Premier Listings for Johnstone Strait

Johnstone Strait is a deep and narrow glacier-carved passage located between the east coast of Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, extending roughly from Telegraph Cove in the north to Rock Bay in the south. Johnstone Strait serves as an important thoroughfare for marine vessels that include cargo freighters and cruise ships bound for Alaska in the summer months.

Bordered by the Queen Charlotte Strait to the west and Discovery Passage to the east, gentle conditions prevail in the sheltered waters of Johnstone Strait, where the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations are the traditional gatekeepers, having lived here for thousands of years and still call the area home.

To experience a tranquillity that passes all description, paddle these waters where whales rub and salmon run in summer months. Sea kayaking is fabulous in these protected waters. There are several staging areas, including Telegraph Cove, which is the place to begin exploring Johnstone Strait and Robson Bight.

At Telegraph Cove you’ll find a boat launch and moorage, as well as fishing licences, tackle, and bait for sale. This is also a prime staging area for whale-watching tours and kayak departures. Long-term parking can be arranged here for those setting out on extended boating trips in Johnstone Strait.

Johnstone Strait is home to the largest resident pod of killer whales (orcas) in the world, with a population of approximately 200 whales. There is no better place to view these amazing marine mammals. In addition to the orcas that can be viewed around Robson Bight, Johnstone Strait offers up a wide variety of other marine life, including minke, humpback and grey whales, Pacific white sided dolphins, harbour porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, harbour seals and Steller’s sea lions. Bald eagles and an abundance of seabirds will also be encountered in the area.

Location: Johnstone Strait is located off the east coast of Vancouver Island, bordered by Queen Charlotte Strait to the west and Discovery Passage to the east. The 87-kilometre waterway stretches from Chatham Point to Hanson Island, with Vancouver Island to the south and the rugged coast of the BC mainland to the north.

Telegraph Cove is one of the last boardwalk communities on eastern Vancouver Island, and well worth a visit even if you’re not planning to do any whale watching or offshore exploring in Johnstone Strait or beyond.

Sayward and Kelsey Bay are small coastal settlements in the Sayward Valley at the mouth of the Salmon River where it empties into Johnstone Strait. Surrounded by a spectacular natural environment, the friendly communities provide services for those planning to explore the waters of Johnstone Strait.

Robson Bight (Michael Biggs) Ecological Reserve, 12 miles (20 km) south of Telegraph Cove, provides ocean adventurers with a sure thing when it comes to whale watching. Pods of orcas come to this part of Johnstone Strait each summer to rub on the barnacle-encrusted rocks at Robson Bight. As the top predator on the inland-water food chain, they are also attracted by the annual salmon runs that funnel through the strait beginning in late June. One of the best ways to approach killer whales is quietly aboard sea kayaks or on a whale watching and wildlife viewing tour.

Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park is a wilderness area consisting of a maze of small islands, numerous islets and adjacent foreshore at the northern extremity of Johnstone Strait, off the west coast of Gilford Island. The islands in the marine park are undeveloped and largely undiscovered, providing a superb destination for sea kayaking.

Thurston Bay Marine Provincial Park surrounds Thurston Bay on Sonora Island, at the junction of Johnstone Strait and Discovery Passage. Within close proximity to this undeveloped 389-hectare park, the rocky shoreline yields numerous small inviting beaches, and a pleasant walk along an unkept trail leads to freshwater Florence Lake.

Blackfish Sound at the northern end of Johnstone Strait is wonderfully scenic, consisting of countless islands and inlets offering beautiful natural scenery, awesome kayaking and superb fishing in sheltered and tranquil waters.

Coastal Inlets: A number of formidable inlets carve their way deep into the Coast Mountain Range on the BC mainland from Johnstone Strait and the neighbouring waters to the northwest and southeast:

Kingcome Inlet
Knight Inlet
Thompson Sound
Loughborough Inlet
Bute Inlet
Toba Inlet

Fishing: The productive waters of the sounds and islands around Johnstone Strait on the east coast provide for fabulous fresh and saltwater fishing. In Johnstone Strait, salmon run from Cracroft Point on the western tip of West Cracroft Island to the Sophia Islands. At the northern end of Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound is productive for salmon fishing, offering feeder chinooks throughout the year. The first migratory chinooks appear in late May through to August, followed by the sockeye (June to August), pinks (July to August), coho in mid July, northern coho in September and chum salmon from late August through to October. Winter chinook end off the year by passing through toward the end of December.

Premier Listings

Photo of Ecosummer Expeditions
Ecosummer Expeditions
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 156 Clearwater BC V0E 1N0 Ecosummer Orca Camp Warden Beach Vancouver Island BC Home Phone: 250-674-0102Home Fax: 250-674-2197Work Phone: 1-800-465-8884Visit Website

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Awaken to the song of the Humpback whale. Fall asleep beneath the hushed canopy of a temperate rainforest. Fill your days whale-watching, kayaking with Orcas, observing sea lions romp through an underwater forest of kelp, and eagles fishing along the shore. Linger over lunch on a deserted island, scanning the horizon for signs of Orca activity.

Sign up for Ecosummer’s guided Orca Camps to kayak in the realm of Killer Whales. Explore the rainforest, hiking to waterfalls, or along ancient First Nation trails. Marvel when dolphins swim so close you wish you could reach out and touch them. Tune in to the rhythm of the tides. Escape the hubbub of your everyday world and restore life’s equilibrium on the shores of BC’s Johnstone Strait, one of the best places to whale-watch in all of British Columbia. Paddle the same waters as these gentle giants on three, four, or six-day kayaking adventures with Ecosummer Expeditions for a family vacation you’ll always remember.

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Seasmoke Whale Watching
Box 483 Alert Bay BC V0N 1A0 Home Phone: 250-974-5225Work Phone: 1-800-668-6722Visit Website

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Join our unique Eco ‘Sail with the Whales’ tours to view humpback whales and orcas (killer whales) near Alert Bay and Telegraph Cove in Johnstone Strait; these waters are regarded as one of the best places in Canada for whale watching. Our accommodations in the seaside village of Alert Bay are self-catering houses and suites with wonderful ocean views. They are available for daily/weekly rental.

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Mothership Adventures
P.O. Box 30 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Home Phone: 250-202-3229Home Phone: 604-677-5692Work Phone: 1-888-833-8887Visit Website

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Explore our remote coastal wilderness aboard the heritage vessel Columbia III! Join us for exhilarating and unforgettable BC adventure tours that include sea kayaking, eco adventure, natural history, First Nations culture, extraordinary wildlife viewing, photography and painting. Experience sand beaches, stunning fjords, lush estuaries, and exceptional wildlife viewing of whales and bears. Travel in luxury with a certified hospitable crew, qualified guides, gourmet food and comfortable accommodation aboard the luxury Mothership.

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Orca Dreams
Box 353 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Work Phone: 250-202-2765Visit Website

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Orca Dreams offers twenty years experience hosting people from around the world in the wildlife-rich waters of Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago, off the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Orca Dreams now offers Canada’s first whale-watching camp, with BC packages that include 4 days of luxury camping.

Watch surfacing humpback whales, a passing pod of orcas, or a curious seal pass by while sipping your morning coffee from your waterfront safari-style tent. Whale watch from camp, kayak or boat, surrounded by the rich wildlife of coastal BC.

Orca Dreams is situated within the traditional territory of the Mamalilikula-Qwe’Qwa’Sot’Em First Nation, on Compton Island on the edge of Blackney Pass, one of the most wildlife-rich marine ecosystems in the world. Blackney Pass connects Queen Charlotte Strait with Johnstone Strait where the strong currents churn up nutrients from deep below, feeding everything from small herring to the 40-ton humpback whales.

Blackney Pass is also one of the best places in North America to view Orcas – also known as Killer Whales – as they make their way to and from Johnstone Strait and the rubbing beaches of Robson Bight on Vancouver Island.

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Photo of Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
685 Heriot Bay Road Quadra Island BC V0P 1N0 Home Phone: 250-204-0420Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

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Wildcoast provides memorable kayak vacations for adventure travellers that combine spectacular scenery, scrumptious food, and abundant wildlife encounters, including whales, dolphins, bears and eagles. Kayak with Killer Whales at our Orca base camp in Johnstone Strait, or take one of our kayak expeditions to Desolation Sound or the Discovery Islands. Our top-rated service caters to both local and international clientele. All kayak tours are fully inclusive and no kayaking experience is required. Only have a day? Visit our storefront for paddleboard and kayak Rentals or Day Tours in the stunning vistas surrounding Quadra Island.

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Photo of Broughton Archipelago Paddler’s Inn
Broughton Archipelago Paddler’s Inn
Adventure Location: Simoom Sound Broughton Archipelago BC Mailing Address: P.O. Box 410 Sointula BC V0N 3E0 Home Phone: 250-230-0088Visit Website

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Sea Kayak in comfort based from our ocean-side, or float-house accommodations in the wilderness of the Broughton Archipelago, a kayak paradise. Enjoy sumptuous catered meals, or cook for yourself. Guided kayak tours, lessons and rentals are available, as well as charter boat tours and kayak transport. We also offer Acupressure massage on-site. Surround yourself with ocean, beaches, trails, an inland lake, and quiet beauty.

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Photo of Stubbs Island Whale Watching
Stubbs Island Whale Watching
P.O. Box 2-2 Telegraph Cove BC V0N 3J0 Home Phone: 250-928-3185Home Fax: 250-928-3102Work Phone: 1-800-665-3066Visit Website

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Stubbs Island Whale Watching was the first whale watching company established in British Columbia. Operating out of Telegraph Cove, on north eastern Vancouver Island, we cruise the calm protected waters of the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Archipelago. Stubbs Island Whale Watching is dedicated to responsible wildlife viewing and birding tour adventures with true educational merit. These waters are home to the incredible Orcas (Killer Whales), humpback whales, Steller sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, bald eagles and so much more.

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Photo of Bluewater Adventures
Bluewater Adventures
# 3 – 252 East First Street Vancouver BC V7L 1B3 Home Phone: 604-980-3800Work Fax: 604-980-1800Work Phone: 1-888-877-1770Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

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Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70′ yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You’ll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.

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Misty Isles Adventures
P O Box 137 Manson’s Landing Cortes Island BC V0P 1K0 Home Phone: 250-935-6756Visit Website

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Misty Isles Adventures is Cortes Island’s only sea kayaking outfitter and sailing charter vessel offering guided day paddles, kayak mothership trips, kayak instruction and sea kayak rentals. The 43-foot schooner Misty Isles departs Cortes Island for day sailing and sightseeing explorations of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and mainland inlets. Longer multi-day trips are also available.

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Campbell River Whale Watching
Moorage & Office: Discovery Harbour Marina #1 – Dock E Campbell River BC Home Phone: 250-287-2667Work Phone: 1-877-909-2667Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

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Mailing address:
558 Thulin Street
Campbell River, BC V9W 2L1

Campbell River Whale Watching invites you to experience some of the most spectacular Orca Killer whale watching and wildlife viewing in the world. You can take a Grizzly Tour, go Orca Whale Watching, see Bald Eagles, and experience the life of seals and sea lions on an adventure tour of a lifetime.

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Photo of Spirit of the West Kayaking
Spirit of the West Kayaking
P.O. Box 569 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Home Phone: 250-285-2121Home Fax: 1-888-389-5736Work Phone: 1-800-307-3982Visit Website

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Kayaking British Columbia is the ultimate way to view BC’s abundant wildlife.

We want you to fall in love with kayaking and our unique coast, and our passion shows in everything we do. Choose among several professionally-guided 4-8 day trips for all experience levels around Vancouver Island. ‘Glamping’ basecamp-style with wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or expedition-style paddling from camp to camp and paddling between 100s of islands through the Broughton Archipelago, famous Desolation Sound and the wild Great Bear Rainforest on the Central Coast. Savouring a fresh salmon BBQ in the open air, explore and view fascinating wildlife and wilderness and wake up on remote islands with the sound of the whales. Unique and breathtaking.

Our adventures are for everyone and are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. We take care to introduce you to the sport in a fun and safe manner. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected. Our groups are small, ranging from 8 to 13 people, depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. We provide everything you need for a once in a lifetime kayaking adventure. We provide high-quality fiberglass kayaks, paddling equipment, camp cookware, eating utensils, and camping gear.

Our guides take care of you for the entire duration of your tour, prepare delicious, organic and local meals, and have extensive training and experience in sea kayaking and in sharing the natural and cultural history of the area.

During the Northern Hemisphere winter, we also offer kayaking trips to the glacier-fed South American wildlife paradise, the Chilean Patagonia Archipelago, and multi-day escapes to sun, sand, remote beaches and the warm crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Please contact us for all details of these amazing winter getaways!

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Photo of Discovery Marine Safaris
Discovery Marine Safaris
Booking Office – June to October Coast Marina, Next to the BC Ferries Terminal 760 Island Highway Campbell River BC V9W 2C3 Home Phone: 250-287-7008Home Fax: 250-287-7005Work Phone: 1-866-501-6722 (ORCA)Visit Website

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Travel along stunning shorelines and inlets in search of killer whales, black bears, pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, seals, and magnificent bald eagles. Our tour boats feature an enclosed and heated cabin, two outdoor viewing decks, and an onboard washroom. Enjoy a Romantic Sun Set Cruise, or embark on our Grizzly Bear Viewing Excursion and observe these incredible creatures in their natural habitat far away from human civilization.

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Photo of BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River 972 Shoppers Row Campbell River BC V9W 2C5 Work Phone: 250-286-3293Work Fax: 250-286-1932Work Phone: 1-888-286-1932Cell Phone: 1-250-287-0011 Ed CellCell Phone: 1-250-830-4435 Shelley CellVisit Website

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Live, Work & Play Coastal Style
“BC Oceanfront” – ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River’s Residential and Coastal Experts specializing in marketing and selling local residential, recreational, unique oceanfront and commercial real estate throughout Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands, the Outer Islands and the BC Mainland Coast. Our real estate listings include homes to small oceanfront and lakefront recreational lots, private islands, remote island acreages, fishing lodges, wilderness / adventure resorts and vacation homes, oceanfront / lakefront cabins, marinas, remote & timbered acreages, and development investment properties on the west coast of BC and Vancouver Island – BCO has the Coast covered!

As an experienced BC realtor, Ed Handja successfully markets and locates real estate on the British Columbia coast for his clients. He’s lived and worked on the coast all his life, traveling from Indian Arm and the Gulf Islands on the southern BC coast, to the Khutzeymateen Valley in the northern most part of British Columbia. Ed is familiar with the west coast of Canada and understands the logistics and considerations required when dealing with the remote and unconventional real estate on the islands and west coast of BC.

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Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari
Lodge Location: Knight Inlet BC Booking Office: #10 3100 Kensington Crescent Courtenay BC V9N 8Z9 Home Phone: 250-334-8858Home Fax: 250-334-8858Work Phone: 1-877-764-4286Visit Website

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Fly-in for spectacular raincoast wildlife viewing in remote Knight Inlet in the spectacular Coast Mountains – Grizzly Bears and Black Bears, killer whales (Orcas), humpback whales, dolphins, stellar seals, sea lions, eagles and more. Knight Inlet is a famous natural fjord world renowned for its Grizzly Bear viewing. We offer 3-day trips out of Campbell River on Vancouver Island to the world capital for grizzly bear safaris.

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Ocean Light II Adventures
#363 – 1917 West 4th Avenue Vancouver BC V6J 1M7 Home Phone: 604-328-5339Home Fax: 604-731-7066Visit Website

Biographical Info

Ocean Light II is a beautiful and spacious 71ft sailboat offering comfort, a classic natural wood interior, 5 guest cabins, fishing gear, 7 seakayaks, and a 19ft hard-bottom inflatable. Her crew has 34 years of experience offering natural history and photography tours on the BC Coast, including Haida Gwaii, and specializing in grizzly viewing tours in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, and spirit bear and grizzly tours in the Great Bear Rainforest. We also offer whale watching and eco tours, from totems to intertidal treasures, rocky shores to sandy beaches, and spawning salmon to towering trees. We offer five spectacular adventure trips between May and October, each to a different region and each highlighting the awe-inspiring beauty of the beautiful BC coast.

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