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We at Coastal Expression are acknowledging that we are on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Join us in a world-renowned paddling destination – the Gulf Islands are a paddler’s mecca!


Duration: 2 Days, 1 Night •  Skill Level: Beginner/Newer Paddlers

Offered: Weekend dates (none in 2023)


This page contains all the information on this base camp trip and available dates for the 2022 season. For more information or questions, please contact the team at Coastal Expression and talk to one of our guides to learn whether this Saysutshun Base Camp Experience is right for you.


Note: We have an adapted version of this program for Families and Youth.



Your experience begins at the Maffeo Sutton Park parking lot. Arrival time 7:30 am, you will be greeted by your guide. Please be sure to have all packing list items with you. After a quick introduction, we will depart for Neck Point Park. Transportation will be provided to Neck Point Park. Overnight parking at Neck Point Park is not available. Secure parking is available for free at Maffeo Sutton Park on weekends. All midweek programming will incur a $9.00/day parking fee.


Upon arrival at Neck Point Park we will disembark and walk to the beach. Here is where our kayaks will be waiting for us. Your guide(s) will then walk you through a safety briefing and spend approximately 90 minutes with you on the water practicing boat control skills. Note: Please refer to the Online TRAK Foundation Training Series for a closer look at the skills we will be practicing. Once your guide gives the Green Light the group will depart for Saysutshun island. Total paddling time approx 90 minutes.

Upon arrival to Saysutshun Island, we will take lunch. You may select from two options: A) Bring your own lunch, or B) Have lunch provided to you when we arrive at camp. After a well-earned break the group will return to the water for our afternoon rescue session. Note: At this stage, your coach will inform you of your progress and what skills will need to be demonstrated in order to attain your Level 1 Paddle Canada Sea Kayaking Certification. Refer to Online Foundations Program to review rescues practiced.


After our session, the group will break for 2 hours to enjoy some free time and dinner. You may select from two options: A) Bring your own dinner, if you have specific requirements, or B) Join the crew for dinner at camp. Note: Theory will begin at 7 pm sharp and run until 8 pm. Program participants will be given navigational resources so that they can be prepared for the route planning activity the following morning.


The Coastal Expression Team will provide instruction on how to set up our expedition tents and sleeping pads. Note: The camping fee has been included in the cost of your trip. Just bring your sleeping bag and other mentioned items on the packing list. Note: That cost for this trip is based on 1 person sharing one of our Big Agnes 4 Tents with one other person. If you require your own tent, you may need to bring your own. Note any additional tents will incur an additional camping fee as per our agreement with the Snuneymuxw first nation.


Saysutshun (Newcastle Island) Marine Provincial Park.

Coffee and tea will be available at 7 am, breakfast will be available at 8:30 am. The route planning activities will commence at 9am. Participants should plan to be on the water (OTW) at 10 am with their sea kayak prepared with all the necessary equipment.


The morning and afternoon activities will include lots of on-water time. We will discuss tools for risk management and leaders and students will practice on-water leadership training, navigational exercises as well as practice towing scenarios. Learning alternative level 2 rescue techniques are available to those interested.. A final lunch will be provided back at camp before we depart for Maffeo Sutton Park where you will be brought back to your vehicle.

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Functional Clothing for Sea Kayaking:

  • Baseball cap or Wide Brim sun hat

  • Long sleeve synthetic layer - Quick-dry nylon - We have Rash Guards available for purchase.

  • Shorts for while on the water paddling or swimming (No Jeans!)

  • Closed-toe sandals with an aggressive tread, ideally those that lock around the heel. I.e Keen brand or Neoprene Booties for walking along the shore (No Flip Flops!)

  • Sunglasses, (Sun exposure to the eyes doubles when on the water!)

  • Floating strap for your sunglasses if you don’t want to lose them. Chums brand are great - We have floating straps available for purchase.


Camp Clothes for the evening at camp and being on Saysutshun Island:

  • Camp shoes: hiking shoes or trail runners are great - Croc’s are acceptable (No flip flops!) - There are some beautiful trails to explore on Saysutshun for those keen adventurers! -Bring hiking shoes or trail runners if you plan to explore!

  • 2 pairs of Insulated hiking socks

  • 2 pairs Long quick-dry Nylon pants or equivalent - (No jeans!)

  • Optional (long johns for added leg warmth to wear under your Nylon pants in the evening

  • 1-2 long sleeve Merino wool shirts

  • 1 Fleece or down jacket to wear back at camp

  • 1 touque or warm hat

  • 1 set of rain gear - rain pants and rain jacket

Personal Items:

Your Own Sleeping Bag! 

We will provide your tent and sleeping pad, and a lesson on how to set them up.


  • Camp pillow: Your fleece or down jacket can be rolled up to make an adequate pillow.

  • Camp Towel - Ideally a quick-dry / nylon towel

  • Headlamp or flashlight for when at camp (with extra batteries)

  • Phone charger and power bank if needed

  • Personal Toiletries, ie toothbrush, hairbrush, contact lenses, medications, etc (Please disclose any medications on your medical consent form)

  • Ocean safe Sunscreen

  • Reusable water bottle (We will have filtered water at camp)

  • Cash / Debit / Credit for purchasing dinner at the Saysutshun Island Concession or the Dhingy Dock

Your Guides


This trip is led by experienced Guides.

This gulf island trip will be facilitated by one or two of our local Vancouver Island-based Guides, depending on the number of registered participants. Our Guides are experienced leaders in the outdoor industry. Participants will be invited and encouraged to attend an online orientation call 30 days in advance of the trip departure date. This online meeting will be an opportunity for you to meet and greet your Guide(s) as well as fellow tour participants.


We'll provide everything you need once the tour starts, until it ends. You may want to bring your favorite PFD or paddle, if you have one.

A comprehensive packing list will be shared upon trip registration.

  • An experienced sea kayak instructor

  • All group expedition equipment

  • Three meals a day including hot drinks and snacks

  • Hard-shell kayaks and performance sea kayaks for your use

  • Drybags for storing your personal items


  • Transportation to Nanaimo, BC

  • Gratuities

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