Of all my sister-friends here at Girlfriends’ Guide, I’m decidedly the least outdoorsy of the group. I hate moving when I get exercise, I only run if I’m in danger, and my idea of a great weekend adventure includes a trip to the fabric store and then sitting at my sewing table in the basement (think less dark-dungeon and more light, bright space that’s not quite up to code). All this is to say, that for a gal like me, the idea of sea kayaking for a couple hours could seem really intimidating, but let me assure you that the awesome folks at Remote Passages in Tofino, BC made the tour super fun and relaxing, so that even an indoorsy type like me would really enjoy it!
We opted for the 2½-hour “Islands” tour of Clayoquot Sound at sunset, which I highly recommend. For one, you don’t have the sun glaring down on you the whole time, and the lighting at the time of day is just perfect (we photographers call it Golden Hour). As you round that last corner of the tour, you’re greeted by a sky of beautiful pinks and oranges as you watch the sun set while you pull in to shore.
The tour started off with a little on-land kayak training in which they taught us the proper way to paddle and to steer the kayaks. Then as a group we carried the kayaks down to the water to prep for our departure. You will be walking into the water at this point, so I recommend short pants and water shoes (oh, hey Chacos!). Then our guides led us* around the dock and out into the sound!
*And by us, I mean everyone else, as Melissa and I ended up going the other way around the dock. Not entirely sure how that happened, but it certainly set the ridiculous giggly tone for our tour!
One of the things I really liked about the tour is the guides had a lot of knowledge about the area and were able to tell us about its history. They also pointed out a lot of different wildlife, crabs, starfish, seals (no bears though), and we’d make stops to check them out up close**. We’d link up with our oars to make a giant raft and then pass around starfish and crabs to hold (and kiss!).
**Ok we didn’t see the seal up close. Ashley and Jen were very quick to warn Melissa and me not to go over and pet him so that we make keep our hands attached to our bodies. Pro tip: if you put both your animal-whisperers in the same boat, make sure you keep and eye on them!
At certain points the tide was against us, so we’d have to paddle a bit harder, but there were people of all levels in the group and no pressure*** to keep up with the faster ones. Melissa and I faithfully brought up the tail of the group, but to be fair, we were also taking lots of photos and video.
***Now that I think about it, there was one couple who was super competitive and always trying to get the front of the pack; they’re the same couple who also seemed to be having the least fun. If you find yourself in a group with that couple, just set a good example and relax and have fun!
At the end of the tour after bringing up the kayaks, we were welcomed with hot tea and good conversation with Kati, one of the owners. By the end of the night, our arms were tired**** from paddling, our bellies tired from laughing, and our cheeks tired from smiling. We’d do this again in a heartbeat! Thank you so much to Remote Passages for showing us such a wonderful time!
****Next-day massages were a MUST for us! Thanks to the ladies at Nurture Day Spa in Ucluelet for accommodating us last-minute!