From the moment you start paddling from the beach in Tofino into Clayoquot Sound you know you are in a sea kayakers paradise. As the Tofino Harbour disappears in the background, your sense of discovery and exploration heighten as you can now see the open Pacific Ocean, feel its gentle groundswell. The further you get from Tofino around Vargas Island, the more exposure you’ll have to the swell of the Pacific. There are some fantastic campsites and you typically move camp at least once while attempting to circumnavigate Vargas Island. The sunsets here are spectacular as the sun disappears on the horizon over the ocean with the silhouette of the mountains and cedar trees framing your view. Having a campfire on the edge of Canada makes for lots of great memories.
There is lots of birdlife and we often see seals and increasingly so, sea otters. They have started to successfully repopulate this area in the past few years after they were hunted to extinction in this area. Porpises, dolphins and the occasional whale are not uncommon.
The cultural history of this area is strong and alive. There are several bands of the Nul-chah-nulth First Nations that have lived in this area for centuries. We paddle in the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nations. As we do, you’ll learn about these bands and their historic and present activities. You’ll also learn about the post contact culture as this area was very important for whaling, fishing and forestry.
When we get back to Tofino at the end of the trip, take some time to check out the local merchants and to grab a coffee or tea for the trip back to Port Alberni. Let us know what you’re looking for and we can usually recommend a few places.