Killer Whales cruise Knight Inlet, the 'Orca Highway', in search of Spring Salmon.Orca Explorer 

Orca Explorer is our longest running (more than 18 years) and most popular Sea Kayaking trip for couples, families, and groups of friends. 

You are comfortably transported to either our established basecamps. Camps are outfitted with everything you need to comfortably enjoy a safe wilderness adventure travel experience. For more than twenty seasons our staff and guests have been kept is "AWE" with what Johnstone Strait has to offer us. We have no bugs, inspiring weather and incredibly accommodating wildlife in a wonderful area of mountains and forested islands. It is the BEST PLACE to experience nature and whale watching is predictable if your have an experienced guide. Highlights of this trip starts with the island camp we have directly across from  "Michael Biggs/Robson Bight Ecological Reserve."  We more than often experience "Pods of Orca" visiting our camp and waters immediately in around our location. Kayaking is great with a blend of sheltered and open waters. Guides are great teachers. We visit researchers or they come for dinner. We eat fresh food and enoy wine with sunsets.


TRIP ITINERARY

Arrival Day: Arrival in Telegraph Covel is usually late in the day because of the travel distance or the plane connections to Campbell River and Comox Valley Airports. Pre-trip meeting at the common area in front of the General Store iat Telegraph Cove Resorts. @ 6:30 pm the evening before your departure date.

DAY 1: CORE AREA JOHNSTONE STRAIT 

Boat transport to camp with time for whale watching.  Part of the morning is set side for whale watching, so you can hear and see whales thus recognizing their familiar breathing sounds and daily behaviors.  Time for a few photos and we then proceed to basecamp.

Unloading time is quick and our beach is user friendly for folks of all ages. Time will be given to getting familiar with your kayak. Guides will start you out on  sheltered water always with an opportunity to encounter wildlife spontaneously. Often the first wildlife viewing from your kayak are bald eagles, otters and harbour seals. As the day unfolds into that afternoon expect to venture into an area of coves, beaches and small groups of islands. On days of good weather we often drop yooff at a destination where we prearrange the kayaks. From here we kayak along the shoreline to our island base camp enjoying the weather and wildlife as we kayak.Return is always before 4 pm unless whale encounters occur. Darkness does not come until 10 pm. After dinner we progress to a early evening beach fire. Your guides will monitor hydrophones to let you listen for whale vocalizations and identification of pods of whales before you see them. Most folks will be heading early to bed to sleep in their comfortable tents and rest up for the full day planned for tomorrow.

DAY 2: CORE AREA JOHNSTONE STRAIT 

This will be our second day to enjoy sea kayaking. An early start is usual to catch wildlife at first feeding or see whales on the first passage of the day. Whale activities are spontaneous but their travelling is predictable. We work with a network of Whale Watching boats and other kayak operators to monitor the movements of Orca and Humpback Whales. Today, we will spend a great deal of our time on the water. It is also a possible day to sea kayak from one camp to the other. Guides will make this call in the mornings after checking with our network of informants. Either way expect to kayak and explore a great deal on day 2. Expect to take time to view eagle rookeries, whales in transit and sea lions hunting salmon.If you are at our Johnstone Strait island camp, this might be a good day to visit the beaches across the strait in the vicinity of Robson Bight.After a healthy dinner, stay open-minded for an evening of observation, sharing photos, and recollection about the day’s events around a beach fire. Over the season, as the days warm and the waters absorb increasing amounts of sun, bio-luminescence  can be seen in the water as the evening gradually turns to darkness. It might be an opportune evening to paddle out for a short sunset kayak session.

DAY 3: CORE AREA JOHNSTONE STRAIT 

On our third day we are again looking to get on the water as early as we can. Often by now folks are complaining about the songbirds or bald eagles waking them up early with the first light of the morning. If the morning presents us with a low tide, it is an opportunity to use the kayaks to float out in the shallows and take in marine life as you have never seen it. Or it may be again a good day to exchange camps in the eyes of whale activity and the direction of the current. Regardless, this is a day to take in maximum time to explore by paddling from one camp to another or staying local and checking out spontaneous wildlife and bird life activities. Our network of supports and our ability to monitor hydrophones gives us a step up on these wildlife events. Sometime in the afternoon or early evening we will take a look at a special part of the rainforest. Our walk through the forest might allow a glimpse of an owl, visit old growth trees or give us an chance to stretch our legs. As the day winds down, our focus will change to another pleasant evening with a late dinner and a beach fire special event that everyone has to experience if you come to Canada…smores!!!

DAY 4: CORE AREA JOHNSTONE STRAIT 

Our final day is sometimes the best day of the trip so sleeping in is not an option. The morning begins with time for breakfast, a wash up and making our gear ready for the trip back to Port McNeill.  Once that is done, we can get out on the water and kayak along a sheltered shoreline that opens through a passage to a seal rookery or an eagle rookery. Take a bit of time for pics and move onto the open water where a humpback and her calf have frequented for the past three summers. Gradually we will paddle back to camp catch lunch, load up and cruise back to Port McNeill with stops to take our last pics of Orca or visit a sea lion rookery in Weyton Passage. Arrival time back in Port McNeill is 2:30-3:00 pm. We will shuttle you up to your vehicles, get your luggage out of storage and enjoy our last exchange of information and pictures. Often we have a small keep sake for all who take the trip.

Note: Weather is always a factor in establishing daily paddling times. We maintain a flexible schedule to ensure that you get the best out of each day and evening. We always have a plan B for days with variable weather patterns.


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Email us with your preferred trip dates and group size and we'll confirm availability.

Per Person: CA$1310 
Family Rates: Start @ CA$3800                                                          Group Rates: start @ CA$4500                                                               Trip Deposit:  CA$250 per person

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

2018 Trip Days: Monday – Thursday

June 18-21,  21-24,  25-28,
July 2-5, 5-8, 9-12, 12-15, 16-19, 19-22, 23-26, 26-29, 30-02
August 2-5, 6-9, 9-13, 13-16, 16-19, 20-23,   23-26,  27-30
September (10 % off all trips) 3-6, 6-9, 10-13,13-16, & 17-20