Remote and refined go together in British Columbia at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort and on board Pacific Yellowfin Private Charters
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Big trees and some very big whales. The splash of fish jumping. The pre-dawn silence of the forest. You’re immersed in pristine wilderness on British Columbia’s west coast and you feel totally alive and at one with the natural world.
You’re also feeling no pain. You’re not sleeping on hard ground nor are youeating dehydrated food from a pot. Your morning coffee has been delivered to your door just the way you like it. The morning paper didn’t arrive with it, but that’s okay. You’re delightfully cut off from the rest of the world.
Welcome to luxury in the great outdoors, where ‘roughing it’ is not part of the equation. At Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on the west coast of Vancouver Island (a 60-minute float-plane ride from Vancouver) you’ll sleep in a big white canvas “prospector’s” tent with a real bed and cozy down duvet. In the resort’s dining lodge you’ll enjoy gourmet cuisine; maybe grilled Clayoquot Sound oyster chowder or prosciutto-wrapped halibut, two of their signature dishes. But the wilderness is why you’re here. Hike with a First Nations guide deep into the old-growth forest or ride horseback to a crystal clear river where you’ll cast for trout. A few days here and you’ll never want to leave.
Unless you’re heading to the other side of Vancouver Island, where Pacific Yellowfin Private Charters awaits guests for luxury cruises into Desolation Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest. The 34-metre (114-foot) Pacific Yellowfin is a lovingly refurbished WWII-era ship with just four staterooms, accommodating up to 12 guests. The boat gleams with varnished wood and is so well stocked with books, music and videos – not to mention food and drink – that it’s hard to pull yourself off the recliner on the upper deck. But you will because someone has spotted a whale and soon you’re racing off in a tender to see the orca up close. When he surfaces, his breath is so loud it takes yours away.
Later, you hang on tight as you motor through narrow passages churning with rapids as the tide changes. A feeding frenzy is under way as bald eagles, seagulls and black-headed Bonaparte’s gulls circle, then dive for fish being pushed to the surface by the turbulent water.
Back on the Pacific Yellowfin the chef has prepared the prawns and crabs you caught earlier. You feast, recount your day over a Captain’s Coffee and sigh contentedly.
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