2016 Transport & Sea Kayak Services
For more than (20) twenty years we have served a growing paddling community from local and faraway places.
This year we are offering an updated kayak fleet and an ever-growing summer schedule that will service groups that book both rentals and transport.
We enjoy providing rentals and transport to make your group trip a safe experience.
For the 2016 season and beyond we will be operating our business from two locations, Telegraph Cove and Port McNeill Harbours. We will be open for business on June 2nd but will once again take bookings far in advance of the summer.
We will be looking for groups to have at least two members with “PADDLE CANADA LEVEL ONE OR TWO CERTIFICATIONS OR EQUIVALENT.” Transport services will be limited to a maximum group size of eight. As an alternative offers competitively prices guided sea kayak tours highlighting two basecamps, sea kayaks, tents on platforms, good food and knowledgeable guides. Check it out at www.orcaseakayaking.com
Launching from Port McNeill
Pro’s for using Port McNeill, BC as a transport launch point are many:
- Better access to the Broughton Archipelago.
- Easy loading off large dock area
- Secure parking
- A choice of four agencies for accommodations
- A choice of five restaurants for meals
- Regional grocery store and government liquor store.
- Two gas stations 1 km off the island highway.
- Secure private paid parking.
- Bicycle Shop good techic, kayak shop small retail.
- McNeill is located 7 kms from TC just off the highway.
Launching from Telegraph Cove
Pro’s for using Telegraph Cove, BC as a transport launch point are based from a two privately owned resorts:
- Better access to Johnstone Strait to Robson Bight.
- Limited loading off the Telegraph Ventures Boat Ramp.
- Paid launches, paid parking required.
- A choice of cabin, motel or tenting accommodations.
- A general store, coffee bar, restaurant and bones museum.
- New New Zealand styled mini-cabins in the TR campground.
- Access to Telegraph Cove is via a 10 km industrial/recreational road off the island highway. Watch for logging truck traffic and make sure external load is secured.
General Service Offered
We provide services to get you updated to explore the many islands and islets 0f Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound, Entrance of Knight Inlet, Drury Inlet and the Greater Broughton Archipelago. We are sea kayakers at heart and offer specialize transport services to camp destinations in the local areas. However, we CANNOT offer our services to folks who (a) do not bring the necessary nautical chart (b) require transport or (c) carry a VHF radio with a license for the radio. The common chart for the area is chart #3546.
In response for general information on the area, we have developed a consulting service for folks who request it. We offer a consulting service to make sure that you have everything you need for a great trip. This consulting service is available before and during transport to camp destinations. We would further encourage that you have a Paddle Canadian Cert and have someone in the group with a current WFA Cert.
To ensure your comfort and security, we carry an assortment of sea kayaks and supporting equipment for rental.
Your ultimate sea kayaking adventure can begin with us with a simply email, text message or phone call. Please include what you require in terms of services, departure dates and number of paddlers. We are around a cell phone 8 am – 8 pm starting in April and a computer a little less than that.
Our consulting service can be booked in advance @ firstname.lastname@example.org or text message to 1-250-619-2714. We encourage you to help the greater kayak community to maintain environmentally-sensitive campsites. Check out BC Parks etiquette page.
As the longest established kayak outfitter in this area with many years of experience, we are confident that we can provide the service you require for a successful experience in the wilderness settings within from Seymour Inlet to the Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound and the Broughton Archipelago.
Why choose US?
Our experience and reputation for reliable service stands on its own. We continue to provide reliable equipment and safe passage to destinations in the Broughtons, Johnstone Strait and the entrance to Knight Inlet.
“We put people and safety first…we believe that you will be our best ambassador – if we do a good job with you, your word of mouth will bring us your friends and acquaintances.”
What about Personal Safety?
Safety always starts with planning. Plan A, plan B, you cannot have too many plans. For your safety we require rental folks to truthfully document their experience from previous seasons. Secondly, we require that you to file a Sail Plan of your trip with us before your departure. This is considered your pre-trip planning agenda . And thirdly, we suggest that you have a safety checklist for your trip.
Everyone should know their limits as for eating, sleeping and paddling in calm and adverse conditions.
You should look at the area through Google Earth and carry a updated nautical chart of the area of Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound and the Broughton Archipelago.
We cannot rent to folks who do not bring the proper nautical charts and level of experience.
We recommend you have a a minimum of three (3) kayaks in a paddling group for safety reasons. And for any number above three (3) it is a good idea to take a double sea kayak amongst your fleet. We base our suggestions on years of guiding trips from Haida Gwaii to Broken Island on the WestCoast.
We advise you and members of your group to carry a number of communication devices between group or family members.
- Cell Phones
- Handheld VHF radios
- a SPOT
- Ireach and Stat Phones.
- We require you to leave multiple contact phone numbers with us in the event we have to get in touch with you for any reason.
Weather Updates Johnstone Strait and Southern Portion of the Broughton Areas
Courtesy of the Artists Point Bed and Breakfast, located 9 km south of Port McNeill over looking Haddington Island and Alert Bay in the background. For more information check out Environment Canada marine weather. http://www.theartistspoint.com/webcam.htm marine weather
Located minutes from from Telegraph Cove are the waters of North Area of Johnstone Strait. This large waterway lies in a east-west direction. It is 60 nautical miles long and stretches from Alert Bay to Seymour Narrows (Campbell River). The area that paddlers visit was established back some twenty years ago from Telegraph Cove to Robson Bight and the Blackney Passage. This waterway is active with Commercial sea kayak operators, public paddlers, commercial and recreational marine traffic, and a great variety of marine mammals during the summer months of June-October.
While this area of Johnstone Strait and the Broughton Archipelago is vast, a limited amount of camping areas are in constant use from public and commercial groups during the summer months. While Whale Watching is the prime activity, folks also embark on excellent Sport Fishing, Bear Watching, and Wildlife Viewing.
Consists of a Provincial Marine Park and Lands and Environment Islands, Islets and Passages that offers excellent seakayaking and wildlife viewing opportunities. A multitude of islands provides visitors open and sheltered waters set against a backdrop of the magnificent coastal mountains to the east and the waters of Queen Charlotte Strait to the west. These islands have been utilized by First Nation peoples for generations (6000 years) and there is ample evidence of their extensive use of the area. Seakayakers can easily “discover” evidence of midden beaches, old summer village sites and petroglyph while exploring the park. All areas can be visited by seakayakers but to stay overnight at focal sites one must connect up with BC Parks, Band Offices, North Island Kayak or Telegraph Cove Sea Kayaking Company (Us) to get updates on camping at these sensitive sites. Sites are used by commercial and public groups.
Broughton Archipelago Park, is B.C.’s largest marine park, consists of a wonderful collection of dozens of undeveloped islands and islets situated at the mouth of Knight Inlet on the west side of Queen Charlotte Strait near the north end of Vancouver Island.
Blackfish Sound is an active waterway that is located between Hansen Island and Swanson Island. To the northwest Blackfish Sound lays open to a much larger body of water called, Queen Charlotte Sound. Weather moves in and out of this area with an accompanying northwest or soundeast wind. Waters from Blackfish Sound connect to Johnstone Strait through Blackney Passage. Large numbers of recreational vessels, cruise ships and most of the Westcoasts tug traffic. Crossing are best done at times when traffic flow is low. Most camp spots are situated on the Southeast shores of Swanson Island, Compton Island and Harbledown Island. The waters of this area are constantly in motion. Adventurers are best to check with current tables to avoid paddling against significant currents on this waterway.
Part of the experience on coming to the area is to visit the quaint broad walk village of Telegraph Cove. It is the focal departure point for sea kayaking, whale watching, bear watching, sports fishing and time for me vacations. It is a perfect place to start your sea kayaking trip whether you are paddling out of the cove, being transported to the Broughton, or starting your trip at Paddlers Inn. In short, three options for lodged accommodations are offered in TC. Amongst these options you can room for overnight accommodations for couples, groups and large families. Book well in advance to guarantee that you get to stay where you choice too. Info below,
How to Get to tckayaks Port McNeill Office
Port McNeill located 366 kilometres (225 miles) north of Nanaimo, BC. From the BC Ferries terminal in Nanaimo the drive takes approximately 4.25 – 5.5 hours. If you have the time, driving to Port McNeill from points south is a scenic driving experience. If time is a factor, you can fly to Campbell River or Port Hardy Airports and transfer by taxi to Port McNeill. Visit our How to Get Here Page for directions.
How to Get to Telegraph Cove
Telegraph Cove is located 356 kilometres (220 miles) north of Nanaimo, BC. From the BC Ferries terminal in Nanaimo the drive takes approximately 4.25 – 5.5 hours. If you have the time, driving to Telegraph Cove from points south is a wonderful experience. If time is a factor you can fly to Campbell River or Port Hardy and transfer the rest of the way to Telegraph Cove. Visit our How to Get Here Page for directions.
Port McNeill, BC – History
Port McNeill was incorporated back in 1966. This summer will mark its 50th anniversary as a small active community on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. Port McNeill’s history is attached to the presence (9000 year ago) of fascinating native folk called the Kwakwaka‘wakw First Nation. Today, the Kwakwaka‘wakw constitute a significant minority in the region and majority in many smaller communities. They imbue the area with a rich cultural heritage and compelling history sure to capture the traveller’s imagination.
In the 1930s, loggers arrived and gave birth to a town. At first, water access was the only way to McNeill. As logging moved up the interior of the island roads became the best choose for a transportation route to a growing community. By the 1960s, the population had risen to 400, new businesses were afoot and a sense of community had begun to take shape. The new town was named after Captain Henry McNeill of the Hudson Bay Company’s SS Beaver, the first steamship on the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Modern “McNeillers” are a blend of loggers, service folks, artists, photographers, storekeepers, and a summer migration of people for all over the globe. In the summer the population increases moderately with an influx of folks wanting to whale watch, bear watch, sport fishermen and sea kayakers. The pioneering spirit lingers; this is a resilient, outgoing town where the sense of community runs large and deep. All this can be witnessed daily during the three months of summer. The big summer event is Port McNeill’s annual festival is OrcaFest. Festivities include a parade, activities for the kids and a potluck dinner complete with barbecued salmon.
Telegraph Cove, BC – History
Telegraph Cove, on Northeastern Vancouver Island, BC, began as a telegraph station in 1911 (the telegraph line still can be found along the new trail to Blinkhorn); in the 1920s, the Japanese built a successful salmon saltery, later a sawmill to build to provide shipping boxes for the salmon export; and as Canada entered into WWII telegraph coves location became important as a very busy sawmill town. Logging and local transport took over over the next decade. The Grahams purchased the cove from Wastel and put in the first campground in the North Island, not to mention the start of an active sport fishery. As we entered the 60’s logging was in decline and the cove became just another quiet small village on the Coast of BC. In the late 60’s Borrowman and MacKay changed all that. Thanks to their dedication and insight a whale watching industry started to take shape. Mr. Wagner developed the adjacent property is the late 80’s to establish and subdivision of homes and water front accommodations that remains available for rental throughout the three months of the summer. The facilities are well kept and comfortable for all ages.
These days, recreational pursuits based on nearby abundant wildlife and marine life are encouraging more people to find and part take in a day or multi-day wilderness experience. You can go bear viewing or just stroll the boardwalk and take in the Giant Fin Whale Skeleton in the Telegraph Cove Museum/Bones Project, a non profit, volunteer-driven museum of marine mammal bones. Visiting Telegraph Cove is a must if you want the complete experience of outdoor adventures on Northeastern Vancouver Island.
We also have a well established sea kayaking company that has offered guided sea kayaking adventures for over twenty years at www.orcaseakayaking.com.
Code of Conduct for viewing Whales in the Wild
Both our businesses tckayaks and Discovery Expeditions comply with the whale watching code to ensure that we do not disturb or alter the behavior or paths of whales in the area from Seymour Inlet to Johnstone Strait. We encourage folks who rent and transport with us aheard to the whale watching code. We suggest as part of your pre-trip prep that you visit the Department of Fishies website that post the guideline in print.
Be Whale Wise Marine Wildlife Guidelines for Boaters, Paddlers and Viewers (Revised 2006):
|1. BE CAUTIOUS and COURTEOUS: approach areas of known or suspected marine wildlife activity with extreme caution. Look in all directions before planning your approach or departure.2. SLOW DOWN: reduce speed to less than 7 knots when within 400 metres/yards of the nearest whale. Avoid abrupt course changes.3. KEEP CLEAR of the whales’ path. If whales are approaching you, cautiously move out of the way.4. DO NOT APPROACH whales from the front or from behind. Always approach and depart whales from the side, moving in a direction parallel to the direction of the whales.
5. DO NOT APPROACH or position your vessel kayak closer than 100 metres/300 yards to any whale.
6. If your vessel is not in compliance with the 100 metres/300 yards approach guideline (#5), place engine in neutral and allow whales to pass.
7. STAY on the OFFSHORE side of the whales when they are traveling close to shore.
8. LIMIT your viewing time to a recommended maximum of 30 minutes. This will minimize the cumulative impact of many vessels and give consideration to other viewers.
9. DO NOT swim with, touch or feed marine wildlife.
Bow and stern-riding porpoises and dolphins:
1. DO NOT drive through groups of porpoises or dolphins to encourage bow or stern-riding.
2. Should dolphins or porpoises choose to ride the bow wave of your vessel, avoid sudden course changes. Hold course and speed or reduce speed gradually.
Seals, sea lions and birds on land:
1. BE CAUTIOUS AND QUIET when around haul-outs and bird colonies, especially during breeding, nesting and pupping seasons (generally May to September).
2. REDUCE SPEED, minimize wake, wash and noise, and then slowly pass without stopping.
3. AVOID approaching closer than 100metres/300 yards to any marine mammals or birds.
4. PAY ATTENTION and move away, slowly and cautiously, at the first sign of disturbance or agitation.
5. DO NOT disturb, move, feed or touch any marine wildlife, including seal pups. If you are concerned about a potentially sick or stranded animal, contact your local stranding network where available.
The region near Telegraph Cove is without a doubt a focal area for sea kayaking on the BC Coast. We endeavour to work with other agencies to self regulate our transport within the Broughtons and Johnstone Strait. We still see this area as the best-kept secret on the BC Coast. So far it is working and we hope to keep it that way so all generations can enjoy the area in its’ entirety. We co-operate with agencies that monitor the whales and work with BC Parks to make the summer run smoothly.