Nancy Mertz, one of the founders of Sea Kayak Adventures, just back from the last God's Pocket Resort lodge-based trip of the season, reports:
It was a glorious week with great weather, daily sightings of frolicking humpback whales and soaring bald eagles, two restorative yoga sessions daily on the sun deck and lots of laughter and fun! Thanks to Bill & Annie, our wonderful hosts at God's Pocket Resort and Jenifer Harbour, our amazing yoga teacher, for a week we'll never forget! (Incidentally Jen will be leading yoga on our 31 March and 7 April 2013 Baja tours - if interested book by 1 Sept 2012, as they will fill up fast!) This fabulous trip in BC capped off a run of 3 sold-out lodge-based sea kayak trips in BC in July 2012, as it turns out kayaking daily from the comforts of a cozy lodge is wildly popular! So popular in fact, that we are now taking bookings for June and July 2013 - $100 off the current 2012 price if booked by 1 October 2012! Look for a future yoga God's Pocket trip as well, as the yoga before and after kayaking was a perfect complement to keep us loose and ready for the day's paddling. This yoga trip was so popular we had to turn away people who tried to book the month before the trip, so we do recommend booking early. The lodge only has 7 rooms, and we have exclusive use of the lodge each June and July when our kayak groups are there. The lodge is only reachable by boat or seaplane. God's Pocket Resort is the only lodge permitted inside God's Pocket Provincial Park, a pristine island archipelago and world famous cold water SCUBA dive site, just offshore of Port Hardy, the main hub of northern Vancouver Island, in lovely British Columbia, Canada. The prolific underwater life attracts all manner of marine mammals, including the humpback whales, Stellar's sea lions, harbor seals, Dall's porpoise that we saw this week, and the sea otter we saw last week there. Other mammals we saw this week included a mink and several deer on the seaweed covered shore. We were a widely divergent group who bonded quickly over the 40 min boat ride 23 July 2012 to the lodge aboard the lodge boat "The Hurst Isle" captained by Bill Weeks, and after settling our luggage into our cozy rooms, the warm up hike to nearby Duck Bay. After a wonderful lunch we had a paddle talk on the sundeck by our capable guides, Sarah and Renee, then off for our first introductory paddle along the shores of Hurst Island. Yoga then happy hour on the sundeck, followed by a sumptuous feast whipped up with loving detail by lodge co-owner Annie and a nature video of the underwater sea life of God's Pocket Provincial Park, made us all feel we had done 2 days worth of activity all in our first day! Sleeping at God's Pocket is literally like sleeping in the cradle of heaven - the lovely silence perhaps punctuated by a whale's blow in the channel, the brilliant stars, the bioluminescence, the soft but firm beds with flannel sheets and comforters reminiscent of childhood. Each night we'd sleep soundly knowing that morning brought steaming coffee and tea at 6:45 am followed by yoga at 7 am, then a hearty breakfast before we set off paddling for the day with a gourmet packed lunch and our experienced sea kayak guides. Each day's paddle brought sightings of humpback whales and the dramatic sound of their blows - the last day of paddling they were just meters away at one point! We were thrilled to know from the lodge owners that the whales are returning in numbers not seen for decades. We circumnavigated Hurst and Bell Islands one day and Balaclava Island another day, and paddled to a manned lighthouse for a tour another day, with visits to First Nations midden sites, a fish farm and unique intertidal areas along the way while guides gave talks on bull kelp and wildlife. We learned there are several hikes on Hurst Island as well, one can do right from God's Pocket Resort. Each afternoon our bodies unwound with the relaxing yoga on the sundeck after the day spent kayaking, then we talked over the day's adventures and observations over happy hour and dinner before collapsing in bed by 10 each night. What a lovely way to spend a week - a dream vacation! We look forward to sharing this truly unique paradise with you June and July 2013! Here's to many more adventures!