Category Archives: Tours

Broughton Archipelago/Johnston Straits 2013

So I make another BA/JS  entry . . . our 9th season here with the COLUMBIA III.  There will be lots of really good shots in the photo gallery. If you are a new reader here, you can scan the gallery over the years and you will see. The British Columbia coast is very generous and we, among many, are the beneficiaries. The good weather, the great paddling terrain and the abundant marine life make this area a pleasure to return to each summer for our “fix” of Orcas, dolphins, seals, humpback whales and all manner of sea birds, eagles, and inter-tidal life . . . once again, “Thank-you”, to this precious place!

Here a grizzled old sea captain, (read “blog master”) scans the horizon with a keen eye . . ._DSC6628

The Broughton area is famous for marine wildlife for a very good reason. Here Luke Hyatt captures more great marine mammal shots. Just for the record, 98% of our good wild life shots on this website are captured by our son-in-law, Luke, or our daughter, Miray. Good work and “Thanks!”

Here a white-sided dolphin charges the Columbia III._DSC8393

and a killer whale pops up to investigate the group . . ._DSC8835

Spy hopping

and another whale decides to come along-side . . .  We are supposed to keep our distance, but after 57 years in their waters, the Columbia III seems to require a close inspection on occasion. We just turn the engine off and hold our breath, even it the whales don’t!_DSC9034

. . . and another group passes by._DSC9115

And a Dalls porpoise swings past for a visual inspection, eye to eye with guests on the front deck._DSC9170

And a humpback  whale. Each whale can be uniquely identified by the colouring and scaring of their tails.tavishcampbell-1476

Getting ready for another day’s paddling in the summer sun of the Broughton Archipelago.2013-08-17_18-38-48_k

A great lunch pull-out.2013-08-18_23-38-54_k

Ace guide, Luke Roman, displaying the latest in West Coast kayak-guide fashion. Kelp accessories . . . or should I say, “Heaven kelp me!”2013-08-19_02-21-15_k


Here is a “CRAZY” story . . . I was once a young man. I was once in grade 12 chemistry. I once had a grade 12 chemistry partner who helped me figure out obscure chemical equations and happened to like hiking and rock climbing . . . . Fast forward FORTY YEARS . . . and Karen came to join us paddling . . . . It was fun to catch up, though her memory was far better than mine. . . .Columbia_III_Wheelhouse-2

Lead guide, Steve has difficulty staying upright . . .DSC_5228

This shot brings a lot back for me. We had a group charter the boat for their second tour with us. Actually Joan and Bob have joined us three times but only twice as a whole boat charter . . . The group was very interested in the local First Nations and so I tried extra hard to arrange a visit to our favourite spot.  Tsatsisnukwomi Village.  There resides here a most gracious Chief; soft spoken, careful to choose his words, and full of stories and insights that capture us completely, every time we visit. His story is one of great hardship and noble struggle against huge odds, and it is impossible not to be moved by the visit. So this picture captures a “moment” as we left the village, Joan looking back at the village disappearing, the full impact of the visit with the elder Chief sinking in. We all felt subdued and reflective. A few tears came to Joan’s eyes, and her husband came out to comfort her. I don’t really take a lot of photos, but I raced through the galley to grab the camera and raced aft to capture this shot. IMGP5604

Here’s a few fun photos that our son, Tavish, took.  When he was sailing last year, from Costa Rica to Hawaii, he had lots of time to perfect his technique . . . He jury-rigged a camera to a kite and figured out how to aim the camera back at the boat . .  . Here, in the Broughton Archipelago he puts this grand skill to work. These next three shots are not taken from an expensive helicopter, but from a camera tied to a very long piece of string! Aided by wind!DCIM102GOPRO



I always thought it was perfectly normal to face backwards driving a computer mouse whilst driving the Columbia III forwards, but upon further reflection I think I have created a new yoga pose . . ._DSC5917 - Ross is hip

Boomer Jerritt Photography workshop 2013 Great Bear Rainforest

Boomer has joined us several times and we thought it was time to introduce him to  the Great Bear Rainforest. Here is a tiny, tiny sample of Boomer’s shots. There were so many great participants, each with their own unique style and way of capturing the world through  their camera’s lens, that we have been gifted a crazy number of absolutely awesome photos. Realistically, we should  redo all our advertisements, brochures and web site promo shots . Here are a few of Boomer’s. I will need  to do some serious reviewing in the fall of this new crop of images. Stay tuned for an updated photo gallery.

Here is a group shot. We have good people join us. Fun people. Fun loving people. But this group . .  THIS GROUP, led by Boomer was SUPER FUN! I don’t think I have ever had such a laughing, elbow ribbing, funny bunch of folks on the boat . ..  perhaps we were all giddy with the Great Bear Rainforest’s offerings on this 5 night tour. See for yourself._MG_6373

Here is Jim. See his Mothership collection at his site._MG_6386




Boomer stitched this shot together to give a sense of scale. The fjords are grand!

Pano Kynoch #2




Now here is a shot I want to incorporate into my promo material somewhere. . . . A calendar? _E5Q6420

We really avoid being labelled a “wildlife photography tour” as the BC coast is not a zoo. We can not guarantee we will see a “wolf” or a “bear” or anything. It’s too tricky. But what the Great Bear Rainforest does guarantee is spectacular wilderness with wildlife that time and time again treats us and our guests to wonderful encounters. This selection of Boomer’s photos speaks volumes._E5Q6464









May and June 2013. The season starts . . .

We began our season with artist Mike Svob joining us. This was a new collaboration for us but as often happens, I doubt it will be the last time we see Mike.  “Fun”, “informative”, “relaxed”, are the words that come to mind. Lots of instruction and lots of time to paint on one’s own.Mike Svob Instructional tour

Artist workshop aboard the Columbia III

Here Mike demonstrates his unique style for painting and now, the finished painting hangs on the wall in the salon of the Columbia III.IMGP5477


. . .  and Jeanette Taylor joined us again for another spectacular tour of Bute Inlet. Bute Inlet eco cruise

The weather was warm and calm. It seemed a “girls only” party organically “happened” on the front deck . . .. .  I crashed it, of course.Bute Inlet British Columbia

. . . and Robert Genn joined us for his third time in 4 years. The boat gets prepared for little spills and everyone dives in!IMGP5515


It is so cool for me to have such talented tour leaders such as Robert Genn working his magic right before my eyes on the back  deck of the Columbia III.Robert Genn's third tour with Mothership Adventures

A Robert Genn participant on the front deck of the Columbia III.IMGP5494

Robert Genn likes this little island. We call it Robert’s island. Note the hand rails and decks covered in plastic to allow Robert full expansive artistic expression (“read messy”) and me to relax and have the mothership look spotless for the rest of the  summer.IMGP5491


It’s not all about “nose to the grindstone” instruction and lessons and homework. There is some time to sip good scotch ( the bottle Bob gave me and then “needed” to borrow back!) talk “ART” and, for some, a cigar on the back deck.16 year old scotch on small ship cruise

Robert leaving an “original Genn” in our guest log book.IMGP5517

Fern helps a new crew member, Erin Rowsell, learn the ropes of the mothership galley and our unique approach  to customer service.IMGP5503

Erin is a great addition to our crew, bringing lots of fun and expertise to the galley.IMGP5449

luxury small ship cruising on the British Columbia Canada coast

 Some late evening low angle glow . . . IMGP5486





We seem to have many excuses a summer to hang decorations, light candles and pop champagne corks. Here we all celebrate a big day. The paddlers returned at the end of their day to a festive ship.IMGP5561      IMGP5565

Ocean River Sport’s of Victoria BC collaborate with us for a kayaking skills building tour. Here is their lead instructor, Gary Doran  leading a lesson on compasses. This is a great way to learn, explore and have fun simultaneously. We have had several guest return for another tour. They must be slow learners, devils for punishment or maybe they like something here?!Ocean River Sports collaboration with Mothership Adventures

Kayaking skills training British  Columbia Sea kayaking

Learning to kayak in BC’s treacherous tidal currents is a great skill to acquire with expert help close by.Sea kayaking tidal rapids canada Pacific Ocean

And the scenery is not bad on the breaks in the “rigorous” training schedule.IMGP5527

Gearing up for the next play in the tidal rapids of Surge Narrows.Sea kayaking B.C.'s west coast wilderness