Q. Can I reserve a campsite in the Broken Group and how do I pay the fees?
A. No, they are first come first serve, fees can be paid online or by phone to Parks Canada. There are 8 different sites to choose from and they can accommodate fairly large groups.
Q. Can I paddle myself from Bamfield to the Broken Group?
A. We do not recommend attempting this despite your experience level. It can be fairly dangerous and unpleasant due to rough water, fog, boat traffic and other hazards. If you wish to paddle yourself then we recommend visiting the Deer Group which can be done safely when the weather is reasonable.
Q. What is the best island campsite to base at if we have novice paddlers in our group?
A. Gibralter island offers the most sheltered waterways. Even when the weather is rough most of the nearby channels are quite protected, calm and easy to navigate. It is an ideal spot for novices or for any group to start their trip in order to get there bearings before attempting the more challenging areas.
Q. Where can I camp in the Deer Group?
A. There are unofficial camping spots throughout the islands, although there are some areas which are privately owned or first nations land that are off limits. We would be happy to show you their locations on a marine chart when you arrive.
Q. Is there a place to park our vehicle during our trip?
A. Yes, there is a parking lot right next to our dock which has no fees or time limits. If it is full there will always be free parking a bit further down the block on the side of the road.
Q. Can we pack our gear in large storage containers for the shuttle?
A. Yes, if you wish to bring your gear in large totes or duffles we can store these back in our office once you have launched. Please have all of your gear pre-packed into smaller bags before arriving or if you are renting bags then arrive well before your scheduled time to allow for packing.
Q. Do I need to bring my own drinking water?
A. Yes, there are no reliable water sources in the islands during the dry summer. Be sure to pack water into small enough containers to fit it the kayak hatches (~1-20L). We rent 10-20L water containers that work quite well and have a potable hose on our dock which you are welcome to use for filling.
Q. How much gear can I bring?
A. Although our kayaks have a large cargo space there is a limit. We recommend packing in small-medium soft bags (dry bags if possible) as they fit most easily into the hatches. We have various sized dry bags available for rent.
Q. What gear is included with each kayak rental?
A. Each kayak comes with a paddle, pfd, whistle, water pump, throw line, sponge and paddle float. We also include one marine chart, compass and spare paddle for each group.
Q. Do I need to be certified before coming for a dive charter?
A. Yes, you need your Basic Open Water diving certification or higher. We do not offer training.
Q. Do you rent SCUBA gear?
A. We can provide tanks and some extra weights but do not rent any other gear at this time. There are many shops in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Courtenay which can rent you gear on your way to Bamfield.
Q. Do you supply enriched or mixed gases?
A. No, only standard air fills at this time.
Q. Can I spear-fish or collect shellfish on the charter?
A. We promote a no-take policy to maintain the diversity for other divers to enjoy. If you would specifically like to collect please let us know and we will take you to alternate sites if possible.
Q. What is the weather is too rough for diving?
A. We will do our best to take you to sites which offer some shelter on rough days. If it is too rough we will try to reschedule your charter or refund your deposit if you prefer.
Q. Can I request a specific species or destination?
A. Yes, our trips are fully customizable and we will do our best to find what you are looking for.
Q. Do you guarantee whale sightings on your nature tours?
A. No, we do see whales on many of our trips but cannot guarantee sightings on every one. There is always a great deal of other species and spectacular scenery to see so you won;t be disappointed.
Q. What gear should I bring?
A. Sunscreen, hat, warm clothes, camera and binoculars. We also provide some binoculars if you do not have your own.
Q. I tend to get seasick, should I stay behind?
A. Usually the inshore conditions are fairly comfortable for those who experience mild seasickness. We can potentially adjust our travel plans to minimize exposure to rough sea conditions if requested.
Q. What is your maximum capacity?
A. We can carry up to 12 standard passengers or 8 divers at a time in our large boat. We have lots of room for gear and can take up to 8 kayaks at a time depending on their size. In our small taxi we can take up to 6 people at a time.
Q. Can you drop us off on shore?
A. No, we require a dock or safe anchorage at your pickup and drop-off locations. If anchoring you will need a paddle vessel in order to reach the shore. Regulations in the Pacific Rim National Park do not allow us to drop customers off on shore.
Q. Do you offer scheduled taxi service?
A. No, we offer a fully flexible charter service. Choose any time during daylight hours any day of the week and we will do out best to accommodate your preferred schedule.