Tag Archives: Kayaking with Whales

Killer Whale’s Unique Culture and Behaviour

“Do you speak whale?” asked Dory the Clownfish in Finding Nemo. And the answer, we know from all our years kayaking among the Northern Resident Killer whales  in British Columbia’s Johnstone Strait, is, “Maybe.”
We say, “maybe,” because, according to researchers who study the resident Killer Whale communities off Vancouver Island, each clan of Orcas that populate our waters have their own distinct dialect that are as different from each other as Greek is to Russian.
Three Killer Whales ... 

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  • What to do Before and After Orca Camp

    Traditional First Nation totem found at U'Mista Cultural Centre in Alert BayTraditional First Nation totem found at U’Mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay
    Admittedly, North Vancouver Island is one of British Columbia’s best kept secrets — a short day’s drive, or an even shorter one-hour flight from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver or Victoria, it is unspoiled, untamed, rugged, raw …

    Planning Your Kayak Vacation

    We’ve entered into prime booking season – the time of year when our inbox fills up with requests from travellers from around the world hoping to join us at Orca Camp to kayak with whales.
    When whales are near, paddles are downWhen whales are near, paddles are down and cameras are up to capture the moment!
    Over the years people have learned …

    The Best Kayaking in BC

    You may wonder, just where is the best place to go kayaking in BC? Well, the entire coast is a pretty remarkable what, with its rugged, rocky shores, and countless islands, inlets and bays. Our robust populations of whales and sea lions, seals and dolphins only add to the pleasure of kayaking in British Columbia. We may be biased, then, when we answer the question: The best place to kayak in British Columbia is none other than the Johnstone Strait, …

    The Ultimate Orca Encounter

    We’ve been guiding Orca Camp for 40 years now and in all that time, we’ve never had an encounter quite like the one we had on a warm summer day last August.
     
    kayaking BC's Johnstone Strait in the heart of Orca territory
     
    How Orcas see in the Water
    Our group had been out paddling all morning when they noticed a pod of Killer …

    Ecosummer’s Contribution to the Cetacean Sighting Network

    Did you know one of the jobs of our guides at Orca Camp is to help log cetacean sightings to the Vancouver Aquarium and Department of Fisheries & Ocean’s Wild Whale program?
    Cetacean Sighting Log
    Each time we see whales, dolphins and other marine life we make note of the date, the species, their location, behaviour and other observations to help researchers understand the status …

    Adventure Bloggess

    July 25, 2014

    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.

    Orca Camp Sunrise 16-9

    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.

    Orca Show

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    humpback whale4

    sea lions in fog2-3

    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!