Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands
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Sea kayaking in Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands offers a full spectrum of paddling conditions - from sheltered inland kayaking conditions, ideal for experienced sea kayakers or new kayakers accompanied by an experienced guide- to fully exposed kayaking conditions including powerful winds, heavy swells and the full force of the Pacific Ocean, conditions which will challenge (and exhilarate) the most experienced sea kayaker.
Sea kayakers have more than 100 islands in Barkley Sound to explore (click for Barkley Sound area Google map). The Broken Islands are a destination that sea kayakers often fall in love with - a spot where one can explore clusters of islands, abundant marine life and enjoy great beauty found in this protected Canadian National Park.
Sea kayakers frequently launch into the Broken Islands from Toquart Bay. Kayakers should note, however, that to kayak out to the Broken Group Islands from Toquart Bay involves an open water crossing, recommended for experienced sea kayakers only.
Within the Broken Group Islands there are 8 campsites, run by Parks Canada. Details from Parks Canada about the Broken Group Islands are available at: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index.aspx.
Parks Canada staff patrol (by motor boat) the area -- be careful to camp only at designated sites. This area is ideal for exploring by day paddling and then returning to an island base camp each evening.
Islands further out (westward) in Barkley Sound are exposed to the harsh winds, swells and temperament of the open Pacific Ocean. Islands closer to the BC coastline (and Toquart Bay) provide more sheltered paddling conditions.
As with most spots on the west coast of Vancouver Island, local hazards include summer fog and strong afternoon westerly winds.
Explore the many islands, appreciate the abundant sea life and soak in the beauty of this area. Due to its popularity this can be a busy area in the summer months.
Ecosummer Expeditions. PO Box 177, Clearwater, BC V0E 1N0. Phone: 250-674-0102; Toll-free: 1-800-465-8884; Fax: 250-674-2197.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Sea Kayak Barkley & Clayoquot Sounds by Mary Ann Snowden. This guide covers kayaking on the west coast of Vancouver Island featuring the Barkley and Clayoquot sounds including the the Deer Group, the Broken Group Islands, and Vargas, Flores and Meares islands. Each route description has information on tides, currents, safety, launching, landings, campsites and the natural history. Order now...
Visions of the Wild: A Voyage by Kayak Around Vancouver Island by Maria Coffey and Dag Goering. This book covers and illustrates the journey of Vancouver Island in it's entirety. Colorful photographs and journal entries from this exciting kayaking journey chronicles the kayaking adventure of Canada's west coast. Order now...
Sea Kayak Around Vancouver Island by Doug Alderson. This guidebook has all the information needed for a weekend excursion to a summer tour. Each chapter covers a section of the island covering points of interest, access sites, safe travel routes and comfortable campsites. Order now...
The Wild Coast Volume 1: A Kayaking, Hiking and Recreation Guide for North and West Vancouver Island by John Kimantas. This kayaking and exploring guide is for the west coast of Vancouver Island. Each chapter describes a distinct area of the island and covers the history, geography, ecology, and attractions. Maps and photographs are included. Order now...
Kayak Routes of the Pacific Northwest Coast: From Northern Oregon to British Columbia's North Coast, 2nd Edition by Peter McGee and John Dowd. This guidebook provides detailed information on more than 30 kayak routes featuring required skill levels, length of trip, hazards, weather, currents, ferry and air travel, rentals and tours. Eighteen regions are explored from Oregon to British Columbia. Order now...
The Complete Sea Kayakers Handbook, 2nd Edition by Shelley Johnson. This book is your first step to adventure on the water, with everything you need to know, from buying a kayak to dressing for the water. Order now...
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