Before getting into specifics, here are a few points for those on our Guided Kayak Package:
- We know the area very well and value flexibility and spontaneity within the bounds of weather, group dynamic and considerations for safety and enjoyment.
- You may have a different guide for different paddling days. Our guides are busy with a variety of trips – so please don’t grow too attached to one guide. They all bring unique and wonderful qualities.
- Daily-guided routes will depend on weather and the type of group going out on any given day. We will aim to head in different directions and to provide different experiences for each day’s paddle. Guided trips will focus more on sea kayaking, although adding some hiking may be an option. The addition of hiking will be based on a group decision (either the evening before or the morning of).
- Please note: the 1st meal provided for our guests is dinner on Day 1 unless you are kayaking out on a guided package. All Chill & Immerse guests and all guests taking the motor vessel transport need to provide their own lunch on this first day.
Kayaking Packages Day 1
For Cabana Desolation Guided Kayaking Packages: 9.30am arrival sharp.
To ensure a smooth logistical flow on the first morning, our guided trips need to be on the water by 10:45am. This allows us plenty of time to comfortably paddle the distance from our launch site to the resort (with time for lunch) and provide plenty of time for you to get comfortable and settled in before dinner.
Another consideration for the 9.30am arrival time is the fact that it is highly likely you are not the only participants on the trip, and arriving late means that other guests (and guides) are waiting around for your arrival, eager to get their own vacation underway. Please give yourself enough time to arrive at our Okeover site in the morning – this may mean coming up from Vancouver a day earlier and staying nearby in Lund or Powell River the night before.
For guests choosing to fly into Powell River from Vancouver, flights do not arrive in Powell River until 8:55am. This will require taking a taxi to our site on Okeover Inlet and may slightly delay your arrival. In this case, we ask guests to be well organized by booking the taxi in advance and making sure any personal clothing, etc, they are taking to Cabana can be quickly re-packed into dry bags for the paddle out. This will help us get on the water as soon as possible.
Cabana Desolation Eco Resort is located 8 nautical miles from our private waterfront site on Okeover Inlet. The average speed of an experienced sea kayaker is roughly 3NM per hour. With that said, speed is not our goal – the experience is what makes the trip unforgettable. Our typical paddling speed on guided tours is 2.0-2.5NM per hour. With beautiful views, interesting marine wildlife and meandering shorelines, we take our time to savour the journey and to share the stories and features of this unique area.
The first day of a guided trip typically entails 1.5 – 2 hours of paddling to your lunch spot, and then a similar distance again to Cabana Desolation Eco-Resort. Tours aim to arrive at Kinghorn Island between 3 and 4pm.
For Self-Guided packages (ie: kayaking unguided): 9-10am arrival recommended.
Arrival time is up to you. It is 8NM from our site on Okeover Inlet to Cabana Desolation. This may take 5+ hours, including stopping for lunch or other breaks (Please note, lunch is not provided on Day 1 for Chill & Immerse guests). Keep in mind wind and current. Approximate check-in time at the resort is 3pm – so please plan your day accordingly. We recommend getting on the water at a similar time as our guided trips: 10:30am – or earlier.
Here is a link to our on-line map showing kayaking routes and distances to / from Cabana.
For our self-guided kayaking package, kayaking experience is essential. This includes having had previous formal sea kayaking lessons as well as suitable touring experience and knowledge of kayaking in tidal waters and in inclement weather conditions.
While you may share Cabana Desolation with guests that are on a guided tour, you will not have a guide around during times of actual paddling. As such, you need to be aware of all the potential dangers of sea kayaking and the effect of wind, tides and currents, sudden capsize, and other dangers that are inherently associated with the sport.
Check out the ‘Are You Experienced’ section of our rental guide on our website for more information about essential knowledge for self-guided guests. If you do not feel that you have enough knowledge or experience before your trip, please call us to book a lesson before you depart, or consider a guided Cabana Desolation package.
Also note that for our self-guided package the first included meal at Cabana Desolation will be dinner on Day 1. Please plan to pack your own lunch for your paddle out to Kinghorn Island on this first day.
Motor Vessel Transport Packages Day 1
Guest arrival: 12.45pm at Okeover.
Motor vessel departs: 1.30pm. Travel time is a relatively quick 20 minutes to the resort.
A few important notes:
- Please adhere to the above arrival
To ensure the smooth logistical operation of a very busy and multi-faceted company, we ask that guests choosing this option please adhere to the arrival and departure times listed above and below.
Arrival and departure days at Cabana Desolation are swap-over days. This includes physical switches (bed linens, fresh food, etc) and personnel switches (cooks, guides, managers). Guests choosing this option will arrive and depart Kinghorn with staff making these changes.
When you arrive at Cabana Desolation at approximately 2pm, staff (and Adam) will still need time to prepare your cabana and swap-over the kitchen staff. While we endeavour to do this as quickly as possible so you can get comfortable, this does take time. Consider these first couple of hours as an opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonderful natural setting that Cabana Desolation provides: read a book up on the point, search the beaches for intertidal life, or take a backpack (provided) and explore the adjacent forest on a small hike!
If you are on a guided trip and have taken the motor vessel option, please note that the guide(s) will be paddling to Cabana on the first day and back to Okeover on the last day with other guests that have booked the guided kayak package. For all intents and purposes, consider these days as ‘kayak free’ relaxing or exploratory times! If kayaking on these first and last days are essential for you, we recommend choosing to kayak to and from Cabana Desolation.
The first meal provided at Cabana for all motor vessel transport guests – regardless of whether you are on the guided or Chill & Immerse packages – will be dinner on the first evening. Please plan to bring your own lunch on this day.
Due to the logistical planning of our Cabana trips, the motor vessel transport option must be pre-booked at least 48 hours in advance of the trip.
Dress for the weather: motor vessel transport is in an open vessel, with little protection from wind or rain. Please dress accordingly with good rain/wind protection. This includes footwear! Both our launch site in Okeover Inlet and our eco resort on Kinghorn Island are remote locations – there are no docks, and low tide launches and landings require accessing and entering/exiting the boat on rocky, wet, often slippery terrain. Oysters and barnacles, seaweeds, and other intertidal life live in this zone of access. Good waterproof, closed toed footwear is essential to avoid slips, cuts and abrasions while entering and exiting our company vessel.
Day 2, 3, 4…
Cabana Desolation offers experiences for those who love to explore by sea kayak as well as for those who are more comfortable with their feet on the ground – or resting in a hammock. Although sea kayaking is certainly a key experience, some guests may choose to use the on-site stand-up paddle boards, go snorkeling or swimming off the point, or to explore the island by foot and discover the perfect bluff to relax and read a book or simply gaze into Desolation.
Daily guided kayaking trips will radiate to different locations each day and will last approximately 6 hours (a picnic lunch is packed into the kayaks). Weather considerations and group dynamic may affect exact route planning. We know the area extremely well and our goal is to provide the best experience for our guests.
Please keep in mind not everyone is created equal. Fitness, experience and even attitude are all factors we must consider. Safety is our number one concern and with that in mind, we can only paddle as fast as the slowest paddler. For those with little experience or whom feel their fitness is below average, paddling in a double kayak can help balance the scales. We carry very nice double touring kayaks. They are comfortable, sleek and fast boats to paddle. Many guests also appreciate the stability of doubles – especially when sea state is less than desirable! Please let us know before the trip if you feel a double would best suit your needs.
For those kayaking without a guide, a picnic lunch will be provided for your outing for all days except day 1. For safety, all non-guided guests will need to provide a float plan (route and return time) before heading-out for their daily exploration.
Guests, of course, are welcome to remain at Cabana during the day and simply relax or casually enjoy any of the activities mentioned.
Daily flow aligns with meal times
At Cabana Desolation, we have set meal times each day. These times vary depending on the group and planned activities, and exact times will be posted at the Cabana Café. Generally, meals are planned something like this:
- Breakfast: 8am-8:30am
- Lunch: 12noon-1pm (unless out kayaking or hiking, then a lunch will be packed for taking with you or with the guide)
- Dinner: 6.30-7pm
- Snacks will be available for guests to help themselves as needed
For guests paddling back on a guided package: we aim to return to Okeover on the last day at approximately 3pm, depending on variables such as wind, current and group speed. From here we unpack the kayaks one last time, load up the car, and say goodbye to our new friends after an unforgettable few days in Desolation.
We typically do not have the ability to return earlier on this final day – for example, so certain guests can rush off to catch a flight or ferry – as there are usually more than one group of guests on each tour and returning early on this last day will unfairly impact on the enjoyment and flow of this last day of kayaking.
If you need to rush back home on the afternoon of your final day, we ask that you please check the ferry or airline schedule ahead of time and plan or book your ongoing transport at later times that correspond to the above schedule. Thank you for your understanding!
For guests taking the motor vessel return option: motorr vessel will leave at 1pm from Cabana, arriving back at Okeover no later than 1.30pm. Exact time of departure may vary slightly due to our remote location and factors such as weather, number of guests being transported to and from the resort, and other unforeseen circumstances. This will allow guests heading to Vancouver that afternoon plenty of time to catch the ferry from Saltery Bay that is typically scheduled around 5pm, allowing them to return to Vancouver that night. Please consult BC Ferries for up to date schedules.
Please keep in mind that the resort and staff need the time to prepare the cabanas and the kitchen for the next guests arriving that afternoon, and as such these times are typically not amendable. Thank you for your understanding.
Please note, check-out time from the cabanas is 11am. Staff will be coming out to prepare your cabana for new guests at this time. You are of course welcome to enjoy the rest of the resort until the boat leaves at 1pm on the return trip.
Reminder, as our motor vessel must operate at these set times, please book your ongoing ferry or flights ahead of time to correspond to the above schedule. Thank you for your understanding!
A Note About Our 8 Day Cabana Trips
If you are staying at Cabana Desolation for a week at a time (i.e. Sunday-Sunday or Thursday-Thursday) you will be staying at the resort during one of our change-over days. There are a couple of unique logistical considerations during this change-over:
- It is highly likely that you will not have the same guide for the entirety of your tour. This is to give all our guides enough time off during the busy season, as well as to ensure a smooth flow between all our ongoing cabana and camping tours.
- On the morning of the changeover day, the initial guide will paddle back to Okeover with those members of the group that are leaving on that day. At the same time, the new guide will be paddling to the resort from Okeover with those incoming guests for the rest of the week.
- This means that you will not have a guide for this changeover day.
- You can choose to either spend this time as a ‘rest day’ exploring the island or immersing yourself in the ambience of our site at Desolation Cabana, or you can take your kayaks on an unguided day-trip into Desolation Sound. If you choose the latter option, it is imperative that you are experienced with capsize-reentry methods and knowledgable about the tides, currents, and potential weather hazards associated with sea kayaking.
Staying Additional Nights
If at some point before your trip you decide that you would like to book additional nights accommodation at Cabana Desolation Eco-Resort, please be advised that our 2 night minimum stay policy is ‘reset’ every change over day – that is, every Sunday or Thursday – and so if you were leaving on one of these days you will need to book for two additional nights at the least.
This policy is due to the fact that Thursdays and Sundays are the only days of the week that are designated for staff and cabana changeovers, and if you were to book just one extra night beyond this, the cabana would then be unused for 3 or 4 days once you have left before our staff has the chance to prepare it for the next guests. In a short season with limited capacity, it is just not economically viable for us to leave a cabana unused for such a long period of time.