Overview Great Bear Rain Forest: Set in the heart of British Columbia’s wild central coast, the Great Bear Rainforest offers some of the most stunning sea kayaking in the world. The Mothership departs Sunday afternoons from the remote First Nations’ village of Bella Bella. We then begin our week of exploring the most pristine wilderness on the British Columbian coast. The diversity of landscapes, abundance of wildlife, and unlimited paddling routes makes the Great Bear Rainforest a truly superb sea kayaker’s destination. Steep sided, glacial carved fjords cut through the Coast Mountains on their way to the open ocean. Where the rain and snow fed rivers flow into these inlets, numerous species of wildlife congregate to feast upon the spawning pacific salmon returning to their place of birth after their lives as ocean dwellers. As we paddle in the river estuaries beside lush, grassy meadows we often observe black bears fishing, eagles perched in the cedars, and if we are lucky, wolves or a grizzly bear loping along the beach. Towards the open Pacific, the mountains give way to a maze of rocky islets dotted with exquisite white sandy beaches. Brightly coloured intertidal life clings to the surf swept rocks, while sea otters, seals and river otters play in the kelp beds and sea birds swoop overhead. Taking advantage of our kayak’s silent travel and shallow draft we explore tiny coves and narrow passageways, while knowing that the warmth and security of the Columbia III are close at hand. With its vast distances, rugged terrain, and less predictable weather, the central coast is where the mothership concept truly shines
The options are varied depending on the weather and the desires of the guests. On a fine day, a picnic lunch on a sandy beach or a grassy estuary is a lovely choice after a morning’s paddle. If the weather turns foul there is always the cosiness aboard the Mothership. Each day builds on the last as an understanding and appreciation of the significance of this untouched wilderness evolves. The Great Bear Rainforest is a place you will never forget. Instead you will long for more! After a memorable week, the Mothership returns to Bella Bella Saturday mornings.
Overview Broughton Archipelago: Set in the home of British Columbia’s resident orca population, this trip provides the ideal combination of coastal wilderness kayaking and spectacular wildlife viewing. With the Motherships onboard accommodation, we can easily travel to the untouched corners of the Broughton Archipelago (usually inaccessible by expedition kayakers) and position ourselves in ‘the right place at the right time’ for the most unforgettable wildlife encounters. Departing from Port McNeill late Sunday afternoon, we spend our first night on the Columbia III at the historic coastal village of Alert Bay. Here we can view the famous graveyard totems and visit the renowned U’Mista Cultural Center which sets the tone for what we are about to experience as we venture into the wild beauty of the Broughton Archipelago.
Each day thereafter we continue our journey through the maze of islands steeped in First Nations’ history and back-dropped by the snow capped peaks of the Coast Mountains.
Scheduling our day around a sea kayak paddle, usually beginning shortly after breakfast, we silently glide through the glacial fed waters keeping a watchful eye for marine and terrestrial life.
Often the majestic bald eagle soars overhead while curious harbour seals swim close to check us out. If we are lucky, we may spot a black bear foraging on the beach or a group of pacific white-sided dolphins playing in the waves. And of course we are always on the lookout for the mighty orca. We do our best to find these whales and are rarely stumped. A stop for lunch at an abandoned native village site or on a grassy islet, precedes the afternoon paddle, after which we rejoin the mothership. Back on board we refresh ourselves with a hot shower and prepare for a comfortable evening of gourmet food, laughter and relaxation.
In this manner we move through the beautiful strait and archipelago creating each day around the needs and desires of our guests. Each night finds us anchored in a cozy new cove with a stunning view. Walking in the rainforest, whale watching, visiting the local whale research station and simply relaxing on the deck of the Columbia III are all possibilities on this trip. If the conditions are right, a night paddle is an option where you may witness the truly astounding phenomenon of bioluminescence.
The Mothership returns to Port McNeill early Saturday afternoon after an event-filled week.
About Mothership Adventures is a family-run business operating from our home on British Columbia's spectacular west coast. We thrive on providing first class service and are thrilled to show travelers the beauty and uniqueness of this special place where we have lived all our lives. Our historic and immaculate vessel and her flotilla of kayaks are the perfect way to experience the hundreds of miles of otherwise inaccessible coastline. Our captain is Ministry of Transport certified with thirty years of boating experience on this coast. With a wealth of local knowledge, a deep commitment to safety and a love of meeting people, he is in his element as skipper of the Mothership. Our two certified sea kayak guides are experienced paddlers and leaders, and have guided commercially for many years. Born and raised on the B.C. coast they are passionate about natural history, marine biology and kayaking on the ocean. They delight in sharing their knowledge in a pleasant, relaxed, and informative manner. But most of all, they know how to have fun. And our cook... she is everybody’s best friend as the never-ending stream of culinary delights flow from the galley.
Low Impact Adventures Mothership Adventures does its very best to be socially and environmentally responsible. Minimizing our impact on the wilderness and wildlife we visit, is a priority for us. We are proud to have one of the most fuel efficient boats on the coast. Out of respect for our guests and the peaceful environment the generator is never run during the night. We support small owner operated businesses whenever possible, and we have endeavored to establish good working relations with the First Nations people in our tour areas. Additionally, a large portion of the food we serve (and always the coffee!) is organically grown, and freshly homemade.