Onward to Johnstone Strait proper, where we’ll spend our time here traveling the main channels of Blackfish Sound and Johnstone Strait. These waters are the most consistent for wildlife, and as we paddle we’ll keep our eyes on the horizon for the blows from orca, humpback, or Minke whales. With approximately 200 Orca Residents in the area, our chances of spotting them are excellent.
But there is much more to this area; from the snow-capped peaks of the coastal mountains, to the verdant rolling hills of Vancouver Island, bears strolling the shoreline, eagles fishing in front of our campsite, a campfire at dusk – these are the beautiful subtleties of the area. This is our classic tour, and its’ popularity speaks for itself.
We first meet the evening before the trip starts at 8:00 pm for a short pre-trip meeting with your guides. They will provide you with an overview of what to expect on your trip, provide you with dry bags to pack your personal items and to answer any last minute questions you may have.
We meet at 7:30am to begin our trip. All your gear is taken to our awaiting water taxi by our van and a short 5 minute walk takes us to the harbour where we board the water taxi for the one hour trip to our camp site (in inclement weather our van will return to drive you to the water taxi). If necessary you will be able to store extra luggage at the hotel during your trip and leave your car parked in their lot free of charge.
On arrival our campsite your guides will give you a short camp orientation. Once everyone is set up in their tents a short introduction to kayaking will be followed up by practising in the cove outside our camp. Once everyone is comfortable in their kayaks we begin our journey.
During this tour we normally break camp twice (occasionally three times), allowing us enough time to fully explore the areas surrounding each of our campsites. Our first campsite is well situated on one of the orcas main travel path as well as being in an area routinely visited by humpback whales. Also close by are many islets that are home to numerous sea birds and seals and the more protected inner passages of Broughton Archipelago where evidence still survives of past first nations use. The locations of our other campsite will depend on possible wildlife sightings, currents, tides and weather.
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We provide an underwater hydrophone on all of our Orca Water tours and will often stop to listen to the sounds the orcas make. Our guides can often distinguish different orca clans by the sounds that they make and even identify many of the individual orcas through the shapes and markings of their dorsal fins. With the use of a photographic catalogue we can compare the orcas that we have seen over the day to identify the orcas to the families and clans they belong to.
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In addition to our kayaking we will also make numerous shore stops to explore the beaches and the forest. During the trip we often visit and tour the abandoned native village of Meem Quam Leese and/or take a hike and visit “Eagle Eye” whale research station in Johnstone Strait.
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Our last night in the wilderness. A time to relax around the campfire and enjoy a fresh salmon Barbeque.
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After a hearty breakfast we will break camp and paddle to Telegraph Cove. In Telegraph Cove we will have an opportunity to visit the “Bones Project” whale museum situated at the end of the historic Telegraph Cove Boardwalk.
A van will be waiting for us at 3:00 pm for the short ride back to the Haida Way in Port McNeill. Many of our guests decide to spend one extra night in Port McNeill instead of trying to rush back that same evening. If that is the case we often all get together for a no-host farewell dinner.
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Canada British Columbia Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting Wildlife Viewing
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