Vancouver Island, not to be confused with Vancouver the city, is a sparsely populated natural wonderland. It features one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems: Rainforests, rugged coastline, deserted beaches. Plus oceans filled with dolphins, whales, sea lions and porpoises. The bulk of your time is spent on this Vancouver, at the Salmon Coast Field Station. The renowned research facility is set in the charming fishing village of Bamfield, overlooking Barkley sound.
To begin the study of serious oceanography and marine mammal ecology study alongside marine scientists, we make our way to Telegraph Cove. Telegraph is a historic fishing village situated on orca-rich Johnstone Strait. It’s also launching point for Vancouver Island’s whale watching industry. Marveling at pods of whales all day and doing hands-on service work at the Whale Interpretive Center is enough to exhaust anyone. Time for a quick break on the islands of Johnstone Strait.
“We seemed to always be in the right place at the right time to see breaching whales or bow riding porpoises.” — Lee-Ann Ennis, Course Lead Instructor
Johnstone passes through the east coast of Vancouver island and mainland BC, and straight through your heart. The kayaking is second to none. The waters, tranquil and glassy. The marine mammals, killer. Beyond orcas, keep an eye out for the humpbacks, greys and dolphins that also flock here.
What are my next steps?
Canada’s westernmost and perhaps most diverse province is ripe for hands-on exploration. Paddle in.
With its remote islands, protected inlets and historic fishing communities, Vancouver Island has all the elements of a marine mammal fantasy.
Deer Island Group
A rugged, pristine group of islands and islets off the coast of Bamfield. Bring your kayak, paddle and sense of adventure.
This picturesque fishing community is the stating gate for a BC whale watching adventure.