A review of the Mothership Kayak Tour via Misty Isles Adventures
Hollyhock and, Misty Isles partner to offer a special Mothership Kayak Tour. With our kayaks loaded onboard the Misty Isles, we voyage out from Hollyhock each day to explore and paddle in beautiful places. Along the way we may be able to set the sails or view wildlife which may include eagles, seals, or even porpoise or dolphins. Upon arriving at our destination for the day we will launch the kayaks and paddle off for an exploration of picturesque channels or islands before returning to Hollyhock in the evening for supper and a hot tub.
A Different Sort of Hollyhock Workshop Space: things I expected and things I didn’t on my Hollyhock Misty Isles Adventure.
Late summer, when this program takes place, a sense of tranquility returns to the island. The yachts start heading south and the weather is often very calm. The birds and wildlife that have spent the summer away to feed and breed begin to return to these protected waters. This is the perfect time to learn how to paddle safely and comfortably as you navigate the friendly waters surrounding Cortes Island.
Start each day departing Hollyhock on a 43-soot schooner mothership carrying kayaks and lunch. Professional kayak Guide and Instructor, Michael Moore, will lead you into the deep quiet of nature where you can discover more about the area’s true beauty and history, in peaceful harmony with the ocean’s gentle ebb and flow.
Mike Moore is a ship’s Navigation Officer whose voyages have taken him from the High Arctic to Antarctica. He has been a kayak instructor and guide on Cortes Island for more than twenty years. mistyislesadventures.com
Join Mike for Sea Kayaking Adventures, at Hollyhock on and around Cortes Island, Sept 8-13, 2013.
Hike, kayak and sail amid the wild beauty of Cortes Island’s West coast Temperate Rainforest, with Hollyhock’s knowledgeable, fun-loving Naturalists, Bill Ophoff and George Sirk. Enjoy the natural recreation and the natural services provided by mother earth, while learning about the ecosystem around you. You will no doubt leave this program feeling a better connection with the earth, with yourself, and with those around you.
Bill Ophoff has a background in geography and biology, is a world naturalist traveler, and has been Hollyhock’s resident naturalist for fifteen years.
George Sirk is a naturalist host and freelancer for CBC radio. He is the founder of the naturalist program at Hollyhock and a local birdcall expert. A naturalist guide since 1969, his expeditions have taken him from the tropical rainforests to the Canadian arctic. He is a champion of environmental issues and interprets nature with a Gaian perspective.
Join Bill and George, for an excellent Hollyhock Adventure Program, Aug 25-30, 2013.
Cortes Island lies at the north end of the Salish Sea, where Vancouver Island juts up against the BC mainland coast. This is a scenic and diverse area and it is at the edge of BC’s vast coastal wilderness.
To the east the view is dominated by the mountain peaks of the Coast Range with the iconic Mt. Denman towering 6600 feet above the myriad of channels and islands of Desolation Sound. The back waters of Desolation Sound have the warmest ocean temperatures north of Mexico, reaching in to the mid 20’s. There is no other place in the world where you can swim in water so warm right under snow-capped mountains!
To the south Cortes thrusts out into the Strait of Georgia at the north end of the Salish Sea. The mountains on Vancouver Island and the Coast Range create a rain shadow effect here so that the climate is warmer and drier here than to the north of Cortes.
To the west the tidal waters flowing in from the Pacific Ocean are squeezed through the narrow channels of the Discovery Islands creating the tidal rapids that this area is famous for. Currents reaching 12 knots flush the area with cold, oxygen and nutrient rich water that feeds the abundant marine life here. Some of these rapids form standing waves of up to 2 1/2 metres high, a favourite place for kayakers to play! But it also is a great place to watch for seals, sea lions, dalls porpoise, pacific white-sided dolphin and orca fishing in the rich waters.
And to the north of Cortes, there lies a largely uninhabited wilderness. There are no road accessible communities between the towns of Lund and Bella Coola, 300 km apart as the crow flies but with over 900 km of coastline separating them. The mainland coast just off of Cortes has the southern most grizzly bear populations. Cortes is home to black- tailed deer, cougar and river otters. Wolves are sometimes seen in our back yards. Living this close to the wilderness demands a level of attention and respect. We keep our livestock well protected and fenced and keep our dogs on the leash while walking in the wolf’s forest home.
While Cortes is home to the vibrant communities of Mansons Landing, Whaletown and Squirrel Cove, it is easy to find empty beaches and forest paths to explore. Kwas Park is 70 hectares and has trails that wind through first growth trees and along Hague and Gunflint Lakes. Vondonop Inlet Park features reversing tidal rapids, steep-sided fjords, and tidal flats. This rugged 1,277-hectare park has no designated hiking trails within the park, although a good trail does exist from the Von Donop to Squirrel Cove, outside the park (approximately 5 km). A rough trail also runs to the top of Cliff Peak that has an elevation of 459 metres and is Cortes Island’s highest point.
Exploring the waters around Cortes by kayak or guided boat tour is an excellent way to get a sense of the wildness of the coast. Favourite kayak launch sites include Mansons Lagoon and Cortes Bay. A swim in Desolation Sound or a trip to view the wildlife at Mitlenatch Island are regular destinations for the boat tours that leave from Cortes Island.
For further information on what Cortes has to offer, see www.ourcortes.com
Explore the spectacular Cortes Island region with Mike Moore at Hollyhock during Sea Kayaking Adventures Aboard Misty Isles July 12 – 17 or September 8 – 13.