Whale Watching on Vancouver Island 

We Stop For Whales!

Keep your camera within easy reach! For the past five years we have enjoyed the presence of a growing number of humpback whales from open water to the waters of Johnstone Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. Recent healthy salmon migrations translate into consistent sightings of resident orcas and humpback whales.

Many transport trips are halted by the passing of whales. Your captain enjoys the experience as much as you will. It is always an inspiring experience. We are not in the whale watching business but conduct our transport vessel within the whale watching guidelines we signed into years ago.

We do help the whale watching industry locate and ID whales as we transit the three waterways between Telegraph Cove and the Broughton Archipelago.

Wildlife sightings are not affected by the weather and therefore we even find them on overcast days. Eagles, ravens, seals, porpoises, Orcas (killer whales), sea lions and other wildlife are abundant at points along the routes of many of our transport routes so keep your camera and binoculars close by.We are also setup with hydrophones to listen in on whale vocalization when the opportunity presents itself.

Both our businesses Telegraph Cove Sea Kayak Company and Discovery Orca Sea Kayaking Expeditions comply with the whale watching code to ensure that we do not disturb or alter the behavior or paths of whales in the area from Seymour Inlet to Johnstone Strait. We encourage folks who rent and transport with us adhere to the  whale watching code. We suggest as part of your pre-trip prep that you visit the Department of Fisheries website that post the guideline in print.

Be Whale Wise Marine Wildlife Guidelines for Boaters, Paddlers and Viewers (Revised 2006):

1. BE CAUTIOUS and COURTEOUS: approach areas of known or suspected marine wildlife activity with extreme caution. Look in all directions before planning your approach or departure.2. SLOW DOWN: reduce speed to less than 7 knots when within 400 metres/yards of the nearest whale. Avoid abrupt course changes.3. KEEP CLEAR of the whales’ path. If whales are approaching you, cautiously move out of the way.4. DO NOT APPROACH whales from the front or from behind. Always approach and depart whales from the side, moving in a direction parallel to the direction of the whales.
5. DO NOT APPROACH or position your vessel or kayak closer than 100 metres/300 yards to any whale.

6. If your vessel is not in compliance with the 100 metres/300 yards approach guideline (#5), place engine in neutral and allow whales to pass.

7. STAY on the OFFSHORE side of the whales when they are traveling close to shore.

8. LIMIT your viewing time to a recommended maximum of 30 minutes. This will minimize the cumulative impact of many vessels and give consideration to other viewers.

9. DO NOT swim with, touch or feed marine wildlife.

Bow and stern-riding porpoises and dolphins:

1. DO NOT drive through groups of porpoises or dolphins to encourage bow or stern-riding.

2. Should dolphins or porpoises choose to ride the bow wave of your vessel, avoid sudden course changes. Hold course and speed or reduce speed gradually.

Seals, sea lions and birds on land:

1. BE CAUTIOUS AND QUIET when around haul-outs and bird colonies, especially during breeding, nesting and pupping seasons (generally May to September).

2. REDUCE SPEED to a minimum; minimize wake, wash and noise, and then slowly pass without stopping.

3. AVOID approaching closer than 100metres/300 yards to any marine mammals or birds.

4. PAY ATTENTION and move away, slowly and cautiously, at the first sign of disturbance or agitation.

5. DO NOT disturb, move, feed or touch any marine wildlife, including seal pups. If you are concerned about a potentially sick or stranded animal, contact your local stranding network where available.