About us

About our tours

Derived from a specialized Inuit hunting vessel, the modern sea kayak is light, strong, stable, and easy to operate. Originally designed for the high arctic, the single or double kayak has become the preferred boating method for individuals who wish to travel on the water with minimal environmental impact. It’s shallow draft and maneuverability allow it to navigate where other vessels cannot go, and pass almost silently among the creatures who share the earth and ocean with us.

Nowhere are these attributes better illustrated than during a guided Spirit of the West sea kayaking adventure tour on the coast of Vancouver Island.

 

What sets us apart from other tour operators? Probably the most significant fact is we live here ? our guides know every inch of the coast because for the most part, they’ve grown up on the local waters, and spent summers and winters scouting campsites, studying tides, upgrading their leadership, kayaking and outdoor skills, and learning coastal lore. This knowledge is yours to share.

Our company has built a well deserved reputation for delivering quality and satisfaction by taking care of guest’s needs first, listening to their desires, comments and suggestions, and building our different trips to please a variety of paddling requirements. We have 4 basic trip styles to keep you happy, with variable lengths to suit your time commitments. Each has been developed over the years based on feedback from our guests and guides.

Day Trips are a good way to try kayaking for the first time, or get on the water if you are visiting the area. Half day or full day trips let you explore Quadra Island1s coastline, and we offer pick-up from the ferry or any location on the Island.

Overnight Expeditions to a number of destinations allow you to travel through new territory each day and camp in different locations on your trip. This is classic kayaking at it1s best, through some of the most beautiful marine environments in the world.

Base Camping in Johnstone Strait introduces you to a level of wilderness luxury only dreamed about…probably while lying cold and wet and hungry in a crowded tent. Our permanent camp features large tents with platforms, gourmet bush kitchen, and the world1s largest Orca reserve as a next door neighbor.

Mothership Tours combine luxury and adventure. Our lovingly restored 95ft WWII era vessel features private cabins, a gourmet cook, and a captain and crew ready to take you and a small group into the coastal wilderness on the voyage of a lifetime. Did we mention the hot tub on the afterdeck…

In this web site, we’ve presented an overview of our different guided tours, each specially designed to satisfy the adventurer wanting something a little different out of their vacation, looking for the road less paddled.

Is this going to be Fun?
In a word, “YES!” Our goal on any trip, from a half day excursion to a week long expedition to the West Coast, is to get you out on the water and ensure everyone is having a good time. Reasonable fitness, a love of the outdoors, and a sense of adventure are our only pre-qualifications; our guides will help you develop your kayaking skills on the trip. 

Many are first-timers; if that’s a concern, don’t worry. You’ll visit some of the most beautiful locations on earth, meet great new friends, enjoy fabulous meals, and have a memorable vacation. Just remember, we’re visiting with mother nature…If you’ve got any concerns, just ask.

Meals
Modesty prevents us from bragging about the food you will eat on our trips (whoever thought guides could double as gourmet bush chefs?) so we’ll let our guests do it for us…you will never go hungry when traveling with Spirit of the West!

(Random quotes from our survey forms)

The food was the best I had on any of the 6 different multi-day trips I did while vacationing in Canada A 10!

Appreciated the vegetarian options and the gourmet desserts. Meals were top quality, always had snacks.

As good as any restaurant… Even with all the talk of food in the brochure, it was better than expected.

Tour Groups
We accommodate singles, couples, families, or groups on our trips. You’ll meet interesting people like yourself from all over the globe, who share a spirit of adventure, a love of nature, and a sense of humour. Expect to meet some great new friends.

Age
You are never to young or old to learn how to kayak, however….we recommend 12 for kids, and as for the other end of the equation…if you’re old enough to wonder if you can still do it…give us a call. You might be surprised.

Kayaks and Equipment
We like to stay current with the top equipment in the business. In many cases, we have gear that hasn’t hit the store yet. We feature a mixture of single and double kayaks, with ample room for trip supplies. We go 2 per tent, singles will be accommodated where possible. We’ll give you a check list of personal items when you book.

Weather
Although the regions we kayak in have generally moderate and temperate weather in spring, summer, and early fall, we can experience extreme heat, rain, or wind ­ sometimes in one day. Sorry, our slice of paradise didn’t come with a climate control knob…be prepared. (We can help you pick the right type of clothing to bring)

Safety & Guest Responsibility
Although no previous kayaking experience is required on our tours, as with any adventure there is always an element of risk. While our trips are not considered to be strenuous or physically demanding, and we do not require a high level of fitness, good general physical condition is necessary. If you have any physical limitations or concerns please let us know. As we are not qualified to evaluate your level of fitness we ask that you (and possibly along with your doctor) determine whether or not you are able to join one of our adventures. We just ask that you welcome your adventure with an open mind and be able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected.

Spirit of the West is dedicated to providing safe, environmentally sensitive, well organized, fun-filled adventures.