Not likely. It CAN happen, but it is not very often that people (even first timers) flip. Kayaks are actually quite stable, and with a few little tips and tricks from your trusty guide…. you should be feeling quite comfortable and relaxed. Here is a little mantra for you to start practicing to prepare for your trip: “loose hips don’t sink ships”. Get this basic concept down and you will be guaranteed to stay dry throughout your paddle.
Oh, and if you do tip over….? Not a big deal. That’s why you are with a guide ☺ They have plenty of practice assisting you quickly back into your boat. You will get a demonstration at the start of the tour during the pre-trip lesson that goes over all the steps to get back into the boat. It’s not that hard. Just think of it as a free kayak lesson!
You should wear comfortable outdoor clothing. Layers are good. If it is early spring, or fall and the weather is cooler wearing synthetic pants (ideally not cotton) and a synthetic long sleeve top would be good. Also bring along a fleece top, a warm hat and a rain jacket that can be tucked away in a dry bag if you don’t need to wear it. When it is hot and summery shorts are fine with a t-shirt, but also a good idea to bring along another upper layer just in case you get cool during the rest period. Some sun-sensitive folks like having a light long sleeve top to protect them from the rays. What ever season you are paddling in do bring along a hat and sunglasses. Oh yes, and don’t forget your water bottle! It is very important to stay hydrated while you are out there.
Not impossible, and certainly sometimes we do…. But this is not generally the reason we are out there. The east side of Quadra Island, Heriot Bay where we mostly paddle isn’t part of the whale’s normal migratory path. We do in the summer sometimes get transient whales coming into our area checking out the water and looking for food, but it’s not normally the case. We DO however regularly see lots of other exciting marine life. We are lucky to have a healthy number of resident Pacific Harbour Seals sunning themselves on the rocks around our paddle routes, and sometimes when we are lucky encounter groups of Harbour Porpoise and Dall’s Porpoise as well as Pacific White-sided Dolphins playing in the water. The vibrant inter-tidal life is also very amazing to check out! This is the colourful world of sea stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, Nudibranchs, sails and limpits…. Oh my! Our variety of shore birds is stunning, not to mention the abundance of bald eagles and other magnificent two legged creatures. Bet you don’t even remember that you are looking for whales!
Kayaking is a water sport ☺ B.C. also stands for “bring a coat”. We still get out in the rain (if we didn’t we wouldn’t get out there much)! This is a rainforest after all. Now this is within reason of course. We don’t really love the torrential down-pours on the tours and usually try to re-schedule with people if we can. But a little rain doesn’t stop us! Once you are in the kayak under your lifejacket and your spray-skirt you don’t notice the rain so much. The guides do bring along tarps for the lunch or rest stop so you have someplace dry to relax. Interesting side note: sometimes it is those trips that we do when the sky is not a perfect pure blue that we remember the most. It is memorable when you are sitting in your boat watching the rain drops bounce off the water and the misty clouds roll through the mountain valleys.
Generally we tell people ten or fifteen minutes before the tour start time is plenty. There is just a little paperwork to fill out and the payment to take care of before your guide gets you set up with gear and you are heading down to the dock. We have two washrooms at our shop known as the “Yak Shack”, and one is a good size for changing into clothes if you need to. You are more than welcome to arrive earlier and enjoy sitting on the deck with a smoothy or latte and a magazine. It’s a nice view of Drew Harbour and you can browse the shop’s selection of t-shirts and various other little retail goodies