Summer 2020 offered up some of the strangest times any of us have ever lived through. In many ways, it was a story of opposites; confusion and sadness all mixed up with joy and gratitude. It was hard to know how to feel sometimes!
For several weeks in spring, we wrestled with a rapidly developing pandemic situation, before finally making the difficult decision to cancel and refund all of our scheduled multi-day trips and Discovery Islands Lodge bookings.
In the place of a very full season of kayaking, we ended up offering custom full-lodge bookings at Discovery Islands Lodge, and a handful of multi-day kayak trips for small “bubble groups”. We re-jigged all of
our operations to allow for physical distancing, and introduced rigorous cleaning and hygiene protocols. While we felt good about safety, we did worry that all of our additional
safety measures would affect the overall quality of the trip.
As soon as the first groups arrived, our worries melted away. It felt so good to get back to offering great outdoor experiences, and the months of lockdown we had just finished made the wide-open wilderness spaces that much sweeter. Somehow, once we got out into nature, it didn’t seem like a hassle at all that we had to stand a little further apart, or use special protocols at mealtimes.
Perhaps best of all, It turned out that wildlife didn’t get the memo about physical distancing: some of our groups had once-in-a-lifetime encounters with transient orca, humpbacks, and dolphins.
Our reduced number of staff and guides meant that we were all quite busy throughout the summer, but the quiet season also allowed for a bit of extra family time. Koda has grown into a very busy one year old, and found a way to fill every available free moment! It was a delight to take him for his first kayak ride, and while his attention span was limited, we’re sure he’ll be up for more next year. Albert started kayaking for himself at age two, so our expectations are high!
It’s hard to predict what the Covid 19 situation will be next season, and we are taking a little extra time to plan our offerings. We are planning to return to something closer to full operations next season, but will be unveiling some significant (and exciting) changes to how we will operate. We learned a lot about offering safe experiences that are still fun this past summer, and are looking forward to offering more great trips next year. Stay tuned and stay safe!