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
Just returned home to the U.S.A. from Ecosummer’s Orca Camp, in beautiful B.C.
Took my daughter on 3 night/4 day trip for her 16th birthday. Every part of the trip was unbelievable. The first day was spent on a whale-watching boat out of Port McNeil and our guides were exceptional! On this trip, our first day we saw sea otters, huge sea lions, a grey whale, and many Orcas – all of which our guide could identify. After the whale-watching we were whisked off in a water taxi to Ecosummer’s base camp, strategically positioned in prime Orca residence country – a 1 hour boat trip into the wilderness!
The camp is right out of Swiss Family Robinson
Definitely camping and oh so secluded and oh sooo beautiful, with mountains jutting down into the ocean.
That night as unpacking, (our 1st night), someone yelled, “Orcas!” and we all ran down from our tents to the beach to see a pod of Orcas swimming by. We knew this was likely not normal, but boy did we enjoy viewing these awesome creatures swim by. The sound of them pushing air out of their blow holes was one I will never forget!! We were stunned.
Our guides cooked us wonderful and healthy meals the entire trip and snacks were always available.
Our group consisted of my daughter and I, the only Americans, a Swiss family of 4, a wonderful young couple from Holland, and a fantastic couple from Ireland. With no cell phone reception, the kids were in serious data shock!! However, as the trip went on, it was wonderful to see my daughter bond with the awesome 10 & 15 year old Swiss children.
The next 2 days, we kayaked on the calmest of waters and saw eagle after eagle soar by. We ate wonderful lunches on the beach and were in awe with the awesome mountains with snow capped peaks to view from the water! However, we did not see Orcas as they apparently had left the area, per our guides communication with the whale watching boats and all other water goers.
More great dinners and deep sleeps in the wilderness.
Thursday was our last day to Kayak and we were told there were Orcas in the area! How exciting!! So, we took off down the Strait and were reminded by our guides that you cannot chase the Orcas; we have to just hope they come our way. So, we pulled over for another fantastic lunch, and then… our guide got the call….. “they are coming your way!”
OMG!! I jumped like a 10 year old, and said to our guide, “let’s get in our kayaks they are coming our way!!” We all sprung into action, and within 5 minutes lunch was completely cleaned up and we were pushing off into the water!!!
After floating for about 3 minutes, Mr. Holland yelled, “Orca!!” We all paddled forward into the Strait with excitement!! Then, we were just hanging out in the middle of the Strait when there it was, a huge tall dorsal fin coming our way!!! My daughter and I were excited, frightened and exhilarated all at the same time!! What a rush!! What beautiful and powerful animals! We sat and watched and listened and took it all in.
We all realized that we were some of only the very lucky few to be able to experience being so close to these beautiful massive creatures and you could tell that we all cherished this wonderful experience. Some were even known to say that this was one of the best days of their lives.
All in all, the tents, sleeping bags, pillows, terrifically healthy food and of course the brand new shower, with hot water, provided by Ecosummer Expeditions made this trip exceptional. This, coupled with the chance to get into the gorgeous wilderness and truly disconnect from work and the outside world, along with the above described experience culminated in an unbelievable vacation, and created memories never to ever be forgotten and cherished for a life time.
Thanks to my helicopter skiing guide, Willy, for introducing me to the terrific Ecosummer gang and experience.
Note: I enjoyed the 4 day trip as the whale-watching was a fun way to begin the adventure.
If you are in to wine like I am, it helped that I brought a few bottles to enjoy in the evenings as the Ecosummer literature recommended.
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