Outer Coast Expedition • 15 Days
Group size is four participants plus two guides.
This advanced expedition is suitable for experienced kayakers only.
Advance registration is required.
The Outer Coast Expedition is designed for experienced kayakers who have previously paddled with Butterfly Tours or Evolution Guide School.
Weather and sea state are constant considerations during this advanced expedition. To accommodate changeable outer coast conditions, the itinerary remains completely adaptable. Paddlers on this expedition can expect to spend several days on shore, waiting for conditions to become stable enough for the next open coast traverse. Each expedition member must maintain an attitude of maximum flexibility in order to adapt to this challenging environment.
2018 Outer Coast Expedition - Kunghit Island Exploration
The trip begins on August 11, 2018 in Sandspit, British Columbia. Participants are picked up in the morning at Seaport B&B (or another Sandspit accommodation of your choice) for the one-hour van ride to Moresby Camp. Here, you board a large Zodiac-style speedboat for transport to Rose Harbour.
Our expedition initially visits SGang Gwaay.
We then paddle down the west side of Kunghit Island to land in Gilbert Bay, an expansive and rarely visited white-sand surf beach. Here, we may camp for a while to await the appropriate combination of wind, weather, sea conditions and tidal currents before approaching Cape Saint James, at the southern tip of the archipelago.
Traversing the exposed outer coast of Haida Gwaii by kayak is an entirely humbling experience. We paddle when conditions permit and remain on shore when awaiting the next "window of opportunity." There are likely to be some extended kayaking days as we traverse offshore, paddling along miles of rugged sea cliffs.
With favourable conditions, we round the cape and land in Woodruff Bay, on the east side of Kunghit Island. From here, we may launch a day-trip to Saint James Island, where we can climb to the unmanned lighthouse and enjoy the spectacular view. This region is also home to a large population of sea lions.
Our trip continues up the east side of Kunghit Island. Few kayakers venture on this remote and exposed route. We paddle by the cliff-dwelling puffin colonies of Lyman Point and eventually return to Houston Stewart Channel to complete our circumnavigation of Kunghit Island.
Gord has guided this route a few times during the past four decades. Sometimes, outer coast conditions make Cape Saint James very challenging for kayakers. Before approaching the cape, we may camp for several days until a favourable "window of opportunity" occurs. During this fifteen-day expedition, it is likely we will experience a favourable window; however, if no suitable opportunity occurs, we will not venture to Cape Saint James. Instead, we may explore alternative outer coast regions of Kunghit and Moresby Islands.
We return to Rose Harbour on the second-to-last day to enjoy dinner hosted by the local residents. Our last night is spent in Götz's guesthouse.
On August 25, the speedboat arrives in Rose Harbour to transport the group to Sandspit. At the end of the day, you are returned to Seaport B&B, or another Sandspit accommodation of your choice.
Kunghit Island Map
Outer Coast Expedition group size is up to four participants plus guides.
The expedition price is CAD $4650 plus tax per person.
Due to the extraordinary nature of the Outer Coast Expedition, three advance registrations are required in order to confirm the trip.
Expedition participants may register by providing a CAD $2000 (USD $1500) deposit.
If a participant cancels, their payment is non-refundable. Trip cancellation insurance is recommended.
Full payment is due on February 1, 2018. If less than three reservations are confirmed by February, the Outer Coast Expedition becomes cancelled and payments are refunded.
The route and itinerary remain flexible to accommodate changeable conditions.
The Outer Coast Expedition may include an additional apprentice guide.
Alternate boat or floatplane transport may be substituted.