More and more as we live in our hyper-connected world we’re losing touch with the natural world around us. So much so, that Canadian doctors have recently started prescribing “get out in nature” to their patients.
Spend any time outdoors and you’ll immediately begin reaping the benefits: increased creativity, reduced stress, better sleep and cognitive function. It’s true: time spent exploring in …
We spend a lot of time here on the blog, and over on our Facebook page talking about connections and community – two concepts that remain at the heart of what we do here at Orca Camp.
Friendships Bloom when Kayaking with Orcas on Vancouver Island
We love bringing together a diverse group of strangers, teaching them how to paddle, showing them the …
The haunting call of a distant foghorn roused us out of our tents yesterday. Stumbling, sleepy-eyed onto the beach we looked out over the water, hoping to see those familiar flukes and fins we’ve been so mesmerized by all season long…instead, we saw only a thick blanket of fog beyond the shoreline, swaddling the Johnstone Strait in a dream-like mist as far as we could see. When morning breaks like this, you can’t help but lean into the day, slowly…starting …
We’ve just bid adieu to our most recent group of Orca Campers – folks who’ve travelled from around the world and across Canada to the shores of North Vancouver Island, seeking the sort of mild adventures we offer – kayaking with whales, wilderness hikes and exploring the natural wonders of the Johnstone Strait – all in the realm of the Orca. It’s been a hectic and magical first few weeks – the kind that leaves you smiling, content and exhausted at the end of each adventure-filled day.
Expanding our Horizons
While kayaking with Orcas is the highlight of every trip, this year we’ve expanded our horizons offering a guided motorized whale-watching expedition at the beginning of each Orca Camp trip. Departing from Port McNeill, our guests take in the wonders of the Johnstone Strait, searching for marine life in a much broader region than we could ever possibly cover by kayak.
We’re just a few trips into the season but we’ve been amazed at the encounters we’ve had with Stellar Sea Lion colonies, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Orcas and Humpback whales. During this week’s outing aboard the Naiad Explorer we sat mesmerized for what seemed like hours (but wasn’t) watching Humpbacks milling about at the surface of the water using their pectoral fins to scoop Sockeye, Coho and Pink Salmon into their gaping, open mouths. We captured it all on video, and just as soon as we can render it down we’ll post it on our Facebook page.
Meanwhile Back at Camp
Bright, sunny days gave way to overcast and moonless nights last week, creating an inky black so dark it’s impossible to see more than a few feet in front of you – the perfect conditions for a laser light show – this one put on by the phosphorescent organisms found in our local waters. This naturally occurring phenomena makes the ocean glow, casting the waters in a soft, shimmering light. At the stroke of midnight and under the cover of darkness we launched our kayaks from the beach and watched, enchanted, as schools of salmon swam all around us creating arcs of light reminiscent of laser light beams. We were only 200 metres from the shore and it made us wonder: who needs fireworks when Mother Nature puts on such a great show?
Are you Ready to see it for Yourself?
We still have a few select spots open this season – it’s not too late to experience the magic of Orca Camp this year. Book on-line or give our office a call – we’ll keep a tent open for you!
Spring has sprung over here on the Island – oh sure, you can see evidence of spring all over British Columbia – cherry blossoms have put on their usual show causing us to oohhh and ahhh and marvel at every glimpse of their feathery loveliness. Daffodils are smiling their sunny faces in gardens everywhere, and tulips – oh tulips, another true harbinger of spring – pop their pretty pink, ruby red and yellow heads up everywhere.
But…out here on the Johnstone …
Wildlife Wednesday is a popular day on our Facebook page – where we post images captured by our guests and guides at Orca Camp, on the West Coast Trail and soon, on our new West Coast Whales and Wilderness Tour.
Spotting animals in the wild is a privileged and exhilarating experience – each, and every, time you spy them…Humpbacks, Orcas, …
There are countless tales of adventures you could tell about Canada’s West Coast Trail: stories about the hike of a lifetime; a bucket-list experience. Reports of a journey reserved for those who can meet and overcome the unique challenges presented on the trail; legends, really, of an experience not for the faint of heart, and not to be undertaken alone. But did you know long before the West Coast Trail became the legendary hike it is today, its story begins …
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following post comes to us from one of our recent guests to Orca Camp – a novice at adventure travel she was inspired to sign-up for Orca Camp, then worried she wouldn’t have what it takes to really enjoy the experience. Here’s her story:
Remember the first day of your very first job…back when you had little or no experience at all? …
“I am going on an adventure!”
~ Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit.
Adventure travel by its very definition can change you. Stretching outside of your boundaries, pushing yourself to your limits gives you a greater appreciation of the world and your place in it. Faced with new experiences, you’re playing in a zone of uncertainty, which ultimately helps you navigate life’s uncertainties when you return home from vacation.