“My forgotten dream of an Orca swimming under my kayak came true!!”
Mesmerized, a guest sits in silent wonder watching a pod of Orcas swim past her kayak.
Those words, written in a TripAdvisor review by a recent visitor to Orca Camp gave us shivers when we read them. It’s not every day you can take credit for …
Have you ever wondered what our guests have to say about Orca Camp? Wonder no more…This week’s Field Report comes courtesy of Marsha K., a first-time visitor to Orca Camp – but we suspect, a new-found friend we’ll happily welcome back again. The following is an excerpt published with permission, from Marsha’s online review of Orca Camp:
Into the Wilderness
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
We’ve welcomed guests from as far away as Switzerland …
Wow, this is a busy time of year for us at Orca Camp! Camp is set up, the kayaks got loaded onto a water taxi for delivery to base camp, new staff have arrived and been trained, a new shower house has been built (more on that later) and we’ve finished up with our first two groups of the season. Whew!
It’s our most frequently asked question: “What are the odds I’ll see Killer Whales if I come to Orca Camp?”
The answer, quite simply, is: it depends – anything other than that is pure hyperbole.
The first thing we remind people considering coming to Orca Camp is that this is a wildlife viewing experience – emphasis on wild. We don’t operate a marine …
More and more as we live in our hyper-connected world we’re losing touch with the natural world around us. So much so, that Canadian doctors have recently started prescribing “get out in nature” to their patients.
Spend any time outdoors and you’ll immediately begin reaping the benefits: increased creativity, reduced stress, better sleep and cognitive function. It’s true: time spent exploring in …
Killer Whales, the largest of all cetaceans, are found in all the world’s oceans from the tropics to the polar regions, but did you know the lick of ocean between the northeast coast of Vancouver Island and the western coast of British Columbia’s mainland is one of the best places in the world to see Killer Whales in the wild?
That lick of ocean is the Johnstone Strait, and our Orca Camp is right smack dab in the middle of …
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.
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.
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!
Spring has sprung over here on the Island – oh sure, you can see evidence of spring all over British Columbia – cherry blossoms have put on their usual show causing us to oohhh and ahhh and marvel at every glimpse of their feathery loveliness. Daffodils are smiling their sunny faces in gardens everywhere, and tulips – oh tulips, another true harbinger of spring – pop their pretty pink, ruby red and yellow heads up everywhere.
But…out here on the Johnstone …
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following post comes to us from one of our recent guests to Orca Camp – a novice at adventure travel she was inspired to sign-up for Orca Camp, then worried she wouldn’t have what it takes to really enjoy the experience. Here’s her story:
Remember the first day of your very first job…back when you had little or no experience at all? …