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Whale watching - boat or kayak, Vancouver or Van. Island?

London
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Whale watching - boat or kayak, Vancouver or Van. Island?

Hi there!

I will be in BC for about 2 weeks in September and would like to do some whale watching. I would love love love to do it by kayak, but I don't think I can afford to do a multi-day trip and I'm not sure how high the chances are that I will actually see whales during a one-day trip.

My question is, do you think it's worth it to spend more money and do the multi-day kayak trip anyway, or will it be really nice by boat with an organisation as well (and do just a day of kayaking)? I can imagine it would be very touristy on a boat.

Also, is Vancouver (or up the coast a bit) better for whale watching by kayak or somewhere on Vancouver Island, since I will be staying in both places anyway?

Which place is nicer for kayaking (more isolated, more beautiful surroundings), regardless of whales?

Thank you in advance!

Rike

Vancouver BC
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1. Re: Whale watching - boat or kayak, Vancouver or Van. Island?

Google Lady Rose and consider a kayak trip in Barkley Sound. You probably won't see a whale, might but probably not, but you will see lots of land and sea life as well as spectacular scenery.

Port McNeill
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2. Re: Whale watching - boat or kayak, Vancouver or Van. Island?

Your best chance of seeing orcas from a kayak is in the Johnstone Strait area of northern Vancouver Island. A number of companies offer 1 to 6 day kayak tours here (I am on of them). September is a great time in this area due to such a wide diversity of wildlife. However, on kayak day trips our success rates of seeing orcas is about 50%. Longer 4 day trips have success rates of about 95% (plus you get to experience the area much more intimately over this length of time).

If you cannot make a longer trip I suggest a kayak day trip then to go out on one of the motorized boats to see more of the area and to increase your chances of seeing the most wildlife. It is a completely different experience though. What I like about the kayaks is you can hear things as well as see them and being right at the water level you see so much more. For many people the sea stars and anemones can be just a amzaing as the whales.

The locally based kayak operators are Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures www.kingfisher.ca and North Island Kayak www.kayakbc.ca (a few other companies based elsewhere also offer tours here).

For whale watching companies the two main ones are Stubbs Island Whale Watching www.stubbs-island.com and Mackay Whale Watching www.whaletime.com

Fro more detailed whale watching info go to tripadvisor.com/Travel-g499144-c112836/Port-…

For more day trip ideas on the north island go to tripadvisor.com/Travel-g499144-c112905/Port-…

For a video highlighting what the north island has to offer go to http://www.kingfisher.ca/movies.htm

Edited: 30 May 2010, 19:43
Port McNeill
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3. Re: Whale watching - boat or kayak, Vancouver or Van. Island?

Edit to above post. I said "Your best chance of seeing orcas" when I should have included humpback whales in that statement too. FYI, September usually has good concentrations Steller sea lions and white sided dolphins in the area as well.

4. Re: Whale watching - boat or kayak, Vancouver or Van. Island?

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