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  • Writer's pictureDean Nelson, (he/him) CTC, LLD

Wild N Queer 4-Day September Desolation Sound Kayak Expedition

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

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Join us as we explore the enchanting destination of the Sunshine Coast's - Desolation Sound on the Salish Sea out of Powell River, BC. September 2-7, 2020. Two nights hotel at gay owned and operated Old Courthouse Inn plus the 4-day Wild N Queer kayak expedition will venture into

Desolation Sound, one of BC’s largest Provincial marine parks and is in the traditional territories of the Klahoose and Tla’amin, Homalco Nations.

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The Wild N Queer Tour include all the gear you will need for this unique adventure, locally handmade Seaward Kayaks, Werner paddles , a spacious MSR Elixer 2 tent, self-inflating sleeping pad, sleeping bag and liner to give you top of the line comfort while in camp and on the water. You will only need to bring personal items!

We will teach you the fundamentals of ocean kayaking, safety procedures and will stay together as a group. This tour will satisfy everyone from active adventurers to those seeking a more relaxed vacation. Our itinerary will be determined by the weather and needs of the group. This trip is fully catered. All your meals, snacks, desserts and hot drinks are provided.

The evening before your tour departs we would like to meet with you at our meeting point in Powell River, to give you your dry bags, try on paddling gear and go over any last minute details.

We will celebrate you in this beautiful place...

Nourishing and delicious local and wild food

Laugh, sing, swim, play, and enjoy good times

Hanging out around a campfire (where permitted) and soaking in the stunning sunsets

Camping in comfy tents

And inspiring guides that honour you, and show you this beautiful marine ecology.

No kayaking experience is necessary; participants must be comfortable in and around water, in good enough shape for 4 to 6 hours of daily kayaking and some easy hiking. 

The Guides

Mark Riser is a passionate queer outdoor educator and the founder of Wild ‘n Queer. He loves to connect gay people with local ecologies, inspiring people to explore Nature, swim and dive, hike, kayak, backpack, forage, fish, and hunt, sharing his deep love of these beautiful places with people from all walks of life.

He is a SKGABC Certified Sea Kayak Guide (AOG) and holds a Wilderness First Responder certification, as well as training in bushcraft and wilderness survival. He holds a certificate in yoga studies from Bihar Yoga Bharati in India, and is a student of food-as-medicine and wild food cooking.

He loves to sing and play the ukulele, inspired by the beauty of the places he calls home.

John Hermsen is the owner / lead-guide at Footprint Kayak & Hike Explorations, located in Powell River BC.

John fell in love with Canada's west coast many moons ago, he left the Netherlands in 2006 to seek a new adventure on BC's Sunshine Coast. Certified as a SKGABC Level 2 sea kayak guide, he explored many areas up and down the west coast.

John loves to share the natural & cultural beauty of his favourite kayak destination: Wildly Beautiful Desolation Sound!'

Itinerary for the 4-Day Wild N Queer Expedition

Wed., Sept. 2nd - Powell River, BC

Arrive into Powell River by 5PM. Tonight you will relax at the beautiful and historic Old Courthouse Inn. Located in the National Historic District of Powell River, this gay owned and operated Inn has an eclectic mix of antiques and collectables adorn the rooms and halls reminding guests of the days gone by. The Wild N Queer group will meet in the evening to review tomorrow's itinerary as well as issue your kayak gear including dry bags.

Day 1 (Thur., Sept. 3rd) - Desolation Sound

Breakfast served at the Old Courthouse Inn's Edie Rae's Cafe. Group transfer to marine port to load up the kayaks and paddle out onto our Wild N Queer adventure. Explore the Salish Sea in Desolation Sound. You can expect 4-6 hours of paddle per day, some hiking and taking in the breath-taking scenery.

Overnight camping with all meals (lunch, dinner)

Day 2 (Fri., Sept. 4th) - Desolation Sound

Breakfast served between 7-9AM followed by morning paddle.

Explore the the stunning scenery and take in the wildlife

Overnight camping with all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 3 (Sat., Sept. 5th) - Desolation Sound

Breakfast served between 7-9AM followed by morning paddle.

Explore the the stunning scenery and take in the wildlife

Overnight camping with all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4 (Sun., Sept. 6th) - Return to Powell River

After breakfast we will pack up the camp and explore our final day in Desolation Sound with a lunch break. We will aim to be back in either Lund or Powell River around 3PM with group transfers back to the Old Courthouse Inn.

Overnight at the Old Courthouse Inn

Mon., Sept. 7th - Powell River

Time to check out and head home, continue exploring the Sunshine Coast, or head over to explore the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island.

Tour Highlights

We will settle down in the heart of Desolation Sound on the first or second day of this tour, the Curme Islands or Bold Head are both excellent campsites. We can explore Desolation Sound in multiple directions and get a feel for the different areas in Desolation Sound. Such as sheltered Tenados Bay, with the option for a short hike and refreshing swim in Unwin Lake or paddle through a maze of islands and narrow passages in Prideaux Haven. Everlasting memories will be carved into your memory during this tour.

Never be shy of asking questions, whether about safety, kayaking, the sea and wild life we encounter or the forest ecology. Our guides have been working in this part of the world for many years and are very knowledgeable about kayaking and about the area.

Our itinerary will be determined by group ability and weather. We are aiming to paddle 4-6 hours per day leaving plenty of time for other activities and for relaxing. There will be plenty of opportunity to take photos, have a snack or to go for that washroom break. Our goal is comfort, we believe that fun and adventure shouldn’t be painful or too strenuous. We will stop for a lunch break and your guide will prepare a delicious meal while you kick back, relax and take in the surrounding beauty.

We will set up camp for the night at one of the beautiful campsites. Once we arrive on our chosen site your guide will point out all facilities and campsites and assist you with setting up your tent. Snacks and hot drinks will be served after camp is set up.

Dinner will be served between 6 and 7 pm. After a wholesome meal and dessert, we look forward to bonding through everyone pitching in to cleanup. Storytelling around the fire (or sunset) or enjoying time alone is your choice but before we all say good night we will have a quick briefing with the whole group regarding the next day's schedule.

We aim to have breakfast between 7 and 9 am - depending on weather. We may move camp every day or stay at one campsite for the entire trip. The guide will have final say, as we need to take weather and group ability into account. Paddling and enjoying lunches on different locations within the sound will be a daily routine. There will be plenty of opportunity to discover inter-tidal life , explore old-growth forests, and ancient First Nation Village sites.

On the final kayaking day, after paddling for the day, we will end our journey back in Lund, a cute seaside village a short shuttle back to Powell River where we began. Returning back around 3PM we will say our fond goodbyes, exchange email addresses and hugs so we can share photos and keep in touch.

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COVID Safer Travel - Enhanced Safety Protocols

Footprint BC is working closely with our provincial and local health authorities to ensure we have a safe experience. The Province of British Columbia is opening up phase III of Safer Travel allowing British Columbians to travel within the province.

Please note: this means that this tour is available only to people living in British Columbia only.

Here are some of the enhanced safety protocols you can expect:

✓ Each guest will be required to disclose a health and wellness declaration form

✓ Enjoy a low-risk experience by using an online waivers

✓ Guidance for increased hygiene; cleaning common areas and surfaces; required masks and gloves during launching and landing.

✓ Kayaks and gear (tents, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, dry bags, dishes/utensils) will be assigned to each person and will be sanitized in warm soapy water between tours and allowed to dry the sun.

✓ Every PFD (personal floatation device - lifejacket) will have a hand sanitizer in the front pocket

✓ Every guest must bring their own mask.

✓ We are installing a sink at out dock location for hand washing

✓ To minimize contact; all tours are private one household, family group or pod, tours start times will be staggered, maximum group size of 6 people (1 guide; 6 guests) and we will use mostly double kayaks to minimize the potential for capsizes.

✓ Dishes, utensils, cups, thermos will be provided for each guest and will be responsible to care for throughout the trip. Each camp site (tent) will have their own washing basin.

✓ Meal service will be served one person at a time; serving area to be sanitized between serving

✓ We will post signage to our guest and guides regarding infection prevention and control measures in our facility. (Hand washing, Respiratory/cough etiquette, self-isolation and self monitoring)

Payment and Cancellation Policy

A CAD$300 deposit is due at time of booking. Full prepayment is due on or before JULY 30, 2020.

3% credit card transaction fee is additional

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation made prior to JULY 30, 2020 will forfeit the $300 Non refundable, non transferable deposit. Any cancellations made after JULY 30, 2020 will forfeit the entire trip amount. We do recommend travel medical and trip cancellation interruption insurance. We are happy to provide a quote.

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Personal Travel Mgmt - Departures X Dean (BC Reg. 2806)

Suite 221, 8678 Greenall Ave., Burnaby, BC, V5J 3M6

TEL. 604.739.3622 X348

We operate in the traditional territories of the Musqeuam, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Klahoose and Tla’amin, Hamalco First Nations, and we work to create a good relationship with their cultures.

Desolation Sound - Social Inspiration


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