- Equipment List
- Waiver/Medical Forms
The Gulf Islands are rich in marine life and cultural history; a paddler’s paradise dotted with secluded coves, beaches, and rock bluffs scraped and shaped by the passage of glaciers. We may encounter seals, river otters, herons, and bald eagles, which thrive on the rich intertidal marine life. The islands hold evidence of thousands of years of habitation by First Nations in the shell midden beaches. Evidence of more recent habitation lies in the weathered remains of barns and buildings that we see along the way.
The Gulf Islands presently offer a unique mix of uninhabited and habited islands, with protected ecological areas interspersed among other land-use activities. The Gulf Islands National Park Reserve continues to grow as new lands are acquired and restored to their unique natural state.
Please meet your guide(s) and other guests at 9:30 am at our launch site for the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, near the town of Sidney. Our launch site is located just south (100 meters south) of Tulista Park, which is south of the town of Sidney (see map below). Take the Sidney exit from Highway 17 (Patricia Bay Highway). Turn east onto Beacon Street, then turn south onto 5th Street, and follow 5th Street as it turns into Lochside Drive. Continue 100 meters south of the en- trance to Tulista Park to our launch site, which is located where Lochside Drive winds right next to the ocean. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early in case you encounter any delays. Short-term parking is available on the east side of Lochside Drive. Overnight parking is available on the south side of Weller Ave W or at the Iroquois Park Tourist Information Centre. If you are parking a vehicle, we cannot be responsible for damage to or loss of your personal items, so please ensure valuables are stored securely. You can to store your valuables in the watertight storage compartments (hatches) of your kayak. If you are doing this, place your valuables in a small bag, sack, or pack lined with a plastic bag to ensure dryness.
For more information, please refer to the full itinerary:
Full Itinerary- PDF: Itinerary for Sea Kayaking Level 1 Skills Course and Overnight Tour
Please read the equipment list below carefully, as it indicates what Ocean River Sport will provide you on this overnight program in moderate sea conditions. A link to the comprehensive equipment list follows; please refer to it for a list of all items we recommend to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Ocean River Sports stocks many of the items listed. If you need advice or would like to purchase gear, please check out our online store and read our Kayaking Gear List entry in the Compass Blog.
Kayak and Paddling Gear
You will need a sea kayak and paddling gear for your program. You can either rent these from us for an additional fee, or you can provide your own sea kayak and paddling gear if you already own or have access to these.
If you are renting a sea kayak and paddling gear from Ocean River Sports (or if a sea kayak and paddling gear are included in the price of your program), you will be provided with the following items as one complete package:
• Sea kayak.
• PFD (Personal Flotation Device): Canadian Coast Guard approved.
• Hand pump.
• Throw-line (buoyant heaving line at least 15 meters in length). • Paddle float.
• *Spare paddle (optional)
• *Sponge (optional): for drying out hatches
If you are providing your own kayak and paddling gear for your program, you must provide the paddling gear listed above, and your sea kayak must meet the following requirements**: (1) is suit- able for open sea conditions; (2) has positive buoyancy when capsized; (3) is able to adequately carry gear as required for the program; and (4) has perimeter lines. Please note: recreational kayaks that do not meet the above requirements are not suitable for our programs. If you have questions about the suitability of your kayak, please contact us. If your program takes place in an indoor pool, please ensure your kayak and gear are clean of dirt, sand, and debris.
**Exceptions: (1) whitewater kayaks are permitted on our Rolling course.
For more information, please refer to the full equipment list for personal gear required on this course:
Full Equipment List – PDF: Itinerary for Sea Kayaking Level 1 Skills Course and Overnight Tour
Please review the following forms prior to your program. Please sign/initial the forms in the presence of your instructor/guide, who will act as your witness.
If you don't see a time or date that works, contact us to arrange your own time or date!
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (Sidney, British Columbia, Canada)
16 and up
Certification in Basic Kayak Skills or Introduction to Kayaking Skills, or equivalent skills and experience.