourable we may also explore some of the more exposed islets and reefs along Queen Charlotte Strait that are home to large sea bird colonies.
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Our last night in the wilderness. A time to relax around the campfire and enjoy a fresh salmon Barbecue.
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After breakfast we will break down camp and pack all of our gear one last time. We will have an opportunity for a short paddle before breaking for lunch and some shore exploration. After lunch we are picked up by water taxi for the return journey to Port McNeill. We are normally back at the Haida Way by 3:00 pm.
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. (B) (L)
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