Kayaking with Killer Whales and Waiting to Exhale

It’s been a glorious few days at Orca Camp since our last Field Report. Despite a weather forecast that called for rain, we’ve had beautiful, warm days, and star-filled nights, eclipsed by breathtaking vistas and painted skies, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Mother nature paints the sky at sunset

Mother nature paints the sky at sunset

We’ve welcomed guests from as far away as Switzerland and as close as the Lower Mainland and points in between. We’ve paddled until we couldn’t paddle any more, and then we hoisted our sails.

Letting the wind do the work

Letting the wind do the work

Seriously, how fun does that look? It had been an exceptionally windy afternoon and we were all feeling a little fatigued, so we thought we’d hoist our sail and come into our cove with a little boost. It took a little teamwork to raft up together and lash the sail to our paddles, but once we lined up, it all came together and we found ourselves landing on our pebbled beach in no time at all.

We went a couple of days without seeing Orcas, so we bided our time, enjoying gourmet meals in the Beach Cafe…

Everything tastes better when you cook it outdoors!

Everything tastes better when you cook it outdoors!

You can work up quite an appetite paddling all morning

You can work up quite an appetite paddling all morning

We hung out on the beach, competing in the annual Orca Camp Inukshuk Building Competition…

Inukshuk

Un-worked stones have always been used by Canada’s First Nation’s people for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is “Someone was here” or “You are on the right path.”

Our rock-filled beach offered plenty of materials to work from, but these ladies preferred to construct their Inukshuk from pieces of cedar left over from the building of our shower house

Our rock-filled beach offered plenty of materials to work from, but these ladies preferred to construct their Inukshuk from pieces of cedar left over from the building of our shower house

And then we hit the water again…

Biding our Time

Waiting for whales under a steel sky

And this happened.

Orcas approaching...

Orca at 11 o’clock!

Our group had been enjoying their last paddle of the trip, heading back to base camp to pack up and await the water taxi. One minute we’re paddling along in peace and quiet, the next minute the tell-tale SWOOSH! of an Orca surfacing to breathe cut the silence like a dorsal fin slicing the water.

While it looks like we surrounded the Orca, they, in fact surrounded us. With paddles down and cameras up, our guests could not wipe the grins from their faces.

IMG_0001

A classic ‘grab your camera, quick!’ moment

“It’s hard to explain the feeling and emotion you experience when an Orca swims under your kayak,” says Jordan, one of our first-year guides. The A-30s cruised past our guests and, just as this big bull was saying good-bye to our visitors from Ireland, a second pod surrounded us.

What goes through your mind when this is your view?

What goes through your mind when this is your view?

A group of show-offs, these were, spy-hopping and beaching so frequently all we could do was sit, holding our collective breath, and watch in quiet amazement. While we were well within view of our beach, we could not move one paddle stroke until the Orcas moved on, some thirty-minutes later.

It was without a doubt, one of the best days we’ve ever had – and it all took place right in front of our base camp. In Orca Camp as in real estate, it really is all about the location. After these pods left us, they headed straight for the Robson Bight adjacent to our camp.

Do you want to experience the spectacle of Orca Camp this summer? We have limited space available within the next three weeks. Call, or email us to book your reservation – or join our growing list for summer 2016.

 

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August 4, 2015

4 thoughts on “Kayaking with Killer Whales and Waiting to Exhale

  1. Pingback: Field Report # 4 – Right out of the Swiss Family Robinson | Ecosummer Expeditions

  2. Michael Meany

    We have finally returned home to Ireland after a brilliant trip to Canada, with the highlight being our 6 day Ecosummer experience kayaking with Orcas.
    We had two experienced and fun guides…take a bow Lisa and Jordan….who were ultra patient with many of us who were new to kayaking. Yet within a day we were all confident and comfortable in the boats. Food was plentiful and nutritious and it did not take long for all the “new guests” to bond together and make for a really homely atmosphere.
    As Marsha described in Field Report #4, meeting with the Orcas while out in the kayaks has to be up there in the experiences of a lifetime.
    Thanks to the Swiss,the Dutch and the Americans for making it such a special trip,
    Thanks to Lisa, Jordan and all at Ecosummer for providing a unique facility in such a magical place.
    Michael and Pauline

    1. Adventure Bloggess Post author

      Thank you, Michael and Pauline, for your kind words. We’ll make sure Lisa and Jordan see them as well! We’re delighted you had a brilliant trip and equally thrilled that you spent part of your time with us at Orca Camp!

  3. Simba

    It was really magnificent! All these fine lads, wildlife, beautifull surroundings… orcas… many orcas!! Amazing creatures.

    I’m homesick. Want to go back home…

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