+ What time and where does the van meet each morning?
The van will be parked in front of The Cove clothing store at 8640 Granville Street. This is near the government wharf in downtown Port Hardy. The van leaves promptly at 8:30am, so guests are asked to be there by 8:15am.
+ Is lunch included in the trip?
There is an option when purchasing your ticket online to add a lunch to your tour. We have partnered with the Scarlet Ibis Pub in Holberg to provide boxed lunches. There are two lunch options. The 'Logger's Lunch' is $14.95 and include two sandwiches (sandwiches can vary and may be substituted for other yummy things), a pudding or yogurt, homemade cookies, fruit, a small desert, and pop or water. The 'Hiker's Lunch' is $10.95 and includes a sandwich, water, fruit, and a sweet treat. Lunches will be picked up in Holberg on our way to the west coast.
+ Do we go rain or shine?
Yes! We love the west coast in all types of weather. The only time we may make a slight change is if it is really windy in one area, we may go to a beach with a safer (less windy) exposure.
+ What kind of safety gear is available?
Our guides will carry a satellite phone, a GPS messenger device, and a VHF radio at all times. In the event of an emergency, we will be able to contact our local office, search and rescue, or the coast guard (depending on location).
+ What happens when we reach our destination?
Guests will hike into the beaches with our guides. Once we reach the beach there are several locations where people can unload, relax, and set up camp for the day. All of the places we visit are rich with natural and historical diversity. The group will also set a meeting time and hike out together in the afternoon.
+ What is the average air & water temperature on northern Vancouver Island?
The average air temperature in the summer is between 20-25 degrees Celsius. Grant Bay can be even hotter in late summer as it has a southern exposure. The water temperature tends to always be cold, and averages between 6-10 degrees Celsius.
+ What thickness of wetsuit should I have for surfing?
During the winter months we recommend a 5/4mm hoodie with booties and gloves. In the summer, a 4/3mm and a 3/2mm can be appropriate (depending on the day).
+ What is the minimum/maximum number of people that can attend each trip?
Our low-season (April 15-May 31) minimum is four people. Our high-season (June 1-Sept 30) minimum is six people. Our maximum number of guests is 12 people per tour.
+ Is there an age restriction for trips?
No, but depending on the tour hiking may be required. Beyond that children are welcomed as long as their parents are always responsible for them. Please contact us before booking if you have any questions about age/limitations for a given trip.
+ How physically demanding are the trips?
Each trip is different. San Josef Bay is an easy/moderate 45 minute hike each way. There is no elevation change and the trail is very well-maintained. Ronning’s Garden is an easy 15 minute each way. Grant Bay is an easy five minute walk each way (perfect for carrying in surf boards and gear). Palmerston Beach is an easy (but sometimes muddy)10 minute walk to the beach. The beaches there do require guests to be relatively mobile in order to explore the tidal pools and rocky outcroppings. Raft Cove is a moderate/strenuous (depending on conditions- aka mud) 45 minute hike each way.
+ What do I need to bring?
This will depend on weather, but everyone should wear comfortable hiking boots or running shoes. We always recommend having a rain jacket or wind breaker, sunscreen, a hat, beach towel, and a good book. We will provide life jackets for anyone who wants to participate in water activities.
+ What about wild animals?
There is a very good chance that you will see a black bear on the drive to the west coast. Black bears, cougars, wolves, deer, and eagles are all part of our local ecosystem and call northern Vancouver Island home. All of these animals tend to be very shy and do not want to mingle with people. If you do encounter wildlife please do not feed or engage with them.
+ What is the cancellation & re-booking policy?
We require 72 hours’ notice for cancelled or re-scheduled trips. If the trip minimum of 6 people is not filled by 24 hours before departure we may decide to cancel the trip and will offer a full refund or the opportunity to re-schedule. If the trip is rescheduled due to extreme weather we will provide a full refund.
+ What about youth pricing?
We have a limited number of discounted youth (under 16) seats available for each trip. Please contact us to find out if youth seats are available for your preferred day and we will send you a coupon for the checkout process.