Billings Middle School is pleased to announce the 2011 Orca Whale trip to Johnstone Strait on Vancouver Island.
The Orca trip was created by Billings Teacher Jeff Hogan. Jeff will be our lead instructor.
Johnstone Strait is part of the Inside Passage near the northern tip of Vancouver Island. It is home to the northern resident orca pod, about 200 in number. With much of the pod spending the summer feeding on returning salmon, it is an amazing place to see these magnificent animals. Besides orcas, the Straits are home to porpoises as well as other whale species. Plus, it is in a remote and very beautiful setting with snow-capped peaks off of mainland BC looming in the distance
The trip is designed to maximize our chances of seeing orcas. We kayak directly to a base camp where we will spend the next four days on “whale time,” adjusting each day’s schedule according to tides, weather, and whales. Where we go on a certain day depends on where we are most likely to see orcas. During the trip we will kayak to other islands and shores, hang out at the swimming beach and jump-off rock, and hopefully visit the “Eagle Eye” observation and research station. We will also have the opportunity to collect data and participate in a research project run by The Cetus Society/Vancouver Aquarium.
It is 5 mile paddle to base camp, and we will be paddling anywhere from 2-6 miles each day we are at camp. Students will be in double kayaks.
Required Pre-Trip Orientation:
All participants must attend a Pre-Trip Orientation which covers kayak safety (including exiting out of a tipped boat) and camping basics. This will be held some time in July or early August.
Itinerary: (Actual times may vary)
Sunday 8/7 - 6:30 am arrive at Billings Middle School. Depart for the Nanaimo ferry, arriving Telegraph Cove in the early evening for dinner and sleeping at an area campground.
Monday 8/8 - Load and pack our rental kayaks and paddle toward base camp, arriving early afternoon.
Tuesday – Friday 8/9-12 – Whale Time!! We head back to Telegraph Cove Friday afternoon and spend the night.
Saturday 8/13 – Drive back to Seattle, arriving at around 6 PM
Equipment and Food:
Kayaks and kayak accessories are provided. We have the necessary cooking gear to handle meal preparation. Billings will also provide tents for all participants. There is not enough storage space to accommodate individual student tents! Meals and snacks will be provided once the trip has begun.
What students need to bring:
Sleeping bag and pad, eating utensils, and outdoor clothing (a list will be provided). Storage space is limited, so don’t expect to be able to bring a lot of stuff.
Border Crossing Materials:
Once signed up, you will receive more information on what students need to have to in order to cross the border. In addition to school forms, each student will need to have a passport.
Trip cost: $800 (some financial aid is available).
*A non-refundable deposit of $200 will be required to hold a spot on the trip.
About the instructor
Jeff Hogan is the Executive Director of Killer Whale Tales a non-profit organization which has educated over 40,000 Puget Sound students about whales, marine habitats, and the importance of local conservation efforts. Learn more at www.killerwhaletales.org