Spy Hop Point is one of the original premier sea kayaking base camps in Johnstone Strait. It has been developed over the years to be one of the best camp locations in Johnstone Strait. Careful planning has gone into every aspect of the campsite development. Special consideration has been made to maintain the ecological integrity and retain the wilderness characteristics of the site. As with all of our sites, it is visually unobtrusive from the water.
Location – It’s everything!
The area in which Spy Hop Point is to be found is so good for Orca sightings that we have developed more than one beach location in the area. Our site 'Kaikash Creek Adventure Camp' is located on an adjacent beach while our 'Kaikash Creek Orca Camp' is just 2 beaches further down the coast. This beach is situated on the shoreline of Vancouver Island approximately a 11km paddle from Telegraph Cove. This allows us to leave Telegraph Cove in the morning and take a leisurely paddle down the coast towards camp. Much further and we would not have time to explore the coastline, looking for bears and intertidal life or spend time drifting while we watch the Dall’s Porpoises feeding, Eagles fishing or the Orca hunting for salmon in the kelp forests.
The beach itself is approximately 100 meters long, This allows room to explore when not kayaking and the opportunity to find a quiet area away from others on the trip with you. There are small rock pools to discover and some ancient forest behind it.
From camp it is a mere 6km to the boundary of the spectacular vista of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. A paddle to there from camp makes a great day trip, with lunch taken on a small beach en-route and an opportunity to explore a trail to a waterfall.
It is right 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 animals.
The Resident, salmon eating Killer Whales tend to hunt for their prey in and among the forests of Bull Kelp which grows below the high tide line. There is such a kelp forest running the entire length of this beach approximately 25 meters offshore at high tide. The Orcas, seals and Stellar sea-lions will come and hunt this forest on a very regular basis. Dinner is frequently interrupted by the sound of whale ‘blows’ and the resulting photo opportunities.
Eagles abound, soaring above and over the water; super intelligent Ravens search the shoreline; Mink slink the waters edge searching for crabs and other shellfish while squirrels chatter from the trees above
We are treated to spectacular moonrise, sunrise and sunsets. See the sun or the moon rise twice, once over the coastal BC mountains in the distance and again as it is reflected in the water across the width of the Strait. The sun sets over the distant ‘namgis first nation home on Cormorant Island. There is no light pollution, except maybe our camp-fire so star gazing is a great evening pastime.
Sit on the beach and watch the distant fog banks roll in from the north and slowly hide the snowy mountains of mainland BC over 120km away. Blackney Passage, directly opposite Spy Hop Point base camp is part of the famed ‘inside passage’ and is traveled by the Alaska cruise ships. Laze in a hammock and watch them go by. The tent sites on this beach are on terraced clearings, most have ocean views.
Our camp is located on land we lease from the ‘namgis first nation whose ancestors have lived in this area for countless thousands of years. 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 table.
- Hammocks strung at the edge of the beach – Ideal for just hanging.
- 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.