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Sea Kayaking in the Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii ("Islands of the People") offers a variety of extreme experiences.
Sea Kayakers will experience extreme remoteness in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Lying only 30 miles south of Alaska, this collection of approximately 150 islands on the western edge of the continental shelf, extends further into the Pacific Ocean than any other part of Canada. (click for Google map)
Sea Kayakers are likely to encounter extreme paddling conditions in the Queen Charlotte Islands. While the average temperature is actually a moderate 46-degrees, it's the water that one must consider - waves thunder against the islands coastlines expending more energy than at any other coastline of equivalent length in Canada. Sea kayakers must have excellent paddling skills and equally excellent judgment when charting a route in this area and especially when attempting open crossings. Less experienced sea kayakers who want to experience the Queen Charlotte Islands should consider a guided trip in order to minimize the risk that is inherent with a kayaking expedition in this remote archipelago.
The Queen Charlotte islands also offer sea kayakers once-in-a-lifetime discoveries and paddling opportunities. The southern part of Moresby Island is Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (a Haida peoples heritage site). Sea kayakers, with appropriate arrangements and approvals made ahead of time, can even paddle into a remote bay on Anthony Island, dotted with stately ancient wooden mortuary (totem) poles towering above the beach.
The Queen Charlotte Islands offer Sea Kayakers many incentives to venture out into it's waters - but be forewarned -- this is an ancient, remote, protected and wild area. Do your research ahead of time, consider hiring a local guide, and investigate the permits required (and get approvals ahead of time) if you intend to experience some of the culturally protected areas.
British Columbia, Canada offers some unparalleled sea kayaking destinations. For many sea kayakers, the Queen Charlotte Islands are at the top of that list.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
The Wild Coast Volume 2: A Kayaking, Hiking and Recreational Guide for the North and Central B.C. Coast by John Kimantas. This book outlines the journey from North Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. Each chapter explores BC's remote stretch of coastline and has information on the history, geography, weather, ecology, attractions and services. Contains detailed maps. Order now...
Sea Kayak the Gulf Islands by Mary Ann Snowden. This guide leads paddlers of all levels to the best kayaking waters on the BC coast. Resources include 23 trips that are outlined with information on tides, currents, safety, charts and launching. Order now...
Paddling Through History: Sea Kayak Vancouver and Victoria by Aileen Stalker and Andrew Nolan. This inner city paddling guide enables you to explore the history with the story behind the people and places and explains the names and geology. This book is illustrated with maps and photographs. 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...
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...
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