Our Humpback Island kayaking base camp is spectacularly situated with frequent Humpback Whale sightings directly from the beach. It is ideally located to explore Blackfish Sound, allows easy access to areas of high tidal flows of Weynton Passage and Blackney Passage, and serves as a gateway to the Broughton Archipelago.
Location – Its everything!
With a sunny southern aspect, easy landing beach and a specatcular view, this camp is one of our personal favorites. It is sheltered, no matter which direction the wind blows and provides great access to the lower reaches of the Broughton Archieplago Marine Park, the depths of Blackfish Sound. It is right in the middle of the Northern Resident Orcas summer feeding teritory but is located just far enough away from Johnstone Strait to deter many visitors.
The camp provides easy access to the high tidal flow areas of Blackney and Weynton Passage that border Hanson Island. High tidal flows tend to create concentrations of food and this in turn causes high concentrations of hungry wildlife.
The real name of the Island this camp is situated on is Swanson Island, but as we have yet to see any Swansons and we see Humpbacks all of the time, we changed its name. It sits in the heart of the Northern Resident Killer Whale summer range. This area is protected by the Federal Government of Canada under the Species At Risk Act (SARA) as ‘critical habitat’ for these spectacular mammals.
The deep bay front is revieves the outflow tidal currents from the Broughton Archipelago and seves to concentrat whatever food these currents are carrying. This makes it a favorite spot for Humpback Whales who will swim into this bay and gorge, sometimes for hours at a time.
The beach looks out over Blackfish Sound with Vancouver Island in the distance and the edge of the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park to the left. There is always something to look at when you are by the water, be it gulls floating by, resting on a log, or a cruise ship heading to Alaska.
It also has spectacular moonrise, sunrises and sunsets. There is no light pollution, except maybe our camp-fire so star gazing is a great evening pastime.
Our camp is located on land we lease from a private land owner. Our agreement with them includes that should we leave tomorrow, the forest could reclaim our site as if we had never been there. This does not mean that we cannot provide great facilities, just that we need to be very aware of our impact. You will find,
- Spacious tents you can stand up in, already pitched on locally milled red cedar tent platforms.
- Large covered area used for dining and lounging.
- Established camp kitchen with stove, BBQ & picnic tables.
- Beach fire pit for evening campfires.
- Composting toilet.
- Driftwood benches to sit and relax.
- A library containing books on local plants, animals, insects and local history.
- Various games and pass-times.
- New for Summer 2015 - The landowner we lease this area from has a well, in the spring we will be running a waterline to this camp. Fresh water is such a scarce resource in these low elevation islands that this really exciting.
- Unlimited fresh water means a shower!