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Queen Charlotte Islands

Sea Kayaking in the Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii ("Islands of the People") offers a variety of extreme experiences.

Arial view of South Morseby Island, Queen Charlotte Islands. Go Northwest! photo by Dave Dean.

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.

Haida mortuary poles (all over 100 years old) found at Ninstints settlement on Anthony Island near the southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Anthony Island is a UNESCO International Heritage Site. Go Northwest! photo by Dave Dean.

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.

Sea Kayaking Outfitters

Adventure Associates. PO Box 16304, Seattle, WA 98116. Phone: 206-932-8352; Fax: 206-935-4789. E-mail

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