West Coast Wildlife 2023
FULL – 2024 TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON
All-Inclusive Workshop with Single Occupancy Included!
July 10 – July 15, 2023
Our annual workshop is back for it’s 5th year with an extra day on the water and now all-inclusive.
Once again, we are going to get wild!
This is an instructional based workshop that is suitable for all skill levels. This year is limited to a maximum of 6 participants with 2 instructors (5 people minimum). We begin in Campbell River, British Columbia located on the east coast of spectacular Vancouver Island. After our Meet & Greet, we will travel by chartered zodiac to a private, small island resort reserved for our group where we will stay for 5 nights. We will have 4 full seven hour days on the water searching around the stunning Discovery Islands for Orca, Humpbacks, Dolphins, Porpoise, Sea Lions & Seals. We will have 2 opportunities to observe large numbers of Bald Eagles hunting for Hake in the tidal rapids – this spectacular event has always been a highlight for our guests! If we are lucky, we may also see black bears, grizzly bears and elk on the beaches as we travel the waters. Instruction will be given while on the boat and at the resort between tours. Photo reviews will be scheduled at several points during the workshop so that participants can gauge their progress, identify their strengths and build their skills. Also new this year is the addition of photo editing tutorials. This is an exceptional experience to photograph marine wildlife!
Monday July 10 –
Saturday July 15
To expand each information section, click on the “>”
Our Daily Itinerary remains flexible each day to maximize our experience based on what is happening in the area. This is a general guideline only and may change as necessary. Local whale watching companies work together by sharing sightings via VHF radio, websites and industry-specific phone apps. This may influence where and when we go. By working with the resort staff and only if required, we will strategically plan our onshore workshop time based on the schedule of other guests that may be staying at the resort. It is very likely that we will be the only guests and this won’t be an issue.
* Included meals are noted below: (B) – Breakfast, (L) – Lunch, (D) – Dinner (alcohol is not included)
DAY 1: MONDAY, JULY 10 @ 1:00 pm (D)
MEET & GREET AT STUART & ANGIE’S HOME
We start this workshop off at Stuart and Angie’s home each year. This gives everyone a nice relaxing atmosphere to meet other attendees over some light refreshments and beverages. Instruction also begins here as we discuss camera settings and techniques for marine based photography.
Participants will provide their own transportation from the Meet & Greet location down to the Discovery Harbour Marina (approx. 15 minute drive) where we will reconvene. Our boat charter company will require each participant to sign a Liability Waiver. Each guest will be fitted with a Survival Floatation Suit which will be required to be worn on all boat tours.
TRANSFER TO OUR PRIVATE ISLAND RESORT: This year is an all-inclusive experience with quaint cabin accommodations on a private island. Steep Island is located on the west side of Quadra Island, just a short boat ride from the Discovery Harbour Marina. Your stay is based on Single Occupancy meaning you have a room to yourself – just let us know if you would like to request a shared room. Steep Island management have indicated that we very likely will have the entire Island to ourselves. They understand our need for privacy during our photo reviews and editing tutorial sessions. They have assured us that additional reservations will only be allowed if pre-screening determines that their stay will not interfere with our workshop. Meals will be provided as noted beside each date in this section. Alcohol is available at an additional cost.
DAY 2: TUESDAY, JULY 11 (B) (L) (D)
ZODIAC TOUR 1 – Seven Hour Trip
After breakfast, we will depart for our first boat tour around Campbell River and the Discovery Islands searching for marine mammals. Lunch breaks normally take place on land but occasionally is onboard if circumstances dictate. This will be discussed with participants during the tour.
We will return to the Island late afternoon and after a break, we will meetup for dinner. After dinner, Stan and Stuart will be offering photo reviews. Photo reviews are completely voluntary but participation is strongly encouraged as this is key to monitoring your progress throughout the workshop.
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, JULY 12 (B) (L) (D)
ZODIAC TOUR 2 – Seven Hour Trip
Departure will again be after breakfast. We will start the day heading north for our first trip to the Eagle Show. This feeding frenzy of Eagles fishing for Hake Fish is driven by strong tidal currents. Based on tide and current charts, there is a 2-3 hour window where it is highly probable to occur. The remainder of our tour will refocus on whales and other mammals.
After returning from our tour, we will have a short break followed by our first segment of photo editing. Depending on the dinning schedule, this may continue after dinner.
DAY 4: THURSDAY, JULY 13 (B) (L) (D)
ZODIAC TOUR 4 – Seven Hour Trip
This will be another after breakfast start. Today will be the second day where we have a 2-3 hour window that suggests that there will be another Eagle Show. It will start approximately 1 hour later and this will give us time to take our time, looking for whales on route. The remainder of our tour will refocus on whales and other mammals.
Upon return from the tour, the remainder of the afternoon will be free time to relax and enjoy the Island’s facilities and grounds. The time on the water is amazing but it is also surprisingly tiring! After dinner, Stan and Stuart will be available for anyone who may have questions or a re-cap on the previous day’s editing tutorial.
Following dinner, our second round of reviews will take place.
DAY 5: FRIDAY, JULY 14 (B) (L) (D)
Today we will change things up and host our second photo editing tutorial after breakfast. Lunch will be served in the dining room late morning and we will aim to be on the boat no later than 1pm.
ZODIAC TOUR 4 – Seven Hour Trip
We depart for a later boat trip today and we will be returning around 8pm. This will be an amazing opportunity to photograph marine activity in some evening light that we haven’t seen thus far on our tours.
DAY 6: SATURDAY, JULY 15 (B)
After breakfast, we will bid farewell to our friends and private resort as we make our return to Campbell River.
DEPOSITS, PAYMENTS & CANCELLATION
TO REGISTER, PLEASE EMAIL US AT
WAIVER OF LIABILTY: A completed and signed copy of the Coastal Workshops Release of Liability must be submitted prior to attending. This document will be presented at the time a request to participate has been received. See also ADDITIONAL TERMS & CONDITIONS in the next section below.
INITIAL DEPOSIT: A deposit in the amount of $2,500 is required to secure your placement for this workshop. For our refund policy, please see our “CANCELLATION POLICY” below. Travel insurance with Trip Cancellation, Trip Delay, Trip Interruption & Lost Baggage is strongly encouraged for all participants.
BALANCE: Final payment of $2650 is due May 30, 2023. If the balance is not paid in full by the due date, the “60 Day or less” cancellation policy will apply. No refund will be offered.
CANCELLATION POLICY: If for whatever reason you need to cancel, notice must be provided to us in writing or by e-mail and receipt must be confirmed by Coastal Workshops. Unless stated otherwise in a workshop description, refunds are provided according to the following guidelines:
- A 100% refund, less a 2 $100 administration fee, will be issued if notice is provided greater than 180 days before the workshop commencement date
- Refund of all funds received that 1, 2 exceeds 50% of the total workshop cost when notice is received 180-91 days before the workshop commencement date
- Refund of all funds received that 1, 2 exceeds 75% of the total workshop cost when notice is received 90-61 days before the workshop commencement date
- 1No refund will be issued when notice is received 60 days or less before the workshop commencement date and the balance of the workshop will be owed unless a replacement is found and only if the workshop is filled to maximum capacity
1 For any of the above where a full refund is not issued, Coastal Workshops will make reasonable efforts to find a replacement for your workshop spot. If a replacement is found and only if the workshop is filled to maximum capacity, a 100% refund, less a $100 administration fee will be issued.
2 Participants may also choose to transfer their refund to any future workshop scheduled within the next 18 months and the administration fee will be waived unless cancelled again. Transferring your payments to a different workshop does not reset the cancellation policy.
Example: If you cancel the first workshop between 180-91 days and you then cancel a second workshop within 60 days, you would only receive a refund of funds that exceeds 50% of the workshop value and would not qualify for the 100% refund.
A 100% refund will be issued if Coastal Workshops cancels the workshop for any reason. No compensation or reimbursement will be issued for expenses incurred by the participant related to attending the workshop. Travel insurance with Trip Cancellation, Trip Delay, Trip Interruption and Lost Baggage is strongly encouraged.
TRANFER OF YOUR WORKSHOP PLACEMENT: If for whatever reason you must cancel, you may attempt to find a person to fill your workshop placement providing that there is no waitlist; please check with us first. A successful transfer is dependent on the replacement attendee submitting the necessary registration information, accepting all Terms & Conditions and by returning a signed Release of Liability. If the transfer is successful, all funds paid to Coastal Workshops will be applied to the new attendee’s account. Reimbursement of your funds from your replacement is your responsibility and not that of Coastal Workshops. Any balance owing, if any, will be the responsibility of the new attendee under the terms of their contract.
BALANCE: Final payment for the balance is due May 10, 2023. If the balance is not paid in full by the due date, the “60 Day or less” cancellation policy will apply. No refund will be offered.
PAYMENT METHODS: We accept payment by cheque or bank transfer to
We are not currently able to accept payment by credit card.
ADDITIONAL TERMS & CONDITIONS
A copy Coastal Workshop’s Waiver of Liability in its entirety will be presented at the time that a booking request is made. The following is a summary of some of the key elements.
CONTRACTED/THIRD PARTY SERVICES: Coastal Workshops contacts goods and/or services to other companies as may be required to facilitate workshops. This can include, but is not limited to, accommodations, transportation (ground, air, marine), food services, tour & wildlife companies and guides. By submitting payment to attend a workshop, you accept that Coastal Workshops is not liable for the actions of any third-party contractor or their employees. You also acknowledge and accept that third party contractors set their own policies, procedures and limitations that may alter the overall experience. This may affect scheduling and/or limit our ability to provide specific aspects of the workshop as may have been described in promotional content or in written and oral communications. This is beyond the control of Coastal Workshops and no refund, discount or compensation of any kind will be offered. Furthermore, by participating in the workshop, you are granting Coastal Workshops a complete waiver of all liability for death, injury, damage, loss, accident, delay as the result of actions of any third-party contractor and/or their employees. Travel insurance with Trip Cancellation, Trip Delay, Trip Interruption & Lost Baggage is strongly encouraged.
DELAYS & CANCELLATIONS: Many factors can influence scheduling within the workshop including, but not limited to, weather, natural disasters, third party contractors, lost items such as lugage, travel delays, equipment malfunction, errors or omissions in reservations, overbooking etc. This is beyond the control of Coastal Workshops and no refund, discount or compensation of any kind will be offered. Travel insurance with Trip Cancellation, Trip Delay, Trip Interruption & Lost Bagage is strongly encouraged.
MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR RESIDENTS OF CANADA: Canadians who reside outside of British Columbia are encouraged to purchase Medical Insurance Coverage. In the event of a medical emergency, not all expenses may be covered by your home province or territory. Do not assume that all benefits of your provincial or territory health plan will be valid in British Columbia.
MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL VISITORS & CANADIANS WITHOUT HEALTH CARE COVERAGE: Medical Insurance Coverage is mandatory for all workshop participants. Any workshop participant residing outside of Canada or Canadian who is not covered for medical in Canada will be required to provide proof of full medical coverage before they can participate in the workshop. Failure to have medical insurance in place at the time of the workshop commencing will not be permitted to participate and no refund, discount or compensation of any kind will be offered.
Accommodations, meals and transportation other than noted are not included.
Partipants are responsible for all travel related costs to get to and from Campbell River.
Photographic equipment is not provided.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING ON YOUR ADVENTURE?
- Tripods can be used around the resort but they are not permitted on the zodiac tours due to limited floor space.
- Monopods are permitted but not recommended. Engines may be running while photographing and vibrations can transfer through to the camera. Their lack of stability combined with limited space make them a fall risk – the water is really deep! For most parts of the workshop, light is not a major issue allowing higher shutter speeds/lower ISO.
- Drones are not permitted
Our Gear Recommendation
- DSLR or mirrorless changeable lens body or bodies
- Zoom lens – 200mm minimum.
- Zoom lens capable of 500-600mm will be a BIG advantage!
- Large prime lenses can be used but they will need to be handheld and based on 2 people sharing a bench space it can be awkward.
- Teleconverters – They can be a very effective tool when used properly and in combination with the right gear. If you are considering purchasing one for this workshop, we recommend first verifying compatibility with your camera and lens. Not all teleconverters work with all lenses and some combinations can result in slower auto-focus, loss of auto-focus all together, lower shutter speeds and/or unacceptable high ISO levels.
- Camera bag or dry pack. Stan & Stuart use regular, non-waterproof padded camera bags however dry packs offer the best protection. July is the driest month and shooting is done mostly while the boat is stopped or moving slow.
- Rain/weather covers are optional based on personal comfort level. Trash/recycling bags can also be effective and take up little space in your pack “just in case”. There are lots of tutorials online for this simple solution.
- Lens cleaner and cloth.
CLOTHING & ADDITIONAL ITEMS:
- Full body survival suits are provided by the boat charter company and are required to be worn while on the boat.
- Morning and evening temperatures can be cold even in July – bring layers. Even with survival suits, it can still be cold as temperatures on the water can be 5-10 degrees cooler and Zodiac speeds can be around 50 KM/H between sightings – there will be lots of room under the seats to store items.
- Gloves and toques. Hats with chin straps suggested rather than ball caps as they will blow off – many hats have been lost at sea!
- Rain shell including pants and jacket are recommended just in case. Survival suits are not waterproof!
- No open-toe shoes are permitted on the boat. Shoes must have closed toes and hiking shoes or boots are recommended. Waterproof footwear is suggested. While the overall fitness requirement is listed as Easy, participants must be able to step down into the boat and they must be able to step up and over to get out. Suitable shoes make this process much safer.
- Sunglasses or goggles. In some cases, transitioning between sightings or returning to the dock can be 30-50 minutes of continual driving at 50 KM/H
- Extra water. Water is provided but it never hurts to have extra on long tour days.