Early Season at Orca Camp

We have been incredibly fortunate this year to have a strong start to the season. After 40 years of kayaking with whales on the Johnstone Strait we know the earliest part of the season can be a bit unpredictable. Weather plays a part in that, for sure, but so do the animals. We are now two weeks in…and so far so good! We’ve had some incredible wildlife sightings, we’ve welcomed guests from across Canada and as far away as Australia and each group has been treated to the best that coastal BC has to offer.

Unexpected Close Encounter

Silently watching the magnificence of a Humpback whale slipping beneath the surface

Silently watching the magnificence of a Humpback whale slipping beneath the surface

So far this season we’ve seen more Humpback Whales than Orcas. Humpbacks, which were once hunted to near extinction have made a remarkable comeback, with numbers estimated at over 20,000. Those numbers don’t mean they’re out of the woods yet though — Humpbacks still face a number of threats from collisions with ships, pollution and underwater noise from shipping.

Typically the Northern Resident Killer Whales “sound in” around July 15, but this year they showed up earlier than usual. The C-10s made their presence known with a splashy show mere meters from our guests. Our group had been paddling along when we saw their fins on the distant horizon.

Our guides quickly rafted everyone together — all the better to be detected by the animals — and waited. It was just before lunch, but no matter how hungry we were, we were just as hungry to see Orca fins slicing the water.

As everyone got their cameras ready they could hear the clicks and whistles of the whales as they swam nearby. What were the animals saying? We’d like to think it was “turn left, there are kayakers over there,” but who knows!

You can see the power of an Orca surfacing meters from our kayakers in the wake flying off its fin

You can see the power of an Orca surfacing meters from our kayakers in the wake flying off its fin

What we can tell you is that our guests are taking home a memory of their British Columbia vacation that they’ll be sharing with friends and family for years to come.

Member of the C-10s surfacing from the briny deep

Member of the C-10s surfacing from the briny deep

Find out more about our 2, 3, and 6-day guided kayaking tours over on our website!

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July 21, 2016