— Base Camp Kayaking —
WHALES AND GRIZZLY BEARS
— Base Camp Kayaking —
Whales and Grizzly Bears
WHALES AND GRIZZLY BEARS – BASE CAMP KAYAKING
Seeing a humpback whale lunging through a school of bait fish, a grizzly bear chasing salmon in a shallow river, or a pod of killer whale, also known as orcas, surfacing in unison are often considered once in a lifetime experiences and all three are possible on Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures’ “Whales and Grizzly Bear” base camp tour.
There is no better place in the world to kayak with both humpback and killer whales (orcas) than Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound off the northeastern corner of Vancouver Island. This area is recognized as one of the most predictable places in the world to see these great marine mammals and Kingfisher’s base camps are located right in the heart of these wildlife rich waters on an island covered in old growth rainforest.
We spend the first three days of this tour viewing the diverse marine life by kayak and late each afternoon return to the comforts of our base camp. Kingfisher’s guides are well acquainted with the natural history, whales, and other wildlife of British Columbia’s coast, knowledge which they eagerly share. It is hard to miss a killer whale’s six foot dorsal fin as it passes your kayak, but your guides also help you spot the less obvious sea stars, urchins and anemones in the shallows and educate you about the other whales, seals, porpoises, and dolphins that frequent these waters. Early on the fourth morning we get picked up by boat for a day of grizzly bear viewing. Your First Nations guides will take you on an intimate and immersive wildlife experience in their traditional territories.
This all in one experience brings you to the natural habitat of Western Canada’s grizzly bears, while looking out for whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, wolves and eagles while you cruise towards the coastal Mainland’s viewing sites. Listen to the guides interpretation of local landscapes, and the ancient villages that were once occupied by the Musg̱a̱makw Dzawada̱’enux̱w people. Viewing is mostly boat based as the grizzlies will be foraging on sedge grass and turning over rocks on the beaches looking crabs and mussels. Later in the season as the salmon return to the rivers we may have viewing opportunities on land.
Price: $1895 CAD per person plus 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Dates: This tour runs every Saturday to Tuesday from early-July to mid September. See the calendar below for availability.
Group Size: Maximum of ten guests and three guides.
Participants: This tour is adult-oriented but participants as young as 15 may be accepted.
Suitability: Beginner to advanced kayakers.
Departs: Port McNeill, Vancouver Island.
A note on early July departures: Early July is a great time to be kayaking in Johnstone Strait and there is an unbelievable assortment of wildlife. The resident (fish-eating) orcas, however, are not reliably seen until mid-July. They may be intermittently seen during early July along with the transient (mammal-eating) orcas but are not as consistent as later in the summer. You can be assured that an early season tour provides a great kayaking experience and a wide variety of wildlife is present without all the extra people that visit mid-summer.