In our last blog entry, we compared the 6-day and the 4-day orca kayak tours in Johnstone Strait to better understand the differences between the tours. As a followup entry, here is a rundown of the wonderful features of BOTH tours!
Highlights of Johnstone Strait tours:
- We paddle to the western boundary of Robson Bight Orca Preserve. The preserve is a natural area set aside specifically for these "northern resident orcas" - a unique subspecies of fish-eating orca found nowhere else on earth. In fact it is the only orca preserve in the world! No one is allowed to paddle inside Robson Bight, but it is a fascinating landmark. The orcas travel all along the Johnstone Strait coastline, both in and out of the reserve.
- Camping along orca waters with a chance 24-hours-a-day to see, hear and understand orcas and the rest of their marine environment. Hydrophones will be present so that you can listen to the underwater vocalizations of the orcas. Enjoy the evolved language of staccato snaps, clicks and pops of echo location from these intelligent mammals.
- Skillful guides provide the boats, gear, experience and instruction. Let us do the work of reading complicated tide and current charts and monitoring weather radios, so you can relax and enjoy the location. Sea Kayak Adventures supplies everything except your clothes! Enjoy roomy dome tents, top notch, hand-crafted Seaward kayaks, and sleeping bags with liners and pads. Wetsuit booties, chairs at camp and a library are also provided.
- Learn kayaking skills and how to leave no trace of your visit. We operate on strict “leave-no-trace” ethics – and have a wonderful time doing it! The guides are excellent chefs who will cook all of the meals and show you the ropes of eco-friendly camping. Guides will set out happy hour after the day’s paddle, and then prepare the first of many scrumptious meals in a dutch oven.
- Paddling through this marine paradise is a wonderful adventure even without whales. Though we see orcas on over 98% of our tours, Dall’s porpoises, seals and sea lions often join us as well. Oyster catchers, marbled murrelets, and rhinoceros auklets are readily seen, and bald eagles dot the trees. Keep a sharp eye out for deer or black bear foraging near the beaches as we drift past.
- Venture out on foot to explore beaches, tide pools and the rain forest. The tidal exchange reveals a variety of fascinating invertebrates as well as oceanic flora and fauna.
- Driftwood campfires brighten the evening conversation. The guides often lead evening fireside stories of Indian legends or orca science.
- Unlike the San Juans in the summer, the beaches often are empty, the tourist-toting ferries are preempted by the occasional fishing boat, and you will be paddling along a roadless, uninhabited forested coastline. Visit Telegraph Cove to wander the docks, whale museum and shops.