Johnstone Strait Guided Sea Kayaking Day Trip
Mid May to September
May 17th - June 30th
July 1st - September 23rd
Take a day and spend it getting back to nature. The Johnstone Strait Wildlife Opportunity Guided Sea Kayaking Day Trip is a journey into the wilderness.
Here top marine predators share the ocean with cute furry critters and slimy underwater creatures from the deep. You will paddle the rugged shoreline of Vancouver Island, poking into the shallows, under eagles nests in trees draped with rain forest vegetation and explore the shores of tiny islands surrounded by deep water, where whales sing and dolphins play.
The Johnstone Strait Wildlife Opportunity Guided Sea Kayaking Day Trip departs from our store adjacent to the boat ramp in picturesque Telegraph Cove on northern Vancouver Island. You will need to arrive here by 9-45 am on the day of your tour as we plan to be on the water by 10 to 10-15am. The tour starts with introductions to your fellow adventurers and a brief safety and paddling technique discussion to ensure your comfort on the water. After being fitted to your kayak you will be ready for launch into the natural harbor of Telegraph Cove. Here you will have some time to get used to being afloat before we head through the narrow opening to Johnstone Strait and the seemingly unending wilderness beyond.
The day’s route will take you North Easterly with the spectacular, rugged coast of Vancouver Island on your right, the distant mountains of mainland BC on your left and the realm of the Orca in between. Our tours focus on the journey; we try to ensure that all stress is left behind in the parking lot. The tour route provides our guides with the opportunity to share with you, their knowledge of the area, intertidal creatures, plants and depending on how your luck is running, Orcas or Killer Whales & other whales, Pacific Harbor Seals, sea lions, dolphins & porpoises, deer, mink, river otters, Bald Eagles and Black Bears; All in their natural environment. It follows a meandering route that will explore the islands and coves that dot this part of the coast. Emphasis is on wildlife, scenery and nature interpretation; however our guides will be more than happy to provide ongoing instruction to improve your paddling technique.
The chance of seeing the Killer Whales or Orcas while kayaking are about 50% from mid-July through September and slightly higher in August. Much better than the chance of winning the lottery! Before mid-July, it is unlikely to see the Orcas on a day trip as there is not enough salmon, in the area the day trip paddles, at that time of year.
Our guides all carry marine VHF radios and monitor the local chatter to ensure that we never miss an opportunity to see whales, bears or other wildlife. They also carry hydrophones, an underwater microphone with an external amplifier. Should there be whales nearby, these enable us to hear them as well as see them!
Bring your lunch and something to drink as we will stop for a while at lunchtime, on a remote beach overlooking Johnstone Strait. Marine wildlife frequents this area so keep your eyes peeled; we have had some incredible marine mammal sighting from the beach during lunch.
After our lunch stop we begin the paddle back to Telegraph Cove, again we will stop to explore areas that abound with the intertidal & invertebrate life that thrives in our cold, nutrient rich waters. We regularly see Sea Urchins of various colors, Purple Stars, Bat Stars, Sunflower Stars with many legs, Brittle Stars, all sorts of crabs and other shellfish and the ever present Bull Kelp. Naturally, if opportunity to observe the lager mammals occurs, we will take it. We plan to arrive back in Telegraph Cove at between 4 and 4-30pm.
This tour is suitable for the whole family but due to its duration we do recommend that your children be over 10 years of age to participate. Should you wish to bring children younger than this, please contact us to discuss a private day trip. No previous experience is required as we use very stable two and three seat, enclosed sea kayaks, provide all paddling equipment, utilize qualified sea kayak guides and conduct a pre-departure training and safety briefing.
To avoid disappointment, pre-booking is strongly advised.
A start point like no other.
- There is convenient pay parking right next to our store.
- We launch the kayaks from the heart of Telegraph Cove.
- Paddle for 2 minutes and you are out into Johnstone Strait.
- We frequently see eagles, mink & otters before we even leave the boat ramp.
All Equipment Provided
We provide all of the kayaking equipment. Come with the clothing and personal items noted in ‘What to Bring’ and we do the rest.
We even provide you with quality dry bags to keep your camera and other belongings dry.
What to bring
What to bring on my 2 Hour sea kayaking tour
This is a water sport and you will get a little wet while getting in and out of the kayak.
- Something to drinkl Water works great!
- Shoes you do not mind getting soaked as you will get your feet wet. Please do not bring flip-flops or thongs as these have been the cause of many cuts and falls on the boat ramp and beaches.
- Board shorts or long synthetic pants work well for your lower body.
- Layers work well for the upper half.
- Bring a hat or cap; they work great to keep you warm, keep the sun out of your eyes or the rain off your head.
- Sunscreen; even if the sun is not shining, UV rays get reflected from the water and will burn you.
- A camera or binoculars; We will provide a dry bag to keep them safe and dry.
- A snack,
- If you have allergies that require the use of an EPI Pen - Bring It!
For maximum comfort while kayaking avoid cotton clothing, this includes jeans.