Quatsino to Tofino, Vancouver Island


Sea Kayak - Quatsino to Tofino, Vancouver Island

A trip down the west coast of Vancouver island, rounding the Brooks and Hesquiat peninsulas and visiting the sounds and islands along the way.

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  • Sun, Jun 24, 2018 — Thu, Jul 19, 2018
  • Seattle Sea Kayaking
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Adults
  • Sea Kayak V
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 200.0 nm
  • Maximum Wind: 25 kts
  • Maximum Waves: 12 ft
  • Maximum Currents: 4 kts
  • Pace: 3.7 knots

To join the trip please first read the detailed description below, particularly the goals, expectations, and style.  If this is a trip you want to do then contact me.  First thing I’ll ask is that you write out your own goals, expectations, and style.  We will get together and discuss.  The purpose is to bring us into alignment.  It is important that your goals and needs are known and can be met.

If we have not already, we’ll paddle together.  Likely a day trip in the sound of 15nm or more, with other trip participants if possible.

Weekend of 4/27 to 4/29 (or 5/4 to 5/6) we will all go to Hobuck to camp and paddle together.  This trip is strenuous, the days will be full, so it is important we all start knowing group systems, rescues, and how to communicate and paddle together.

Trip schedule, as best known:

  • 6/24 - drive to Nanaimo (Water Park!)
  • 6/25 - drive to Winter Harbor
  • 6/26 - shuttle cars to Tofino and fly (float plane!) back to Winter Harbor
  • 6/27 - Paddle!  

15 days of 15nm gets us to Tofino.  Add extra days for weather, layover, exploration, short days, and we can expect to reach Tofino 7/17 to 7/21 and home that evening or a day latter.

Cost of the float plane for shuttle will be shared by all participants.  I estimate $1,200 but exact cost will not be known until the reservation is made - likely by mid January.

This is a long trip on the beautiful (though not all that remote) northern-central west coast of Vancouver island.  Notable features of the trip

  • A flight over our route for car shuttle drivers.
  • Continual outer coast paddling.
  • Visit beaches in Brooks Bay.  
  • Round the Brooks peninsula.  Conditions permitting, we will visit (no landing) Solandar Island to see where wind is made and spend the night at Nordstrom Creek.  
  • Paddle the coast from Acous Peninsula to Nookta Sound exploring islands and ocean beaches.  
  • Visit Yuquot (Friendly cove).
  • Camp on and round the Hesquiat Peninsula.
  • Visit Cougar Annie's Garden in Boat Basin (http://www.boatbasin.org/index.htm).
  • And bimble through Clayoquot sound before landing in Tofino
  • And, last but not least:  paddle between two geographic features whose names rhyme.

This is a long wilderness trip on the outer coast requiring participants to have a diversity of skills.  Most important: 

  • Comfort living in the wilderness
  • Paddling strength and endurance to make headway in winds and cover distance.
  • Cooperation and awareness of others needs so we form an effective and enjoyable team


I use goals, expectations, and style as a way to understand what I want and as a tool for discussion with other trip participants.  The more we are in alignment when the trip starts the more likely it will go smoothly and we will function as a happy, effective team.  Below is my list.  


  1. Be safe:  Aware of risk and management.
  2. Enjoy being out there, whatever conditions we encounter.
  3. Enjoy company of each other.
  4. Develop skills.
  5. Set aside time each day to be mindful and in the present.
  6. Round the Brooks Peninsula.
  7. Paddle to Solander, land and camp at Nordstrom Creek, land at Amos Creek.
  8. Explore Barrier Islands (off Kyuquot Bay Recreation Site).  One may have campsite on it.
  9. Visit Yuquot (Friendly Cove).
  10. Reach Tofino.


  1. Support the goals above.
  2. Think about and express your goals, expectations, and style.
  3. Have the skills and fitness required for the trip *
  1. Train skills as a group.  (Hobuck long weekend).
  2. Work as a team member to help the group be happy and accomplish our goals.
  3. In rougher conditions paddle as a close group for safety and to facilitate decisions.
  4. Bring necessary equipment in good condition.  
  5. Dress for immersion most of the time.  Wear a helmet in surf.
  6. Participate in group decision making.
  7. Abide by decisions made by the group or by the leader.
  8. Don't take risks that other group members do not support.

* Participant Skills

  1. Endurance to paddle 15nm days in sequence.
  2. Flat water pace of 3.7kt or more.
  3. Strength to paddle into 15 knot winds @ 3.0kt pace.
  4. Quick, efficient buddy rescue.
  5. Camp skills:  stoves, filters, tarp/bug tent, group systems.
  6. Able to camp in wet, cool conditions.
  7. Able to land and launch through 3ft surf.
  8. Able to paddle Deception pass in 5kt current.
  9. Good brace reflex - don’t tip easily.
  10. Reasonably reliable roll in conditions.
  11. Know your history of sea sickness in swell and be able to manage it.
  12. Camp in bear & wolf country:  hang food, clean camp, carry bear spray, cautious going out alone.
  13. Patience or at least submission to the inevitable.


  1. We’ll average 15nm when moving and move camp multiple days in a row.
  2. We’ll take layover days, either as weather dictates or at places that interest us, particularly the outer coast and wilder places.
  3. Days start early, but preferably with first light.  (read: get up 5am)
  4. Make camp light enough to move every day and enough to enjoy on layover days.
  5. I like to share dinners and hope some others will want to participate.
  6. I wish to avoid danger but don't mind some adversity.
  7. Intention to create a community of mutual respect and enjoyment.
  8. Commitment to participate in collaborative and inclusive interactions and leaving conversation “space” for others.
  9. Interest in long, slow, focused conversations.
  10. Effort to maintain unconditional positive regard.  (e.g. accept people’s quirks and unskillful actions.)



Quatsino to Tofino, Vancouver Island

  • CHS No. 3604 - Quatsino to Nookta Sound

    CHS No. 3603 - Mid Nookta Island to Ucuelet

    CHS No. 3624 - Goletes Channel to North Brooks Peninsula, including Winter Harbor

    CHS No. 3623 - Brooks Bay to Yellow Bluff, including Kyuquot Sound
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

As needed to paddle and enjoy wilderness ocean kayaking.

Trip Reports