Safety is a vital part of every Quadra Island Kayaks tour. Our guides are fully certified and are trained in Wilderness First Aid, as well as marine radio operation protocols. While on the water, guides have an array of guiding gear with them including: a first aid kit, VHF marine radio, charts, towing equipment, emergency procedure plans, extra clothing, spare sunscreen and sometimes even chocolate!
Before leaving the dock, we do a mini-kayak lesson where everybody (first timers or not) review the basic safety procedures, group travel plan and paddling skills. We go over the equipment (pump, throw bag, spray skirt), how to stay stable, paddle strokes, and what to do just in case of a capsize. Your guides will go over on the water safety information and also talk about the importance of sticking together out there (did we forget to mention staying out of the way of the Cortes Island Ferry)!?
With over fifteen years of local experience guiding people around this paddling area we have gotten to know our backyard very well. During our season we check the weather repeatedly throughout the day and make sure that the conditions are comfortable for paddling. Many of our guides are long time QIK paddlers who return year after year. From beginning to end, rest assured that you are in good hands.
Quadra Island Kayaks has maintained a 100 percent accident-free safety record since we opened in 1997.
Enjoyment of our home on the water is very important to us, with as small a footprint as possible. This is something that we take very seriously. Every year we have the opportunity to introduce many new people to the land where we live. It is of upmost importance to us that we tread very lightly and leave no trace where we have been. How this is achieved is through education and leadership mentoring from the base crew, management and guides working with QIK. Everyone who gets out on the water with Quadra Island Kayaks will experience this important lesson and has the opportunity to take this knowledge home with them to incorporate into their everyday lives. We are inspired by our beautiful spot on the British Columbia coast. We honour our role in the eco-tourism trade that we get to enjoy with people from down the street, down quadra island kayaks, a few provinces over, or from a different continent.
There is much wildlife to witness on Quadra Island and in this area of the Strait of Georgia. We are diligent in talking with our fellow paddlers about respecting their space. Bird’s nests, rocks with sunbathing seals, and intertidal creatures are topics of interpretation that we share our knowledge of and respect for. During our picnics at a variety of beaches we introduce our guests to our BIIZ bag, the “Bathroom-In-Intertidal-Zone” kit which contains options for using the washroom when there is no outhouse, per say! The BIIZ kit has toilet paper, hand sanitizer and small bags for people to carry out their toilet paper.
We pack our snacks and lunches with great consideration and respect for the environment. Many of our foods are purchased locally at the grocery store only a short bike ride away! We pack our picnics with whole foods and simple treats. We feel excited about our in-house home made hummus…and we know that you will too!
Off the water and at the Yak Shack we strive to reduce our consumption of electricity and recycle our paper, plastic, glass and cans. We’ve made the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. We are only a short walk to our boats on the docks, and our activity is powered by you! We emphasize paddling together with much consideration for other boaters sharing the area. With the bonus of reducing our guest’s travel costs, and in the name of carpooling…we offer free pick ups for our guests from the Campbell River ferry!
Our fleet is made up of single and double kayaks. We use mostly Current Designs, Necky and Boreal Designs. Our kayaks are polyethylene (plastic), which work well for our very rugged and rocky coastline. Our ocean touring kayaks have front and rear hatches for storing extra gear (and lunch) and all have rudder systems to help with steering.
Kayaking requires basic equipment: a paddle, PFD (personal floatation device aka: lifejacket), spray skirt, pump, whistle, throw bag and paddle float. We provide our guests with all of the necessary gear while out on any tour with us.