Sea Kayaking Tours with Killer Whales of Johnstone Sea kayak with killer whales, paddle with Orcas of Robson Bight, sea kayak expeditions to the Broughton Archipelago from Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia (BC) Nomadic sea kayaking expeditions Sea Kayak Rentals Kayaking with killer whales since 1991

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North Island Kayak
Telegraph Cove, BC

Phone +1-250-928-3114
Toll Free 1-877-949-7707

Kayaking with Killer Whales
and other wildlife since 1991

Wildlife We See when we go Sea Kayaking

One of the foremost reasons people come to Telegraph Cove is for the opportunity to see whales. It is world renowned as the Best place in the world to see Killer Whales or Orcas. In addition to over 200 Northern Resident Orca who return every summer, to gorge on salmon and rub themselves on the beaches of the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, we are visited year round by pods of Transient Killer Whales, while Humpback Whales forage our narrow straits. Our sea kayak tours will take you to the specific areas we know these whales frequent and our camps are located on beaches we know they swim by. The rest is down to luck, the time of year you come and how much time you spend with us. With our local knowledge and our team of guides, North Island Kayak provides the best opportunities that Vancouver Island can offer.

In addition to the whales we also regularly see Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoise, River Otters, Black Bears, Bald Eagles, Mink, Deer, Minke Whales, Harbor Seals and salmon.

Kayaking with killer whales Telegraph Cove BC
Black Bear - Johnstone Strait BC

“Best holiday experience ever!” ElizaVH, Netherlands

Steller Sea Lions – Eumetopias Jubatus

Our Steller Sea Lions are the largest of the sea lion family. They weigh in at around 2000 lbs or 900 kg. Males have fur on their backs and chests; thus the name. It is believed that their lon ago land ancestor is the Grizzly Bear. It is very easy to confuse sea lions with seals. The obvious differences are their size, seals are much smaller and the sea lions have tiny ear flaps (see photo above); seals simply have an ear hole. What they eat: mostly fish and cephalopods. What eats them: Transient killer whales; humans hunt/cull them. Steller Sea Lions live in … Read more

Black Bears – Ursus Americanus

There doesn’t seem to be a lack of black bears on northern Vancouver Island and sightings have become a regular occurrence. Most sightings occur by the roadside where the bears eat grass, or on one of our numerous beaches, where they can be found flipping over rocks foraging for crabs. Black bears are mostly non-aggressive unless threatened or antagonized. There are very few attacks; however, you should still treat this animal with respect. For more information on black bears, preventing encounters and how to handle encounters see: The Get Bear Smart Society. … Read more

Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus

The bald eagle is one of nature’s success stories. After years of being listed as an endangered species, believed mostly to be due to pesticides interfering with their ability to lay healthy eggs, the bald eagle has persevered and is thriving in a variety of habitats today. At least 750 congregate just outside Telegraph Cove on the northeast part of Vancouver Island in the spring and summer. Fall finds them by rivers and streams where migrating salmon swim upstream to spawn and then die. Fish being their favorite food, the bald eagle seems to prefer living near large bodies of water. They … Read more

American Mink – Neovison Vison

Another fun loving creature, the mink can often be found on pebble beaches of the Johnstone Strait, foraging for food. These semi aquatic mammals live in dens or hollow logs and have even been found under docks or piers. Weighing in at a hefty ½ kg to 1 kg (1-2 pounds) and measuring about ½ metre (2 ft ), the mink live to 8 to 10 years of age unless eaten by one of it’s many natural predators including bald eagles and owls. Humans used to hunt mink for their prized fur but today minks are farmed rather than hunted. The mink has a gestation period of a little more than a month, and … Read more

North American River Otters – Lontra canadensis

Often confused with Sea Otters, River Otters are slimmer and tend to spend time on land; sea otters are usually always in the water. River otters are playful and display similar behavior to cats, purring and rubbing against each other. North American River Otters are silent, efficient swimmers with webbed feet. They are approximately 1 meter (3 – 4 feet) long and weigh about 9 ½ kg (20 lbs). They have few predators and most threats are anthropogenic, mostly pollution and destruction to habitat. Diet consists of fish and crustaceans and because they are the top of the food chain, the … Read more

Dall’s Porpoise – Phocoenoides dalli

Dall’s porpoises are by far the most frequently seen marine mammal on our tours. They tend to be seen very frequently around the Blinkhorn Peninsula area, easily attainable on our half day tours. Description: Dall’s porpoise, named after the American naturalist H.W. Dall, resembles the Orca but is much smaller, averaging 1.8 metres (6 feet) long and weighing in at about 180 kg (400 lbs). They are easily recognized by their white-tipped dorsal fin. They live in the Pacific Ocean ranging from Baja California to Alaska, the Bearing Strait and off the coast of Japan. What they eat: … Read more

Sea Otters – Enhydra Lutris

Almost hunted to extinction for their thick, luxurious fur, the sea otter remains listed as threatened on the “Species at Risk” Act in Canada. The fact that their diet includes the northern abalone, a shellfish that has been over harvested resulting in the closing of the fishery, has not made the otter any more favorable to those who relied on the industry commercially. Re–introduced to Alaska and British Columbia, in particular Vancouver Island in the early 1970’s, the northern sea otter is now thought to have a population of 2500 to 5000. A species is considered endangered if their … Read more

Humpback Whales – Megaptera novaeangliae – ‘The Humpies’

After reducing their population by 90% due mostly to whaling, humpback whales came seriously close to extinction. It is with great joy and relief that we are starting to see these magnificent giants returning slowly but ever so surely to Johnstone Strait and vicinity. They are now listed only as threatened on the Species at Risk Act -SARA Affectionally called “humpies”, these magnificent whales are easily identifiable as they dive “humping” their backs and gliding effortlessly by cruise ships and whale watching boats, putting on a show for the tourists. Their friendly and curious … Read more

Killer Whales – Orcinus Orca

Not so long ago the Killer Whale or Orca, a highly intelligent and sociable marine mammal were seen as ferocious killers to be feared and destroyed. We almost succeeded in their destruction through whaling and other questionable methods. Due to their feeding habits, sometimes perceived as competition to local and commercial fishermen, the Canadian government even went as far as to install a machine gun near Seymour Narrows, in Johnstone Strait British Columbia, in an attempt to cull them. Fortunately, the machine gun was never fired. Luckily we took a second look at these splendid creatures … Read more