Vancouver Island’s Wild Side (Northwest) with John Wright

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Departing July 21, 2024

Explore Vancouver Island’s rugged and beautiful north coast. Go beyond our classic Wild Side itinerary and dive deeper into learning about weather systems and local culture. Highlights of this voyage include the Brooks Peninsula (a glacial refugium), Solander Island (home to puffins), Kyuquot Sound (including sea otters and the village of Kyuquot), lush inlets and sandy beaches, as well as a cruise around the northernmost tip (Cape Sutil) and on the protected eastern coast. Wildlife commonly spotted on this voyage includes otters, black bears, whales, sea lions, and seabirds. 

This trip is for those who love to adventure beyond the norm. It explores a mostly un-roaded area. You’ll walk in the rainforest, beachcomb on the sand, boat into wild creeks that empty into the sea, and cruise around the Brooks Peninsula, which juts out almost to the offshore continental shelf. Seven miles off Brooks, the coastal world changes to the oceanic one, and on a fair day we might cruise to the shelf, where the ocean turns from green to blue, and wildlife goes to feed in the upwelling (albatross, puffins, fulmars, dolphins).

This trip takes place in the traditional territories of Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. We’ll explore Indigenous culture and history with our friends from the village of Kyuquot, just a little bit north of Yuquot, or Friendly Cove, where in 1778 Captain Cook became the first European to step onto what is now British Columbia.

  • Day 1: Board, then explore “hanging rainforest gardens” or abundant intertidal life onshore. Cruise to Klaskish and East Creek. Bear viewing and shore walk
  • Day 2: Cruise around the wild Brooks Peninsula and continental shelf region, Solander Island (from the water), a reserve for puffins
  • Day 3: Rainforest and beach walks. Optional morning kayak. Anchorage in Nesparti Inlet. Exploring beautiful Nesparti Inlet by boat and on land. Geography lecture
  • Day 4: Kyuquot Sound exploration, sea otter viewing, visit village of Kyuquot. Special guest visit
  • Day 5: Explore offshore islands and Rugged Point. Head north around Brooks Peninsula, then evening anchorage in Vancouver Island inlet. Possible black bear viewing
  • Day 6: Cruising and exploring the Cape Scott area, rounding Vancouver Island’s northern tip. Bear viewing
  • Day 7: Whale watching on Vancouver Island’s northeast side, and cruising to Port Hardy

Meet your RCGS Travel Ambassador

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John Wright

John is originally from the UK, but following careers with the British Antarctic Survey and the British and Canadian Armies, he now calls Canada home. He has wide experience of both Polar regions and was awarded the British Polar Medal with Antarctic and Arctic clasp by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998. He has climbed and skied in many different parts of the world; it was his interest in mountaineering that led to his employment as a Field Guide with the British Antarctic Survey in the 1970s. He worked on the Polar Plateau and in the Shackleton Mountains and overwintered at Halley Station and unintentionally at the Argentine Belgrano Station. 

Throughout his subsequent military career John undertook expeditions to areas such as New Zealand, Greenland, Svalbard, and Borneo. Between family commitments he used periods of leave to guide on cruise ships in the Arctic.

Since retiring from the Canadian Army John has expanded his guiding to include Antarctic cruises and has become an active fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He has helped to secure significant historical artifacts for the Society including a sledge used on the first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean and the last dog sled to be used in the Antarctic.