Between the northern reaches of Vancouver Island and the remote mainland coast of British Columbia lies a geographically unique group of islands and islets. Called the Broughton Archipelago, this area is protected from, yet on the edge of, the open Pacific Ocean. Johnstone Strait flows from the southern edge of the Broughton and is the main route the Pacific salmon travel on their way to the Fraser River near Vancouver BC (one of the world’s largest salmon runs) and many other mainland and Vancouver Island rivers. In the Broughton – Johnstone Strait area, the Pacific currents funnel through the narrow tidal passages creating an astoundingly rich habitat for marine mammals, fish, birds and intertidal life. British Columbia’s resident orca population return here every summer, following the salmon that are necessary to their survival.
This kayak tour provides the ideal combination of stunning coastal wilderness paddling and spectacular wildlife viewing (gallery). With the Columbia III's onboard accommodation, we can easily travel to the untouched corners of the Broughton Archipelago (usually inaccessible by expedition kayakers) and position ourselves in "the right place at the right time" for the most unforgettable wildlife encounters.
Thank-you for what truly was an amazing and most enjoyable trip. I think I
have become your best salesman because I can't stop telling people about what a
great trip we had and what a fine bunch of people the Columbia III crew are. You
are giving people a chance to see the best of one of the world's most beautiful
spots in the very best way possible. Magic Stuff!
From me too, a warm thank-you to all of you for this lovely week! You are an impressive family. I loved it all - the kayaking along the edges was especially interesting, the food was scrumptious (every bite!) the company great fun and the boat very comfortable. Thanks for everything and see you next year in the Great Bear Rainforest!
Robert and Enneke, Vancouver, B.C. (by e-mail) 2007, 2008, 2009 whole boat charter, and 2013
Departing from Port McNeill after boarding at 6 p.m. we’ll spend our first night on the Columbia III at the historic BC First Nation’s coastal village of Alert Bay. Here we’ll take an evening walk to the beautiful seaside graveyard totems and the next morning visit the renowned U'mista Cultural Center famous for it’s Potlatch Collection. This sets the tone for our coming week in Kwakwaka’wakw territory as we paddle the sparkling mazelike passages amongst islands back- dropped by the snow-capped peaks of the Coast Mountains.
"From the "dry hat roll" to the whales, seals, and all manner of sea creatures to
the exquisite cooking and cheerful and knowledgeable crew - a wonderful time
kayaking and making new friends. All the very best of vacations! We'll be back!"
Jim and Kitty, Florida, USA
Our day's paddle begins shortly after a scrumptious breakfast. Once on the water we’ll keep a sharp lookout for both marine and terrestrial life. Bald eagles overhead, ravens calling, harbour seals swimming close to check us out, black bears foraging on the beach, a humpback whale blowing, Pacific white-sided dolphins playing in the waves, are all common sights from our kayaks in the Broughton. And of course we are always on the lookout for the orca. We carry a hydrophone aboard the Columbia III and can listen to the whale’s vocalizations. as well as watching and photographing them.
"Thanks again to the Campbell Family!! A great coastal "experience" is created by
your hospitality and an outstanding week of fun, laughter and wildlife. You
create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. You keep the trip fun
and are the role model experience that others should aspire to. Highlight of my
Kevin. Vancouver BC. 2005, 2007, 2009, 2009 (twice!) 2010, 2011, whole charter booked for 2012
"We are so glad we decided to come on a Mothership Adventure. Everything has far
exceeded our expectations. Great weather, great scenery, great paddling in a
variety of locations. Highlights are seeing 36 orcas on our first full day, and
kayaking with the sail!! So much fun, too many adventures. The food was fabulous
and you made us feel like family guests. Thank you so much. We will do our best
to spread the word to protect the environment for the wild salmon and all the
creatures who need them, including the magnificent orca."
Don & Judy California 2010
At lunch we’ll pull our kayaks ashore on a grassy islet or at an ancient First Nation’s village site and relax while we enjoy a delicious meal. The Broughton Archipelago had the highest concentration of First Nation’s peoples on all of the coast due to the richness of the sea and therefore the abundance of food. Shell middens, pictographs, clam digging beaches and burial sites are evident as we paddle through this area. Later in the afternoon we’ll meet the Columbia III in a different bay or cove, never needing to backtrack. A big advantage of mothershipping! There are always two guides with the group, so if some guests are energetic and want more time on the water and others are ready to return to the Columbia III, we can often accommodate both.
Once aboard you’ll enjoy a hot shower and appies while the Columbia III heads to the evening’s anchorage. In this way we’ll move through the beautiful Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago, creating each day around the needs and desires of our guests. If conditions are right, a night paddle to view the astounding bioluminescence that sparkles with each paddle stroke is a possibility. Walking in the rainforest, whale watching, visiting the local whale research station, relaxing aboard the Columbia III and of course plenty of paddling are all part of the Broughton tour. The Columbia III returns to Port McNeill at approximately 2 p.m. on the last day of the tour.
|2014 Broughton Archipelago and Johnstone Strait Tour Dates and Cost|
|July 8 - 12||4 nights||$2,195.00 CDN|
|July 13 - 17||4 nights||$2,195.00 CDN|
|July 18 - 22||4 nights||$2,195.00 CDN|
|July 23 - 27||4 nights||$2,195.00 CDN|
|July 28 - August 1||4 nights||$2,195.00 CDN|
|August 2 - 8||6 nights||$3,195.00 CDN|
|August 9 - 15||6 nights||$3,195.00 CDN|
|August 16 - 20||4 nights||$2,195.00 CDN|
Trip size limited to 8 - 10 participants. Our trips are all inclusive from the point of departure. Trip prices are per person in Canadian dollars plus 5% G.S.T. Exchange rates are updated every 15 minutes.