Orca Camp 2016 — We’ve Arrived!

We’ve been dreaming of this place since we packed up Orca Camp last September. We couldn’t wait to come back to the northeast coast of Vancouver Island to kayak with whales, as we have for 40 summers now. It took us a solid week of 18-hour days to get the camp set up and ready to welcome our first guests who arrived this week, just in time to witness the Northern Resident Orcas sounding into the Johnstone Strait, a full week earlier than they did last year.

First sightings of Northern Resident Killer Whales in the Johnstone Strait 2016. Photo by OrcaLab

First sightings of Northern Resident Killer Whales in the Johnstone Strait 2016. Photo by OrcaLab

According to reports from OrcaLab, the whale research station located directly across from our Base Camp, the whales sounded in and headed directly to the Robson Bight (Michael Biggs) Ecological Reserve for a little socialization and rubbing. Did you know, rubbing the pebbled beaches of the Robson Bight is a characteristic unique to the Northern Resident Killer Whales? While no one can paddle into the Bight, it is possible to see the Orcas at the rubbing beaches — just click on OrcaLab’s live webcam positioned in Robson Bight to see what’s happening.

We’ve had some weird weather so far this season — some overcast days and temps that are a bit cooler than we’d like to see, but that hasn’t dampened the spirits of our guests who were anxious to head out for a paddle as soon as we got to camp.

The first group of the 2016 season paddles out in search of wildlife

The first group of the 2016 season paddles out in search of wildlife

The Orcas proved elusive this day, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t get quite a show! While we were paddling near the craggy shores we watched, mesmerized, as juvenile and adult American Bald Eagles fished nearby.

The wingspan of an American Bald Eagle can reach from 5 to 7 feet tip-to-tip

The wingspan of an American Bald Eagle can reach from 5 to 7 feet tip-to-tip

American Bald Eagle snatches dinner from beneath the briney depths of the Johnstone Strait

American Bald Eagle snatches dinner from beneath the briney depths of the Johnstone Strait

Afterward, we warmed up with some “adult” beverages and nice warm showers, at our Wobbly Bear Spa — the on-demand hot water shower we installed at camp last year.

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

The 2016 season is only just getting underway. We’re excited to once-again be sharing this special place with guests from across Canada and around the world. Maybe you’ll be one of them? If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still some availability in late August and early September! Call, or email us for details.

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July 13, 2016