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“Spirit Of The West Adventures - Johnstone Strait Expedition”

Spirit of the West Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Spirit of the West kayaking Adventures has been offering sea kayaking tours and trips around Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, since 1996. Our most popular tours travel to the orca waters of Johnstone Strait, British Columbia to kayak in the realm of the whales. We also offer trips to Desolation Sound, the Broughton Archipelago, Nuchatlitz Marine Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island and the Great Bear Rainforest on the Central Coast. We also offer tours to the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas and Chilean Patagonia during the North American winter.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 4 September 2013

I very much enjoyed my Johnstone Strait Expedition, a 6 day kayak trip in British Columbia during August, 2013. The staff and accompanying guides from SOTWA were all phenomenal. They took excellent care of myself and the rest of our party. Very good food was prepared and provided several times each day and the kayaking and camping gear was also top-notch. Our kayaking group encountered orcas, humpback whales, porpoises, seals more eagles than I could count over the 6 days. One day we watched a stellar sea lion surface in front of us and then climb onto a rock, very near our kayaks. We later watched and listened to an orca pod, using a portable hydrophone, as they communicated between themselves as we crossed Blackfish Sound. We saw our first orca pod, not 10 minutes after leaving the harbor at Telegraph Cove from our water taxi, as we were being transported to The Paddlers Inn. The boat captain and owner of The Paddlers Inn, stopped the boat and we watched for several minutes as the orca pod swam past us on all sides of the boat. The Paddlers Inn is where we picked up our kayaks and stayed overnight in a great floating lodge run by a very friendly couple. The 6 day Johnstone Strait Expedition trips spend either their first or last night at The Paddlers Inn. One night we camped on a small cluster of islands where we watched humpback whales diving and breaching in every direction. There was a good mix of paddling and leisure time each day, with ample time to wander off and explore on our own. The campsites and daily snack and lunch stops were in very private areas and few other kayakers were seen. Some days we would take an additional shorter paddle in the morning or evening to view the smaller aquatic life such as jellyfish, starfish, crabs, urchins, etc. The knowledgeable guides were always pointing out animal and plant life above and below the surface of the water and educating us about them. The kayak trip routes can vary slightly depending on weather conditions, etc. but they have a solid system of transportation to get you out there and back safely. They also provide a range of trips and amenities to suit every guest. Prepare yourself for beautiful changing scenery every day and don't forget to bring a camera.

1  Thank Kevin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (158)
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"base camp"
in 24 reviews
"johnstone strait"
in 55 reviews
"hot tub"
in 27 reviews
"sea lions"
in 20 reviews
"desolation sound"
in 10 reviews
"great trip"
in 9 reviews
"food was great"
in 9 reviews
"kayak trip"
in 11 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 8 reviews
"pre trip"
in 6 reviews
"ultimate trip"
in 6 reviews
"top notch"
in 8 reviews
"marine life"
in 6 reviews
"great group"
in 5 reviews
"great bear rainforest"
in 5 reviews
"highly recommend this trip"
in 5 reviews
"knowledgeable guides"
in 5 reviews
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128 - 132 of 158 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2013

A superb kayaking tour with excellent equipment, food, tent camp facilities (even a hot tub and hot showers!!), camp location, and the best guides anyone could ever wish for when participating in an ocean kayaking adventure. The guide staff are highly professional, highly personable, and will do their utmost to meet everyone's expectation of seeing marine life in a very beautiful part of coastal British Columbia.

Thank Elmer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

We had a wonderful 4 day trip with Spirit of the West Adventures last week. The trip was a one-off arranged by request for 4 of us. It met and exceeded all our expectations! We stayed in a comfortable camp and enjoyed wonderful wildlife sightings on our paddles. The humpback whales were all over the place! I loved laying in our tent and listening to them breathe. We also saw orca, seals, sea lions, otters, eagles, porpoise... Our guide was knowledgeable and fun. The food was wonderful. The scenery is gorgeous. We hated for it to end and hope we can do it again!

Thank Sandra W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013 via mobile

We have just returned from a trip in Johnston straight and I can't say anything negative apart from it ended too soon. We saw orca, humpback , bears , eagles, porpoise and much more all with our host helping us to learn about our environment and the history of area. Really was magical few days and to top it all the food was fantastic ! Would turn back now and go again!

Thank Jenna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 August 2013

I cannot say anything negative about the ultimate tour! Truly wonderful (ok the boat ride there can be a bit bumpy but that's to be expected - so not a negative)! The campsite is brilliant (hey a hottub over looking the straight can't be sniffed at), with great warm, and I mean warm shower with a view to die for! Our guides were brilliant - great knowledge and answers for all questions as well as great kayaking training with safety paramount without being restrictive on what we could do!
Oh and we saw orcas, humpbacks, bears, eagles, dolphins, porpoises, salmon leaping etc etc! Everyone in the group got on well despite being from different locations, different purposes for the trip and different levels of ability of kayaking which is the beauty of the trip!
The food is to die for as well and definitely did not go hungry at all throughout! Would also recommend for those who are up for the challenge (and if offered) to walk ( and I mean trek walk) up the steep hill to the lookout used by the scientists - wonderful views from there but walk not for the feint hearted!
Big thank you to our wonderful guides of Graham, Meredith and Carly - fantastic and the only down side was leaving at the end of the tour! Wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone keen on doing something different and getting up close to the wildlife!

Thank xxTOWIExx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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