Count Down to Orca Camp

We’ve been busy counting down the days until our 40th season of kayaking with whales on BC’s Johnstone Strait.

3, 2, 1…we’re off! We’ve loaded up our gear, strapped everything we need for a season of paddling onto a barge and have begun the process of building out our camp.

Everything we have at Orca Camp gets shipped in from the mainland at the beginning of each season

Everything we have at Orca Camp gets shipped in from the mainland at the beginning of each season

Warden Beach – A Magical Setting

Our guests often describe our location at the entrance to Robson Bight Ecological Reserve as magical and we have to agree. We’ve got 1,000 feet of pristine shoreline, in the shadow of an old-growth rainforest. A burbling creek runs adjacent to our camp providing us with all the fresh water we need. The rainforest, where our sleeping tents are set up, wraps around the beach, hugging the shoreline, and our Beach Café perches above it all, providing expansive views to all the action on the water.

 

Warden Beach

The view from the cliffs above our beach – our camp kitchen is tucked just out of view, above the kayaks

Right now, our beach is deserted…

1,000 feet of pristine beach at the foot of a rainforest — the location of our Orca Camp

1,000 feet of pristine beach at the foot of a rainforest — the location of our Orca Camp

But, in just a few days, though, it will look like this as our guests begin arriving from all over the world, learning how to paddle, then heading out for a day of discoveries:

Novice paddlers get a lesson in kayaking from our expert guides

Novice paddlers get a lesson in kayaking from our expert guides

 

Robson Bight – Orca Feeding Grounds

The mouth of the world’s only Killer Whale sanctuary, the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve is right next door, so we get a front row seat to watch Orcas coming in and out of their traditional feeding grounds. We’re lucky – our base camp is the closest to this marine preserve, and we’ve spent countless hours over the years watching Orcas, Pacific White-sided dolphins, sea lions and others put on a show right at our doorstep.

Orca Show

Sometimes we feel they’re putting on a show just for us!

Dorsals

Orcas heading to the rubbing beaches on the other side of our camp.

 

Once the kitchen is set up we take to the sleeping area – we inspect all of our wooden tent platforms and rebuild where time and the elements have taken their toll. Tents get erected, sleeping pads unfurled, waiting for the arrival of our first guests.

Imagine drifting off to sleep here, beneath the canopy of a rainforest, the song of the ocean playing in your ears

Imagine drifting off to sleep here, beneath the canopy of a rainforest, the song of the ocean playing in your ears

Then, we hit the beach – cleaning up deadfall and other treasures that have floated onto our shores over the winter, making room for the kayaks and paddles.

Kayaks

Kayaks lined up one after the other…soon to be filled with happy campers

These are long days, and nothing feels quite so good at the end of the day than a cold beer and a nice hot shower. Nice hot shower, you say? In the middle of the wilderness? Indeed. Last year we unveiled the Wobbly Bear Spa — an on-demand hot water shower house — one of the greatest indulgences we have at camp (and the perfect place to warm up and wind down at the end of a day on the water).

Warm up after a day kayaking in the Wobbly Bear Spa - an on-demand hot water shower tucked into the rain forest

Warm up after a day kayaking in the Wobbly Bear Spa – an on-demand hot water shower tucked into the rain forest

 

Once our work is done building platforms, setting up the kitchen, cleaning and storing our kayaks and paddles…we sit by the fire and listen to the sound of the ocean, knowing that we’ll soon be sharing this magical place with this season’s guests. Once we’re back we’ll share some behind-the-scenes photos of the gang getting camp organized this year.

Want to Come? There’s Still Space

Why not? We still have a few slots open for this season – if you’d like to experience the magic of Orca Camp for yourself call, or book on-line – we promise, it’ll be an adventure you’ll long remember.

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June 27, 2016