Why should wanderlust be delegated to the weekends? Instead, take a day off. Fill a day full of expectations with unexpected adventures instead. Sea Kayak Adventures offers a day trip through some of British Columbia’s most stunning wilderness so that you can have an adventure without taking a vacation.
Our trip sets off from the shores of Telegraph Cove, a picturesque community pocketed away on northern Vancouver Island. We meet early and gather for introductions and a brief orientation on paddling technique and safety measures to ensure that your time on the water is both enjoyable and safe. From there, we launch from Telegraph Cove’s natural harbor and start out toward a passage leading to the boundless wilderness of Johnstone Strait.
As we paddle, we follow the jagged coast of Vancouver Island with the shadowy peaks of mainland BC standing sentry in the distance. Our kayaks skim through wild waters where orcas play and feed on the passing Salmon runs. Our trip takes you through the Orca’s main corridor, and your opportunities for spotting these achromatic creatures are best from mid-July through September with a peak in August. Leave your daily stress behind as you float through islands and coves filled with Orcas, sea lions, dolphins, Pacific harbor seals, river otters, mink, porpoises, bald eagles, black bears and more.
We find our way to the shore for lunch, stopping over at Little Kai Beach. Once we’ve eaten, we hike through the thick green forests surrounding the beach and take time to wander the intertidal zone, where creatures and driftwood can be found among the pebbles.
After our landlocked afternoon excursion, we return to our kayaks for the return trip to Telegraph Cove. Our trip back will be relaxing, and we stop to explore coves where marine life thrives in the region’s cold yet nutrient rich water. Bull kelp may be the most omnipresent sight, but a rainbow of sea urchins, sunflower stars, brittle stars, and more can be seen clinging to the rocky shores. You never know where an adventure will lead you, and so while we return to Telegraph Cove, we’ll follow nature’s guidance and take any opportunity we see to spot more of nature’s most striking creatures.
Take a day off with Sea Kayak Adventures to discover Johnstone Strait’s unrestrained wilderness and free your adventurous spirit for the day.
Dates & Rates
Daily departures starting at $125.00 per person
Images & Videos
FAQ & More
The northern resident pods of orca (killer whales) currently number over 220 individually identified whales in 17 separate pods. They are generally found in Johnstone Strait when salmon, their primary prey, come from the ocean to spawn in the rivers of mainland British Columbia. The whales arrive after about the first week in July, and stay through late September. Our tours are scheduled only during the times when the whales have historically populated the area. Transient killer whales are found in the area beyond this narrow summer window, but are fewer in number and offer infrequent sightings. Humpback whales return from their breeding grounds in Hawaii early summer, and remain through the autumn. Though once hunted to extinction from the area, humpbacks have returned to the area as a tremendous success story, and are almost more common than Orcas!
There are no recorded attacks on humans in history from wild Orcas. To our knowledge a killer whale has never bumped a kayak or shown any aggression toward kayakers. All whales are acutely aware of their surroundings, and can use echolocation to track objects in their waters. From our many years in Johnstone Strait and hundreds of close encounters with killer whales, we feel very safe being in their presence. Most of the Orcas we encounter are strictly salmon-eaters.
While we have a 98% success rate for seeing Orcas, they are wild animals that roam at will and thus, we are unable to guarantee a sighting. To increase your opportunities for seeing the Orcas, or simply to enjoy even more whale watching, you might want to add an extra day to your vacation to go on a Stubb's Island Whale Watching trip that is operated by motor skiff. Their motorized boat allows them to cover more ground in search of Orcas and humpbacks throughout the Johnstone Strait area.
For all of our British Columbia kayaking tours, we follow "Be Whale Wise" regulations for the protection of the whales. According to the regulations, viewers must stay 200 yards/meters or more away from Orcas. We are very privileged to have the opportunity to observe these incredible creatures from close vantage points. The survival of the Orca, depends on everyone's cooperation with the "Be Whale Wise" and other responsible whale watching regulations. Occasionally, because orcas are much fast than us while in a kayak, they approach us much closer than the above guidelines. That said, many of our closest encounters have been from land, as the whales often come within meters of the shoreline! Understanding the behavior and range of the Orcas helps to better-set your expectations for your Orca kayak tour. Feel free to explore www.BeWhaleWise.org to read more about these regulations.