Day 1: Trip departs from Telegraph Cove, British Columbia. Meet your guides and the other trip participants for 8:00 AM. Once assembled we will pack our kayaks, provide on-the-water safety and paddling instruction, launch our kayaks, and away we go into Johnstone Strait in search of adventure and the Orcinus Orca, the Killer Whale!
After lunch (which you will remember long after the whales have been forgotten) we continue east along Johnstone Strait and arrive at our first basecamp. Depending on the time of day we might return to the water for a late afternoon paddle or explore ashore the area around our camp. The rainforest is dense, mysterious, and inviting. Whatever we decide to do, you can count on dinner being tasty and satisfying, and enhanced by the wonderful scenery.
Many evenings the whales patrol the kelp beds along the shore in search of their favorite meal, salmon! Because the ocean floor adjacent to the beach is steep, the whales swim very near to the shoreline, providing some of the best opportunities for photographs. (L/D).
Day 2: After a hearty breakfast, we prepare for the days outing and paddle towards the world's first Killer whale sanctuary, the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve to continue our quest for encounters with the Orcas! Often Dalls porpoise, the world's fastest small cetacean, jet-propels by. We may spot a seal pup hidden on the beach while its mother forages for their meal. We stop for a delicious lunch on one of the many beaches near Robson Bight, famous for the "round pebbles" (the rubbing beaches) with which the whales rub their bellies.
After a full day of exploring, we return to our camp for a fireside dinner, which includes (we hope) some freshly caught salmon. Hopefully a big one. Hopefully a sockeye. (fishing = hoping) And when night falls and the fire has burned down to coals and you're warmly snuggled in your tent, listen for the blowing of the whales, so near. (B/L/D).
Day 3: Today we break camp and cross Johnstone Strait into the Indian Group of Islands. Our departure time depends upon the tide and currents, which need to be in our favour to paddle through Blackney Passage. We will establish our new camp on Compton Island, site of the largest amanita muscaria, or Fly Agaric, (mushrooms) we have ever seen, dangerous only if you eat it.
Later in the afternoon, we explore Blackfish Sound, always keeping an eye out for Orca's. At this time of year, the area is of particular interest to birders as there is a high population of nesting bald eagles as well as many other sea birds. As we tour through Blackfish Sound you may see a great number of Phalaropes and Auklets gathered to feed in the nutrient rich waters. (B/L/D).
Day 4: After our breakfast, we paddle off to explore the southern Islands of the Broughton Archipelago. We meander our way through the many islands that make up the Indian Group, and may explore the ancient Kwakwa’ka’wakwl village site of "Mamalililkulla."
A late afternoon paddle returns us to Compton Island. Somehow, the phytoplankton seems especially brilliant at our beach. Maybe it is just the dark night sky far away from city lights, but whatever the reason it is worth staying up late just to throw rocks in the water to watch the brilliant display! (B/L/D).
Day 5: We return to Johnstone Strait today. Our route takes us into the realm of the Orca again! It seems the whales are as curious about us as we are about them and often they approach us, then slow down to accommodate us. (At no time do we harass or chase the whales.)
We could never describe the thrill of hearing and seeing this magnificent creatures in their natural environment. This may be a good time to submerge our hydrophone, listen to the mystical sounds of the Orca, and practice I.D.ing some of the individual whales! Ask Brian about the whale adoption program. You may go home with a family that is a LOT bigger. We set up camp for our last night in the Strait, enjoy a sunset dinner, and share whale tales with new friends. (B/L/D).
Day 6: We break camp in the morning and return to Telegraph Cove, as a group of experienced paddlers. Still lots of opportunity to see the whales! Many times, they have accompanied us on our route home. We were once treated to the most spectacular show right outside the Telegraph Cove. An infant Orca practiced its breaches, spy hops, and tail slaps under the watchful eyes of the rest of the family pod.
The trip ended late that day, but typically we try to be back at Telegraph Cove between 12 PM and 2 PM to allow you enough time to return down Island to catch ferries to the Mainland, or flights out of Port Hardy. After this trip, you surely will have had ... a whale of a time! (B/L/D).
6% Canada GST tax is applied to all tour costs.
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