I love to paddle in remote, rugged areas, middle-of-nowhere places such as Greenland, Patagonia, Queen Charlotte Islands. I will be in Vancouver in August 2012 and would have some time to paddle in QC Islands (which I have always dreamed about). However, there is no availability, except a mother ship tour (but I hate the concept). So I have two options: (1) Mothership tour in QC or (2) Regular paddling touring the east coast of Vancouver Island (Johnstone Strait). I love paddling and camping so Vancouver Island would be an option but I have already seen the west coast of the islands. How different is QC compared to Vancouver Island? Should I suffer from the inconveniences of a mothership tour so that at least I can paddle there? I live in Europe and will probably never have this opportunity again.
I have been wanting to paddle that area. I am targeting to make a trip there in late July or early August.
I don’t have anything specific cooked up, have only paddled out there a total of one day, so it will all be new to me. I am thinking in terms of a multi-day, self-guided trip, but will need to adapt the specifics depending on who goes.
Have you paddled the west coast of Victoria Island or the QC Islands? The west coast of Victoria Island looks sensational to me, but also difficult to get to.
What have you come up with? Any interest in collaborating and trying to get a trip going?
If self guided…
......consider the Central Coast of BC.
Much of the West Coast of VI requires lots of attention. People do it without a clue but without lots of preparation things can go very bad in a hurry. Likewise for Haida Gwaii. Did you know that Hecate Strait, that separates Haida Gwaii from the mainland islands, is considered by many experts to be the 4th most dangerous body of water on earth? Hecate defines the "safer" eastern shoreline of Graham and Moresby Islands.
The Central Coast offers ferry access from Port Hardy where kayak rental is available and if conditions allow will even do a wet drop and pick up for you in Fitz Hugh Sound. You will experience plenty of current and conditions but you are in a more protected environment full of Humpbacks, Orcas, Wolves and Bear. Want to fish for your dinner? Hard to imagine going hungry.
Consider exploring some of the links here: http://sites.google.com/site/insidepassageregistry/
Look for references for areas between Port Hardy and Klemtu.
Vancouver Is. or Queen Charlottes
Both are exceptional places. Haida Gwaii was my primary reason for paddling in the Queen Charlottes. Experiencing and seeing the totem poles and village sites was a primary reason for going there. The park is very big and is difficult to see unless one has many days available. There is a lot of history there and of course much nature to see. But there are parts of Vancouver Island that also are unique and intriguing. Have you been to the Brooks Peninsula, Kyuquot Sound region? Good kayaking there and wildlife abounds plus native cultures as well. A mothership supported trip to the Queen Charlottes would allow you to see this area in a shorter number of days and in relative comfort. keep in mind, it can rain a lot there. Hope this helps you some!