C&K ON ASSIGNMENT
This August, C&K Art Director Robert Zaleski and Associate Editor Dave Shively headed into British Columbia's lush central 'Raincoast,' hoping to find the fabled white 'spirit bear,' and to explore the diverse array of everything from near-vertical fjords to rocky, windswept islets. Fortunately, they had the assistance of the Campbell family's 68-foot 'Mothership' to cover some serious ground and tour the planet's largest intact expanse of temperate rainforest in style. Click HERE to read the full feature, or pick up the March 2010 issue of Canoe & Kayak magazine. Here's more info for intrepid sea kayakers looking into a trip of their own.
Keys to the Raincoast:
Bella Bella and Klemtu are your best launching options for a self-support trip to the Great Bear Rainforest.
Take the B.C. Ferries Inside Passage route (bcferries.com), which stops in Bella Bella (bella-bella.travel.bc.ca) twice a week, or in Klemtu on Saturdays, leaving where the roads end--from the south in Port Hardy (north end of Vancouver Island) or north in Prince Rupert. Walk-on tickets with a kayak cost $65 one-way. During daylight hours, captains allow wet launches directly from the ferry.
Kayak rentals are available in Klemtu (visit Kitasoo.org and klemtutourism.com for lodging and water taxi service options). For route options and camping, John Kimantas' Wild Coast 2 (thewildcoast.ca) is an excellent resource.
Air Canada ( aircanada.com) books connections through Pacific Coastal Airlines (pacificcoastal.com) with daily flights from Vancouver and Port Hardy to Bella Bella, while Eagle Air flies from Vancouver, Campbell River and Port Hardy to Bella Bella ( flyeagleair.com). B.C. Ferries runs the Discovery Coast Passage route from Port Hardy to Bella Bella (McLoughlin Bay) and Klemtu.
For full details on Mothership Adventures' tours, visit mothershipadventures.com.
The mothership kayak touring niche has expanded to remote waters around the globe, from southeast Alaska ( homeshore.com; seakayakadventures.com; seakayakbc.com), the San Juan Islands ( discoveryseakayak.com) and "skiff-supported" trips in Baja Sur ( kayakbaja.com, bajaex.com, kayakactivities.com), to high-end Arctic ( southernseaventures.com) and Bahamas tours ( seakayakvacations.com).