Safe Marine Mammal Viewing Guidelines

Spring has literally sprung here in British Columbia. The days are getting longer. The cherry blossoms are bursting. The weather is warming up. Which means for us, the water is beckoning. We are itching to get back out there, kayaking the pristine coast of Vancouver Island.

kayaking BC's Johnstone Strait in the heart of Orca territory


Reminder to Be Whale Wise

We may only kayak with whales in the summer, but you can find marine mammals in our waters year ’round. So, with this nice weather and our hearts being called to the sea, it’s a great time to review safe whale watching guidelines put forth by the Cetacean Research Network of the Vancouver Aquarium:


Safety First

As part of our Orca Camp orientation we spend a fair amount of time educating our guests on safely kayaking the Johnstone Strait. Here’s what you need to know to kayak with whales:

  • You should never approach any whales, dolphins or porpoises within 100 metres/yards
  •  Boats and kayaks are not permitted in Marine Protected Areas, such as the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve
  • Slowly approach and depart parallel from the side, not from the front or from the rear
  • Never position yourself in the path of whales or dolphins
  • Never approach a line or group of resting whales
  • Of course, you should never separate or chase any group or individual
  • Travel parallel and in the same direction as the mammals, and do not alter your speed or change course abruptly
  • Keep noise levels down – no horns, whistles, sonar, depth sounders, fish finders, shouting or racing of motors (not that we have motors, but you get the drift). If it is safe to do so, raft up together and keep your paddles down
  • If your kayak is unexpectedly within 100 metres/yards of the whales you should stop and wait for them to pass
  • Limit your time spent to less than 30 minutes when within 100-200 metres/yards

Reserve your Spot Today

Are you ready to kayak with whales? We still have good availability this summer — reserve on-line, or email our office for dates. There’s really nothing quite like kayaking the coast of British Columbia — and we ought to know, we’ve been doing it for 40 years now. Join us, won’t you?

Kayaking with Whales off Vancouver Island with Ecosummer Exeditions

Kayaking with Whales off Vancouver Island with Ecosummer Exeditions

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March 31, 2016