To ensure available for sea kayak trips on the your preferred dates it's best done in advance of summer. This ensures that you get your trip setup well before May rolls around. Advance planning ensures a successful trip. We recommend you reserve transport and kayaks a minimum of two months prior to your departure dates. Early booking helps us ensure that we have the kayaks, gear and transport you want for the dates you requested. And we can work out an kinks or changes prior to departure.
Transport with Rentals....We can only offer kayak rentals to folks who book our transport services. This ensures our liability for rentals and care of the kayaks. Each morning we load from Port McNeill but we do service pickups and dropoff in Telegraph Cove. Fees are charged for us using the cove and we hand these fees on you for launches, docking and parking vehicles. And it is possible that rising fuel costs will effect our service charges to you and your group/family.
Your Level of Experience… We are looking for a track record of recent experience paddling on fresh or salt water in canoes or kayaks. Tell us how recent you have been actively paddling. If you haven’t been paddling for a few years we encourage you to take a refresher course, a guided tour or get out on the water with a friend before you venture into our neck of the woods. We are looking for recent experience on water, CURRENT Paddle Canada Certification, BCU Certification, USA-ACA Certification or other recent training courses.
The weather patterns of Johnstone Strait and the Broughtons are variable but predictable.. This merits a healthy respect every day you plan to venture out on the water. Planning, caution and preparation are the essentials to a positive paddling experience on the waters of North Vancouver Island. We require that you document your experience and the same for all who rent from us.
As part of your rental agreement we require you to document your canoeing or sea kayaking experience. We will email you three’ documents. You will need to read, understand and sign these documents before we can confirm your rental/transport/planning booking. Within your group one or more kayak renters should have taken a formal course in kayak rescues and navigation. We suggest that you take an introduction sea kayak course at a local outfiitters or if you are in Canada take a Paddle Canada Course. Regardless. our waters are challenging, so if you can get out on the water before you come to the North Island it gives you an advantage for a base from which to enjoy your paddling experience.
Your Planned Route… We will also email you a ‘Sail Plan’ document. We require you to supply us with your planned route. We consider this plan essential for the success of any sea kayaking trip in Johnstone Strait, Nigel Group, Blackfish Sound or the Broughton Archipelago. We see this plan as a valuable safety measure for you and it helps us reach you during your trip if necessary. In the past this has worked well for both parties. Upon picking up your rentals we will update you on weather and check with you on your Sail Plan.
TCSKC strongly recommend that you come equipped with the following devices for your trip.
TCSKC actually REQUIRE you and members of your group to have the following items with you and know how to use them. Get the chart and laminate it into sections for your trip. The common chart for the area is Chart #3546. Note: Other maps are not effective for navigational purposes. TCSKC also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the area via Google Earth and other applications before coming to the North Island.
Two/Three Communication Devices: A VHF radio, cell phone, satellite phone or SPOT that is registered with the carrier for this area. Bring extra batteries, the charger for you cell phone (to charge up your cell phone just prior to departure). Rogers offers service in Johnstone Strait but there is no service in Broughton. You should be properly trained in use of the communication devices and have an understanding of the protocol to call for assistance over the VHF radio.
Signaling Device: Mirror, horn or strobe light and an ability to demonstrate distress signaling techniques. And ask us for the information you need for a distress call out. Coast Guard response is from Sonitula and takes 30-40 minutes.
Updated First Aid Kit and FA Certifications: Having a wilderness first aid certification and having a place to practice it are essential if you are going into the backcountry. We strongly suggest that you have more than one person in the group with this certification and local knowledge for getting help if you need it in the case of an incident or accident on your trip.
Please Note: If you require a VHF radio we have them on hand for rent. We offer a transport service to our renters to get you to your paddling destination safely and quickly.
If you want assistance or guidance with planning the paddling and navigating part of your trip...Larry Roy offers a one on one planning service for a fee to have you work through a sequence of steps to prepare for your trip in the waters of the Broughton Archipelago, Blackfish Sound, Knight Inlet, Johnstone Strait and the inlets off Queen Charlotte Sound up to Cape Caution.