Our route will be entirely coastal, following the wild, surf-washed shores of northwestern Vancouver Island. This region is almost entirely unpopulated. There are two staffed lighthouses along the hiking portion of our route, but aside from that, the year-round habitants of this whole region could be counted on the fingers of your two hands – with some fingers left to spare!
Once we hit the water, we will mainly be in remote wilderness, traversing open ocean waters as well as along the shores of beautiful Clayoquot Sound, aiming at stops in the Nuu-chah-nulth villages of Hot Springs (pop. 150), Ahousaht (pop. 800) and Opitsaht (pop. 150), before finishing up in the small resort village of Tofino (pop. 1900).
We will access our start point by floatplane out of Tofino, and pick up our kayaks at Boat Basin, thanks to Atleo Air. The route is in four stages, and we will need water transport to connect the three land segments (we’re still working on that). Here’s a rough timeline (weather-dependent, of course!).
Tatchu Peninsula: Rugged Point to Port Eliza, 6 days
Nootka Island: Tongue Point to Friendly Cove, 5 days
Hesquiaht Peninsula: Burdwood Point to Boat Basin/Cougar Annie’s Garden, 9-10 days
Paddling Clayoquot: Boat Basin to Tofino, 8 days
We expect to be 30 days on the route all together. Yes, of course we could cover that distance in less than half that amount of time, we are ultramarathon runners!
But that’s not the point.
We are not aiming for speed or setting records. This is a voyage of discovery – of getting to know a place, and its people, and its history. And to allow Jacqueline to do her magic with her cameras, so she can share it with all of you!