Paddle from the northern tip of Orcas Island to beautiful Sucia Island
Paddle from the northern tip of Orcas Island to beautiful Sucia Island Welcome to Orcas Island! After rounding up the group, our van shuttles us to North Beach, where our guides provide a kayak orientation and safety briefing before distributing group gear. We then transfer our personal gear into the provided gear bags and pack our kayaks for the journey. Our route to Sucia takes us through portions of the Salish Sea, which stretches from the inner islands of British Columbia down to the southern reaches of the Puget Sound. This biologically rich section is prime habitat for many species, including Steller sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters. We’ll take a break to explore Fossil Bay on foot which was once part of Baja California’s sea floor and home to marine fossils dating back approximately 70 million years. Upon arrival on Sucia we work as a group to portage our kayaks and gear to shore before setting up our comfortable home away from home. Lunch and dinner included.
Kayaking: 5-7 miles (3–4 hours)
Kayak to Matia Island and hike its forested inner loop trail
Today’s destination is 145-acre Matia Island Marine State Park (pronounced ma-TEE-ah). As we glide through emerald-green waters we listen for the chatter of bald eagles and the splash of Steller sea lions. On clear days we’ll be treated to extraordinary 360° views: up the Strait of Georgia to the Gulf Islands; across the Haro Strait to Vancouver Island; east to Mt. Baker; and south to the larger San Juans. Once on Matia we stretch our legs on the island’s one-mile loop trail, which cuts through one of the region’s only remaining old growth forests. After a day at sea, we head back to Sucia, where we can relax in camp, meditate on the edge of a quiet cove, or take a short sunset hike. All meals included.
Kayaking: 6-7 miles (4-6 hours); Hiking: 1.1 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +199’ / -37’
Sunrise coffee and a final paddle back to Orcas
As the sun rises, we sip hot coffee and take a moment to reflect on our good fortune, listening for the call of barred owls with their distinctive "Who cooks for you" hoot. With our bellies full once again, we team up to break down tents, pack our belongings into our kayaks and portage the load to the water. Our last miles on the water are precious and we ease back into the rhythm of the ocean while fully immersing our senses in the final leg of our expedition. Back at North Beach we enjoy a celebratory seaside picnic before shuttling back to Eastsound and the Orcas Island ferry terminal. All meals included.
Kayaking: 6–8 miles (3–4 hours)’