God's Pocket Kayaking

British Columbia Canada: (ZZ-SKBC-22)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_kayak_canada_God's_Pocket.aspx

Introduction
British Columbia Canada
Your kayaking and whale watching adventure starts with a stunning boat cruise from Port Hardy BC Canada on northern Vancouver Island past rugged mountains, forested islands, and the wildlife rich waters of Queen Charlotte Strait, before arriving at God's Pocket Resort.

After an instruction in the basics of sea kayaking, you will spend your days paddling the sheltered waterways surrounding the many islands that make up the park while watching for humpback whales, orca, porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea otters and bald eagles. Paddle by the world-famous Browning Wall at low tide and marvel at the explosion of invertebrate sea life. You'll even enjoy a short cruise to the Millar group of islands, where you'll spend the day exploring a network of tiny islands that host haul-out for sea lions and a hangout for humpback whales.

At the end of the day, you'll return to the resort to enjoy a hot shower in your room and freshly-prepared meals. Watch the sunset and relax by a campfire on a waterside deck, then sleep blissfully in a comfortable bed. If you have a particularly dark night, join your guides to paddle through the ocean's glowing bioluminescence! You can take a day off from this active adventure anytime to relax on the dock with a book, or follow one of the many hiking trails into the island's lush rain forest. Don't forget to greet the resort's resident octopus and river otters in the cove out front!

Accomodation

Accommodation
Nestled in an enchanting cove off Christie Passage, 12 miles north of Port Hardy, God's Pocket offers a tranquil setting in which to relax after a day of the best sea kayaking offered. A visit to God's Pocket provides not only spectacular cold water diving, but also an opportunity for kayaking, hiking, shore walks, wildlife viewing, including whale watching.
The resort offers 2 cabins – 4 side-by-side rooms per cabin with breathtaking views of the ocean. Rooms are based on double occupancy and have a bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower. Daily housekeeping is provided.
The Resort also has a larger common room (the Clubhouse) for reading, hanging out, or watching movies.
Please, note that there is no Wi-Fi available at the resort.

Single occupancy:
Due to limited availability at God's Pocket, we prefer to match up solo travelers of the same gender to share rooms.  However, we often can accommodate guests in single rooms a single supplement fee needs to be paid. Please inquire at the time of booking.


Meals
Three meals a day are provided, all made from scratch, served family style in the dining hall. Baked goods and hot drinks are available any time of day if you need a little something.

We provide 2 glasses of wine per night, so if you need/desire more or different alcoholic beverages, you can plan accordingly and either bring your own, or shop on the Saturday before your trip.

NOTE that liquor stores in BC are closed on Sundays and prior to our meeting time on Mondays, so you will not be able to buy before your tour with us if you arrive on a Sunday.

The lodge provides unlimited teas, coffee, hot cocoa and lemonade. Feel free to bring your own sodas or diet sodas in addition if you prefer.

Special diets and dietary restrictions:
We make every effort to accommodate food preferences and allergies. If you are vegetarian alternate items will be prepared on nights that we serve meat. We do ask that folks with strict vegan or gluten-free diets to bring their own supplements and substitutions (such as rice noodles, etc) or special drinks since the shopping is limited in very rural northern Vancouver Island.
We cannot accommodate Celiac Diets.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Tandem kayaks are used unless guest requests a single kayak (limited availability).

Physical requirements
In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following: 
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that are required by the operator and recommended/required by industry wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for the activities.
- Reach the water access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water.  The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while under water.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a swim.
- Climb into the kayak, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the water.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a boat by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the water and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: The voyage to the Millar group of islands is included on all tours, weather permitting. We will do our best to adhere to the schedule listed below. However, the itinerary may change due to reasons beyond our control such as wind, waves, inclement weather or other variables.

B = Breakfast  L = Lunch D = Dinner

Day 0: Arrive in Port Hardy
Travel to Port Hardy, a working waterfront fishing village a quick taxi ride away from the Port Hardy airport. Check in to a local Inn of your choice and head out to explore this sweet Northern Vancouver Island town on your own for the night. Enjoy some local cuisine and settle in to your hotel for your overnight in anticipation of your adventure to Hurst Island.
Meals Included: none
Overnight not included


Day 1: Boat Ride from Port Hardy to God’s Pocket Resort, Orientation Meeting, Adventure Begins!
Wake up to the sounds of the quintessential Island port town. Enjoy breakfast and coffee before checking out of your hotel to meet you guides and fellow travel mates at the Government Docs at 9:00 AM for a brief introduction before boarding your water taxi for Hurst Island. You'll have a chance to make quick introductions and receive your wetsuit booties before the boat heads out to God’s Pocket Resort. The 45 minute ride is a thrilling introduction to the Queen Charlotte Strait; keep your eye on the horizon for whales or other marine mammals as you begin your wilderness adventure. Upon your arrival at the lodge, you'll have a chance to settle into your unique lodging for the week. Once you get settled, you will meet back up with your group for an orientation meeting, followed by your first delicious God’s Pocket meal made by your very own chef! After lunch, your guides will present an introduction to kayaking and safety tips before helping you launch. You'll have a chance to practice your technique with your guides' expert assistance before beginning your first paddling excursion. After your first exploration of the Queen Charlotte Strait by kayak you will return to your home for the week at God’s Pocket to a happy hour hors d'oeuvres and wine celebration before a welcome dinner in the dining hall. Join your guides for a natural history lesson, games, and good conversation around a toasty campfire before retiring into your comfortable bed.
Accommodations: God’s Pocket Resort
Meals Included: L, D


Day 2-5: Sea Kayaking, Hiking, Whale Watching, and Tide pooling
Relax into the rhythm of wilderness adventure! Once the scents of a freshly cooked breakfast entice you to the dining hall, you can enjoy heaping portions of your favorite steaming breakfasts. Depending on the weather, you'll either go for a hike or head down to the dock for your foray on the water. Mornings begin with a filling breakfast as the sun warms the waters of the cove. You'll spend about 4-5 hours per day paddling these intriguing seas, with the occasional floating rest stop as whales or other marine mammals break the surface with their thrilling antics. You might visit the world-famous Browning Wall, marveling at the explosion of invertebrate life visible at low tide, or break for lunch on bleached-white madden beaches, exploring the relics of ancient civilizations. During your lengthy lunch break, relax on the beach with a gourmet picnic prepared by the chef's lodge and complete with delectable baked goods. Some beaches also offer hikes into the thick rainforest blanketing the islands, for a chance to stretch your legs and learn about the natural history of the area
Most days focus on kayak exploration of the area, but some days might include a shorter paddle partnered with a longer hike at the lodge, whale watching, or a midnight paddle to view the ocean's glowing bioluminescence. As a special treat, you'll also load the kayaks onto the God's Pocket water taxi and journey across the Strait to the Millar group of islands for a closer look at the large marine mammals that inhabit these waters. While paddling this network of tiny islands, you might see over a hundred Stellar sea lions hauled out on the rocky outcrops. However, playful humpback whales often steal the show with lunge feeding or their acrobatic displays.
If you need a break from kayaking, you have the option to spend the day at the lodge instead of paddling. Just relax with a good book, hike one of the many island trails, or investigate the library of board games, nature films, and local ecology books. Don't forget to watch for the resident octopus in the bay!
Paddle Distance: 7-9 miles per day
Accommodations: God’s Pocket Resort
Meals Included: B, L, D


Day 6: Return to Port Hardy
After a final breakfast at God's Pocket, you’ll have time to gather up your belongings and say your goodbyes to beautiful Hurst Island and your loving hosts before boarding the boat back to Port Hardy. You'll depart the lodge and arrive in to Port Hardy around 2:00 pm. You are free to depart at your leisure if you are traveling by car.
Meals Included: B


Rates and Dates for God's Pocket Kayaking

Rates include:

Accommodation while on tour, All meals while on tour, Transportation to and from the launch site, Kayaking instruction, All kayaking and camping equipment & Service of our professional Guides.
Dry bags for your gear and neoprene booties are provided

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20206 day trip, AP (7 days kayaking, 6 nights at God's Pocket Resort)$2950
    • Group discount (10-12 pax)($255)

GST (VAT): 6% (12% for Canadian Resident) * prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
    GST (VAT) 6% (12% for Canadian Resident)


Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 07/06 - 07/11 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (7 days kayak... 8 /14 Reserve
A 2020 07/13 - 07/18 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP (7 days kayak... 8 /14 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Transportation to and from Port Hardy, Hotel before and after the tour, Meals before or after the tour, Taxes & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Port Hardy the night before the trip starts
Airport: Port Hardy, Vancouver
Transfer:

Climate:
                                                Port Hardy area

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

42

44

47

51

56

60

63

64

60

53

46

42

Average Low Temperature (°F)

33

33

34

37

41

46

49

50

46

41

36

33

Average High Temperature (°C)

6

7

8

11

13

15

17

18

15

11

8

5

Average Low Temperature (°C)

0

1

1

3

5

8

10

10

8

5

2

1

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

19

14

17

15

12

11

7

8

10

18

19

19

Source: NOAA

Summers in Port Hardy are generally sunny with day-time temperatures averaging 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and night-time temperatures averaging 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer months are usually drier than the rest of the year but precipitation can occur infrequently in the form of rain, showers or drizzle. Foggy mornings are common in mid-August and September. The water temperature averages 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

Special note – whale watching
The northern resident pods of orca (killer whales) currently number over 220 individually identified whales in 17 separate pods. They are generally found in Johnstone Strait when salmon, their primary prey, come from the ocean to spawn in the rivers of mainland British Columbia. The whales arrive after about the first week in July, and stay through late September. Our tours are scheduled only during the times when the whales have historically populated the area. Transient killer whales are found in the area beyond this narrow summer window, but are fewer in number and offer infrequent sightings. Humpback whales return from their breeding grounds in Hawaii early summer, and remain through the autumn. Though once hunted to extinction from the area, humpbacks have returned to the area as a tremendous success story, and are almost more common than orcas!

What To Bring:
Celebrating over 20 years of 'once-in-a-lifetime' moments This popular lodge-based kayak tour is ideal for those who love kayaking by day and a comfortable bed and hot shower at night. Jacques Cousteau rated God's Pocket Provincial Park the best cold water SCUBA dive spot in the world due to its phenomenal marine diversity. Though we stay above water with stable sea kayaks, this island wilderness offers stunning scenery and flourishing marine life. The area's beauty is complemented by the God's Pocket Resort that welcomes us with lovely accommodations and superb food prepared daily from scratch by the onsite chef.

Luggage Recommendations:
The adventures are best enjoyed if you travel light. There are no luggage restrictions on your God’s Pocket tour but we do think it is wise to avoid checking luggage under the plane and using carry-on luggage whenever possible. The packing list outlined below is meant to serve as a guide to help you plan, prepare and outfit yourself for your upcoming travels. We have provided our best recommendations and suggestions. These suggestions are based on the outlined itinerary, the geographic region, our knowledge of British Columbia, and our personal experience.

Packing for your Kayak Tour:
We will provide all necessary paddling equipment including: personal flotation devices (PFDs), all kayaking equipment, and neoprene booties. It is vital that all of your kayaking clothes are synthetic or wool, not cotton. As we like to say in the world of kayaking, “cotton is rotten!” Synthetics are also ideal for hiking in as they wick away moisture from the body and dry quickly. Plan to use 1-2 kayaking outfits and 2-4 casual resort outfits that you will reuse throughout the trip.

Dry Bags:
Once you arrive at God’s Pocket Resort we will provide each guest with 3 dry bags (two 20 Liter and one 10 Liter). You can choose one of these bags to pack with you for your day trips on your kayak. Your guides will provide a full explanation of how to use and pack your dry bag. You will pack your bag each day with any items that you want access to during your day trips exploring the surrounding islands. The rest of your luggage can remain in your room at God’s Pocket Resort.

Essentials:
? Passport – be sure it is valid for at least six (6) months after the date of your arrival
? A photocopy of your passport, inside a zip lock bag and stowed elsewhere in your luggage (as an additional precautionary measure, consider leaving a photocopy with family or friends at home as well)
? Copy of your air tickets with ticket numbers, placed elsewhere in your luggage
? Cash for gratuities (Ideally you should plan to use Canadian Currency for your guides and resort staff but US is also accepted)
? Credit card that works internationally, ideally with chip technology (Call your bank and let them know where you will be traveling)
? Waterproof Watch or small travel clock with alarm (if you are taking a phone, this can serve as your alarm clock)
? TSA-accessible lock for luggage security when not on your person (optional- can buy these at any outdoor or travel store.)

God’s Pocket Kayaking Clothes: Only synthetic or quick-dry materials should be worn while kayaking
? One pair of paddling gloves (optional)
? One pair long, lightweight, nylon pants with zipper pockets (Zip off legs give you more options)
? One - two pair nylon shorts or capris
? One - two pair synthetic or merino wool long underwear
? One - two short sleeve shirt(s) of tank top(s) (synthetic is best)
? Two long sleeve shirts with sun protection (You can buy tight-weave nylon shirts with 30 SPF protection made by companies such as Patagonia, Columbia, Exofficio or REI etc. Sun protection is essential)
? Four to five pair underwear (synthetic is best)
? Two - three pair synthetic or merino wool socks
? One wide-brim, tie-on hat (the floppy nylon variety is ideal, as it packs well)
? One warm hat
? One – two lightweight, packable jackets and/or vests (Synthetic is ideal for packing light)
? One – two wool or synthetic sweater or jacket for warmth in the evenings and mornings
? One waterproof jacket and pair of waterproof pants (essential for happy BC touring!)
? Paddling jacket (optional, if you do not have a paddling jacket your regular rain jacket can be worn while paddling if needed)
? One pair sturdy trail shoes, or running shoes, to use for hiking and around the islands
? One pair sandals with ankle straps to wear while kayaking, on the beaches, walking around camp, etc. (Chaco, Keens or Crocs are preferred but there are many other brands that are suitable)

Gear and Other Essentials:
? Headlamp for possible night walks or night paddles (it’s a good idea to pack extra batteries and possibly an extra bulb)
? One water bottle (1 Liter works best)
? One buff or bandanna for sun protection and cooling off
? Camera, batteries, battery charger (Mophie battery packs (external battery pack) for all USB enabled devices are a great option, you will also have electricity at God’s Pocket to charge any electronic devices needed)
? Binoculars (Optional but nice for bird and wildlife watching)
? Sunglasses, polarized are highly recommended for sun protection and enhanced clarity
? Retaining strap for glasses and sunglasses (Chums, Croakies or similar item. We will have these for sale at the orientation meeting)
? Extra pair of sunglasses and glasses/contacts
? Three to four kitchen garbage can liners (These are great for wet clothes, dirty laundry, soiled shoes, etc.)
? A few quart-size or 1-gallon Ziploc bags (Very handy for personal items as well as packing sunscreens, lotions or anything that might make a mess)
? Books or E-reader, pen and note pad,etc. (There are books, games and movies for you to check out at God’s Pocket, too!)

Toilet Kit/First Aid:
? Standard toiletry kit including general hygiene products (keep liquids under 3.38 oz. for carry-ons)
? Biodegradable shampoo, conditioner and soap
? Sunscreen & lip balm with SPF 15-30
? Personal medicines/prescriptions (Dramamine-motion sickness, Benadryl -allergic reactions, Advil or Aspirin, etc.)
? Insect repellent
? Skin lotion
? Small squeeze bottle of hand-sanitizer gel
? Hairdryer (optional)