8 October 2009

Johnstone Strait

Each summer Johnstone Strait welcomes the return of the orcas (killer whales) as they come to feed on the abundant salmon. When you are fortunate enough to kayak in the presence of these spectacular creatures and see them swim freely in their natural environment, you sense the strength and dignity that is denied them in captivity.
Little can compare with the feeling you get when the 6' fin of an Orca bull rises out of the water beside your sea kayak, or when you look down to see a mother and baby passing just under your kayak, turning on their sides to look up at you. After spending time in their presence, you'll soon share our belief that these are among the most sophisticated and intelligent creatures of the sea. Orcas travel at their own wills, and getting to see them, even in the vicinity of the Orca sanctuary of Robson Bight in Johnstone Strait, is a matter of fortune rather than planning.

But Johnstone Strait offers much more than orcas. Our days are spent kayaking the waterways and exploring the cluster of islands surrounding the strait (see map) . There is a wealth of Kwakiutl native history in this area. You can see the totem poles and houseposts at the abandoned village of Mamalilaculla (Mimkwamlis) on Village Island, which we visit during a daytrip. There are also the ancient cliff pictographs (rock paintings) left by a native artist of long ago.
You may also spot minke whales, river otters, Dall's and harbour porpoises, black bear, deer, and a wide variety of birdlife including rhinoceros auklets, western grebes, ancient murrelets, pelagic cormorants, phalaropes and loons. This kayak trip features a blend of choice wilderness sea kayaking, unusual wildlife, and rich cultural and natural history.

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