Whales and Wilderness Explorer (25.115)

Location: Johnstone Strait
Price: $1650.00
Duration: 6 days/5 nights

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Departs from/arrives at: Port McNeill
Accomodations: Camping
Tour Type: Leisure Tour
Activity Level: Intermediate
Nearest Town/Village: Port McNeill
Inclusions:
  • Kayaks double or single
  • Professional Guides
  • Kayak instruction
  • Safety equipment
  • Camping equipment and tents
  • Cooking equipment
  • Meals as stated on itinerary
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sheets
  • Thermarest
  • Paddling Jacket
  • Dry bags
  • Parking
  • Water taxi on day 1 and van transportation on day 6
Exclusions: GST
Guest Parking: Yes Details: Parking available at pre-trip meeting area.
First Nations: Visit sites with evidence of past First Nations use.
Additional Information:
This six day and five night kayak tour starts with a water taxi ride to an island campsite in the Broughton Archipelago. Here we explore the many hidden waterways and discover ancient village sites where the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations culture thrived. We often see wildlife in the archipelago, such as black bears and harbour porpoises, which are not as often seen in the more open waters of Blackfish Sound and Johnstone Strait. We usually camp at three different wilderness campsites during the trip. We have a number of different sites to choose from, some involve camping in the forest, others on tent platforms on rocky points, and others on pebble beaches. The exact locations used on each trip depend upon a number of factors like group size, wildlife viewing opportunities, and weather.

As we kayak into Blackfish Sound and Johnstone Strait we keep our eyes peeled for the blows from killer whales (orcas) and humpback whales. These waters are recognized as one of the most predictable places in the world to kayak with both killer whales and humpback whales. In addition to the whales, we often kayak alongside porpoises, dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea birds, bald eagles, and colourful intertidal life. There is always something to see and our guides are well-acquainted with the wildlife of British Columbia’s coast, knowledge that they eagerly share.

We usually camp at three different wilderness campsites during the trip. We have a number of different sites to choose from, some involve camping in the forest, others on tent platforms on rocky points, and others on pebble beaches. The exact locations used on each trip depend upon a number of factors like group size, wildlife viewing opportunities, and weather.

We provide high quality three-season tents. For couples we provide three-person tents and for solo travellers a slightly smaller tent. Therm-a-rest sleeping pads and warm mummy-style sleeping bags with liners are all provided to ensure a good night’s sleep. A library of natural history books is on every trip. On the water we use stable single and double fiberglass kayaks and lightweight carbon/vinyl paddles. Waterproof kayaking jackets, personal floatation devices, and neoprene kayaking mitts are provided to keep you warm and dry.

Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Plan to be in Port McNeill the night before the kayak tour departs. There is a pre-trip meeting at 8:00 pm with your guides at our Port McNeill office across the street from the Haida Way Inn and next to the Black Bear Resort.

    Your guides provide you with an overview for your trip, distribute dry bags to pack your clothing, and answer any questions you may have.

    The next day, we meet at 7:30 am to head down to the marina to load our water taxi. It is just a short walk from the hotels, and all your bags are transported by our van. Vehicles and extra luggage can be left at your hotel while you are on your kayak tour. If you are not staying at a hotel or B&B with parking, we have limited free parking and luggage storage available at our office.

    The hour long water taxi ride takes us to our first campsite, where we’ll settle in. The guides provide a site orientation and paddle briefing. We head out for a paddle before lunch giving you time to get used to the kayaks, the wilderness setting and each other.

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    2

    The trip starts in the Broughton Archipelago, a maze of small islets, and heads south into Johnstone Strait, where the chances of seeing orcas and humpback whales is greatest.
    This tour is a roving, nomadic tour, and we do have distance to cover to return to civilization. Along the way, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for wildlife; sightings may dictate our itinerary for the day.

    Close by are many islets that are home to numerous sea birds and seals and the more protected inner passages of Broughton Archipelago where evidence still survives of past first nations use. The locations of our other campsite will depend on possible wildlife sightings, currents, tides and weather.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    3

    During this tour we normally break camp twice (occasionally three times), allowing us enough time to fully explore the areas surrounding each of our campsites. Our first campsite is well situated on one of the orcas main travel path as well as being in an area routinely visited by humpback whales.

    We generally camp at three different sites during the trip. We try and camp on sites close to travel routes of orcas, humpback whales, and other wildlife, but actual spots depend on weather, tides, and group objectives.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    4

    In addition to our kayaking we will also make numerous shore stops to explore the beaches and the forest. Close by are many islets that are home to numerous sea birds and seals and the more protected inner passages of Broughton Archipelago where evidence still survives of past first nations use. The locations of our other campsite will depend on possible wildlife sightings, currents, tides and weather.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    5

    We provide an underwater hydrophone on all of our Orca Water tours and will often stop to listen to the sounds the orcas make. Our guides can often distinguish different orca clans by the sounds that they make and even identify many of the individual orcas through the shapes and markings of their dorsal fins. With the use of a photographic catalogue we can compare the orcas that we have seen over the day to identify the orcas to the families and clans they belong to.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    6

    Our final day – a chance to revel in the beauty of the area for one last time, linger over coffee, snap a few more photographs, and turn towards home. We break camp after breakfast and complete our journey by paddling to Telegraph Cove, a historic logging and fishing community. Here, we will have a chance to visit the ‘Bones Project” whale interpretive center and walk around one of the last boardwalk communities on Vancouver Island.

    Our van transports us back to Port McNeill. We arrive back in Port McNeill between 3:30 and 4:00 pm giving you enough time to fly out of Port Hardy or catch a late ferry back to the mainland, but delays do happen. We strongly suggest that our guests spend the last night in Port McNeill, enjoy a hot shower, and slowly transition out of vacation mode. Most guests choose to do this, and guests and guides often get together for a no-host farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accomodation: Accommodation by Customer

North America: 1.800.255.5057 - UK: 0.800.051.6364 - Australia: 1.800.143.454

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From Our Blog

Getting Busy

Saturday, February 16 2019

Here in Victoria the snow is dissipating which we hope is a sign that spring is around the corner. While many others remain locked in winter's grasp, most everyone (except for the die-hard skiers) are thinking of warmer weather. And from my corner of the world, this translates to kayak vacations. In particular, our trips to Haida Gwaii, Johnstone Strait and Broken Group are gathering speed, with a number of departures sold out and some others having one or two seats remaining. Please use our search engine to select a date and trip - if the departure you want is booked please let me know.  If the demand is there, I might be able to put on another departure. 

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