Day 1: Arrival
Plan to be in Port McNeill the night before the kayak tour departs. There is a pre-trip meeting at 8:00 pm with your guides at our office, located at 1790A Campbell Way, across the street from the Haida Way Inn and next to the Black Bear Resort. Your guides provide you with an overview for your trip, distribute dry bags to pack your clothing, and answer any questions you may have.
We meet at 8:30am to head down to the marina to load our water taxi. It is just a short walk from the hotels, and all your bags are transported by our van. Vehicles and extra luggage can be left at your hotel while you are on your kayak tour. If you are not staying at a hotel or B&B with parking, we have limited free parking and luggage storage available at our office. The 45 to 60 minute water taxi ride takes us to our base camp. Upon arrival at the base camp your guides provide a site orientation, plus a kayak and safety briefing. We kayak for a short time before lunch, giving you time to get used to the kayaks, the wilderness setting, and each other. The afternoon is spent kayaking and viewing the areas diverse wildlife.
Days 3 & 4:
Each day brings a new journey; our base camp is ideally situated for exploring the area. The base camp is located on killer whale travel routes and humpback whales often feed within sight of camp. The islands and small islets close to the camp are home to numerous sea birds, bald eagles, and seals. There is always plenty to see. Both killer whales and humpback whales regularly pass by our camp, and we have enjoyed many dinner shows from the beach. When we encounter killer whales on the water, we often drop a hydrophone into the water so we can listen to their vocalizations. Your kayak guides plan each day according to weather conditions, wildlife viewing opportunities, and guest interests. Lunches are usually spent on a secluded beach, returning late each afternoon to the comforts of the Orca Waters Base Camp. Every day is different, but rest assured, our goals are the same as yours– exploring, kayaking, whale watching, wildlife viewing, and enjoying the scenery.
Today is an early start. We are picked up around 7:00am by Tide Rip Tours for a two hour boat ride up Knight Inlet. When we arrive at our destination in Glendale Cove we move to a flat-bottom boat to view grizzly bears from the estuary and river. We arrive back in Telegraph Cove around 4:00 pm where our van is waiting to drive us back to Port McNeill. The timing of the bear tour is flexible to improve viewing opportunities so a later arrival back in Port McNeill is possible. We strongly suggest that our guests spend the last night in Port McNeill, enjoy a hot shower, and slowly transition out of vacation mode. Most guests choose to do this, and guests and guides often get together for a no-host farewell dinner at a local restaurant.