Our Philosophy

We provide well organized, relaxed and fun trips to breathtaking wilderness locations. We know that attention to detail is the key to success. We choose routes that offer remoteness and rugged beauty, with only moderate fitness required. We provide top-of-the-line gear for maximum comfort.

Nothing is more invigorating than sitting on the beach, your cheeks tingling from a day’s paddle, eating a fresh, flavourful gourmet meal, watching the sun setting on the ocean with the cedar forest behind you. It’s good for the soul! Who says remote wilderness and luxury are mutually exclusive?

Sea, Mountains, Cedars, Eagles & Expeditioning

man standing on Benson IslandGuests invest their most valuable commodity, their vacation time, with us. We specialize in making time slow down. Our partner in charge of time (among other duties) is Mother Nature.

We create extraordinary sea kayaking and hiking experiences for our guests in Canada on the west coast on Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s Central Coast.

An integral part of our philosophy is to offer trips where thousands of kilometres of open Pacific Ocean meets the North American continent. It’s a high energy environment that is both beautiful and biologically diverse. Looking out at the open ocean creates a sense of awe and wonder that’s inspiring. Other than for our clothing and gear and the occasional sign of other human endeavour, it’s a place where you don’t know what century you’re in.

We provide all of the sea kayaking and camping equipment which is top-of-the-line, expedition proven gear. Guests are only responsible for the clothes they will wear on the trip.

a giant cedar tree in the Broken GroupWe provision the trips and do all the cooking (& cleaning). Our guides take care of all the details, creating more time for our guests to really enjoy themselves. There’s lots of unorganized time for guests to relax and indulge their senses and passions. Some guests stare at the ocean, some read, some watch their children explore the intertidal zone, some re-connect with old friends or family members, some make new friends, some find a magic spot in the forest to meditate, some paint or write, some sing, some fish, some find that the wine tastes better and some remember favorite camping trips and experiences. Without exception, all guests become noticeably more relaxed and rejuvenated during the week that they spend with us.

Without the visual distractions of modern urban life, the natural environment that we explore takes on added significance. The trees in the forest connect the sky to the earth. The 24 hour clock is replaced by the daily tides as the cyclical ocean rhythm becomes our measure of time. With no artificial light sources, the sun and moon dominate the heavens and the intensity of the stars at night makes us appreciate the earths’ significance in the cosmos. Each guest directly experiences the four elements—earth, air, fire and water—and feels connected with each on a daily basis.

Most importantly, our mission is to give tremendous value for the time that guests spend with us. We want to enrich our guests’ experience each and every day of the trip. Our guides help guests learn about sea kayaking and the marine & terrestrial environment that we explore and do so at a comfortable and relaxed pace. Our guides get to know each guest so that they get the most out of their trip. Does a guest enjoy paddling fast or slow? Do they prefer looking at intertidal life or finding narrow passages to meander through. Do they want more kayaking instruction or more natural interpretation. Batstar guides accommodate the needs and desires of our individual guests so that they feel that their personal wilderness experience is fulfilled and relevant within the group.

Everything you need is in your kayak and the rhythm of the Pacific Ocean is your clock; each day is a voyage of discovery.

We have four main priorities: comfort, great food, amazing scenery and fun.

Comfort

Sea kayakers experience two levels of comfort. The first is physical comfort – having the right gear for kayaking and changing weather conditions. Our single and double sea kayaks are made on Vancouver Island specifically for west coast waters. They have ergonomically designed seats and plenty of room for your personal gear. Our tents, camping equipment and sea kayaking gear are all premium quality.

Batstar guide cookingThe second level of comfort is your internal comfort level – the risk or adventure part. Our professional guides ensure that all guests, regardless of their skill level, have fun and feel safe and comfortable on the water. Our guide to guest ratio is 1:4 or 1:5 – resulting in a high level of personal service. The more comfortable you are, the more you notice the amazing environment that you are in. Our guides will make your sea kayaking experience enjoyable, whatever the conditions, so you can focus on the things that really matter – such as the view.

Great Food

We really take pride in preparing and serving meals that make our guests say wow! Our menu is diverse and each meal is nutritionally complete. We make our meals from scratch using hand picked fresh ingredients. Whenever possible, we use produce from local organic farmers.

Guests relaxing while guide cooksGuests typically require more calories daily as they spend 3-5 hours kayaking. Additionally, while camping, a person’s metabolism increases and they need more food to compensate. Between meals, we have both nutritious snacks, including fresh fruit, and salty snacks that people crave. People are astounded at the variety of snacks that we provide.

Hydration is critically important on outdoor adventures. During breaks on the ocean and on shore, guides always remind guests to drink water. Guides carry fresh water on all day trips to top up water bottles. We take 10-13 litres of water per person which is usually enough for our shorter trips. On our longer trips, we still take the same volume of fresh water per person. When we run low on water, we filter water.

Benson Island, Broken Group IslandsAmazing Scenery

Each day we’ll paddle 3-5 hours and explore the lush islands of the west coast temperate rainforest. We’ll search for the fascinating gems — sea arches, sea caves, hidden lagoons, and signs of cultural history — that make this area so fun to paddle. The islands are very close to one another and we are never far from shore.

The verdant understory of moss and ferns is dominated by giant, ancient western redcedars and hemlocks. This dense and luxurious rainforest creates a magical atmosphere for our campsites.

Wildlife is plentiful and this is a major bird migration and breeding area. It seems that everywhere you look an eagle is staring at you. If we are lucky, we’ll see whales and sea lions and don’t be surprised if curious seals follow behind your kayak to check you out. You might see diminutive White-tailed deer swimming from island to island in search of greener grass. We’ll float over shallow water and along starfish encrusted intertidal areas looking at the abundant invertebrate marine life. In camp you can spend hours wandering the tidal pools and beachcombing. There are no bears in the Broken Group Islands but we bear camp on the rest of our trips.

beach bowling with a fish net floatFun!

Everyone has their own definition of fun and our guides try to ensure that you experience your version of fun while sea kayaking on the West Coast of Canada. Whether it is time sea kayaking, beachcombing, reading, looking at the flora and fauna or eating, we want you to have an experience that lasts a lifetime.

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