Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do i need previous kayaking experience to participate?

No experience is required for our kayak tours! Our adventures are for everyone who is 10 years and older.

All of our trips will begin with a briefing that will give you all necessary skills and information that you will require to participate safely in our adventures.

 

Where do the tours start? Where to meet?

We will meet at Tofino’s ‘First Street Dock’ about 10 minutes before the departure. Our boat will be parked on one of the fingers either to the right or to the left at the end of the dock. If in doubt, just look for the only boat with four kayaks strapped to the roof.

What happens in case of poor weather?

Our weather in the Pacific Northwest is always good for surprises but generally pleasant from May through until the end of September.

The best defence against poor weather is excellent preparation.. Therefore make sure to carry a light rain jacket and multiple layers of synthetic clothing in case of cold weather - also you can keep everything in your kayak and only put it on when necessary.

If the weather looks questionable to the point where it could have an impact on safety we will cancel the tour and give you a full refund.

What do i need to bring on a trip?

For our tours you should pack the following items:

Clothing: We generally recommend synthetic fabrics over cotton and other natural fibres simply because they tend to dry faster and don’t get as water-logged.
Remember that we’re are spending about one hour on a fast moving boat so make sure you can keep warm. Rather bring an extra layer, we can keep extra gear on the boat while we are in the kayaks.
Soft-shells and windbreakers are valuable pieces of clothing as well.

Shoes: Because we are usually not getting on land no special requirements regarding your footwear. Any light shoes, water-shoes will do the job. For tall individuals or for the ones with larger feet we recommend neoprene socks that will improve the level of comfort inside our double kayaks.

Snacks/ Beverages: Bringing snacks is a great idea as well as to bring enough to drink. You can enjoy them during our boat commute as well as a granola bar or some chocolate make a great addition on the kayak excursion. Please note that alcoholic beverages are not permitted on our tours.

Camera:

Other useful pieces of gear are
Sunglasses, Sunscreen, a hat or cap

What kind of boat is the mothership?

Our mothership ‘Das Boot’ is a 30ft aluminum cabin boat.

The cabin features a nice and sheltered space as well as you always have access to the viewing platform in the aft with cushioned seating, perfect for viewing as well as a perfect option for taking photos.

Our boat is equipped with two 150hp engines and of course it’s registered with Transport Canada and fully insured....

What if I have to use the bathroom?

...is probably one of the most common questions we get on our tours. But no worries, for our mothership tours even though we don’t have a bathroom on-board there is never a problem. We can stop at all times and point to something interesting towards to front while you can do your off the boat business at the back. It might sound like an adventure of its own but trust us when we say that in all these years it has never been a problem ;-)

What kind of wildlife will i be able to see on our trip?

Well, wildlife is fairly unreliable whenever we try to come up with appointments. However, Vancouver Island and Clayoquot Sound have a lot to offer and encounters with some of the most exciting mammals and marine life are very common on our kayak tours.

Without trying to come up with a complete summary of species, encounters with our favourites, the always curious Harbour Seal are almost hard to prevent.

Especially over spring and summer we get lots of Bald Eagles while they tend to move to the rivers in fall, when the Salmon season starts! Besides these majestic birds we are welcoming more than 200 000 shorebirds every season. Among them are Cormorants, Pidgin Guillemot, lazy Herons, hovering Kingfishers, Sandpipers and many more amazing birds.

Beginning October to April, when Tofino gets a bit quieter, our California Sea Lions which usually hang out on the offshore rocks come closer to Tofino again. During these months you might even meet them while taking a sunbath on our dock but generally sightings can happen all year over...and they are always very cool!

The same applies to our River Otters who love the fishery leftovers that get thrown back in the water. This way you might see them cuddling on the docks or playing on the shores of the various islands we explore on our kayaking adventures.

Sometimes we see Porpoises, our 'Westcoast Dolphins' or very rarely even some Orcas (3 times in 2010) might decide to explore the inlet and provide us with unforgettable moments.

On top of that you see various types of Sea Stars, cold water Corals, Sponges, Anemones, Kelp-, Rock- and Dungeness Crab ...etc.

Check out our 'wildlife photo gallery' for more information

 

What equipment will be provided by Black Bear Kayaking?

We will provide all the required gear for participating in our tours e.g. spray-skirts, paddles, PFD’s as well as all necessary safety gear. We’ll also have some dry-bags for you.

What about capsizing?

With Black Bear Kayaking we had no prior incidents so far *knock on wood*. However, the possibility always exists.

All guides at Black Bear Kayaking are trained and prepared to handle such unfortunate situations and do their best to ensure an enjoyable and safe kayaking trip.

When are you stopping to run tours in 2022?

We are going to run our tours until September 15th 2022 and we should be back mid of April 2023 ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Photos

TJay
August 1 - 4
125 Photos
TJay
July 26 - 31
136 Photos
TJay
July 21 -25
88 Photos
TJay
July 12 -15
109 Photos
TJay
July 5 - 8
96 Photos