Sea Kayaking around Quadra Island
The maze of protected channels, fjordal inlets, islands and the intricate shorelines of Quadra Island and the neighbouring Discovery Islands are a paddlers dream come true. The surrounding scenery of towering mountain spires of the mainland Coast Range, verdant forests and secluded beaches and coves are ideal for both the novice paddler looking for a quick introduction to this popular west coast activity and the experienced adventurer seeking to explore this beautiful and rugged part of the British Columbia Coast.
Local sea kayak tour operators run day tours and overnight trips from Quadra Island as well as to destinations throughout the Discovery Islands, the west coast of Vancouver Island and kayaking with killer whales in Johnstone Strait (the summer home of the orcas). There are also lodge-based kayak tours available. Sea kayaks are also available to rent and several of the local outfitters also sell kayaks and a variety of equipment to get you on your way.
If you are planning your own trip to paddle in the Discovery Islands you'll receive a warm welcome from the local tour guides who can help with that extra bit of local knowledge, charts, weather forecasts and tidal current charts. The map below shows some of the trips possible around Quadra Island highlighting Kayak put-ins, parking, camp sites and a few of the places to take extra care with currents and tidal rapids. Although the Discovery Islands are for the most part sheltered on the 'inside passage' the weather can blow up into serious storms and the narrow waterways create boiling tidal rapids and whirlpools which can create challenging paddling conditions for even the most experienced kayaker.
There are excellent day tours from Heriot Bay and Surge Narrows amongst the exquisite islands and channels surrounding Quadra Island. Highlight day-trip areas include the Breton Islands, Drew Harbour, Surge Narrows, Octopus Islands and Granite Bay.
Generally the sea conditions and weather, especially in summer are calm making for some perfect paddling. Of course conditions can change rapidly so for your early experiences joining a guided group is highly recommended. In places surging tidal rapids are an experienced paddlers playground.
Keep a look out for wildlife while on the water. Bald eagles, seals, sea lions, otters and great blue herons are all frequently sighted. It's a lucky day that see dolphins, orcas or whales pass by, and it could happen! There's much to see and explore while kayaking aroiund Quadra Island. So much that you may find yourself lingering for the magic hour of the day to watch the sunset from your kayak.
Discovery Islands Lodge B&B Kayak Inn – Rustic but comfortable oceanfront accommodation near wilderness parks, trails, lakes & sea kayak paradise; affordable single, double & family rooms; kitchen facilities; wood-fired sauna; spectacular location. Multi-day kayak expeditions; marine park tours; canoe & kayak rentals. Instruction available. Observe whales, seals, & porpoise from our front deck. Voted one of Canada's top 50 places to stay by National Geographic Traveler.
Join Quadra’s local experts for your play time on the ocean! Sea kayaking tours, lessons and rentals from our waterfront location in Heriot Bay. We offer full day paddles (10-4), two half day paddles: morning (9-12) or afternoon (2-5) and sunset paddles (6-9, times may vary). Free ferry pickup, no experience necessary, yummy food provided on all tours. Coffee & smoothie bar.Located in Heriot Bay at the 'Yak Shack'
Ph: 250-285-3400 Toll free 1-877-475-8687
Spirit of the West Adventures, on Quadra Island, is the perfect base for kayaking with the killer whales in Johnstone Strait. Spirit of the West offers 6 day expeditions as well as a 4 day base camping trip across from the world famous orca rubbing beaches of Robson Bight. We also kayak Desolation Sound and the Nuchatlitz Marine Park.
Ph: 1 250 285 2121
Toll free: 1 800 307 3982
Providing all-inclusive multi-day sea kayak expeditions and luxury kayak basecamp trips in Johnstone Strait to view killer whales. Kayak and Paddleboard rentals as well as Guided Day Tours are available at our storefront on Quadra Island beside Cafe Aroma in Quathiaski Cove.