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When is the best time to killer whale watch, and where is your favorite place/company?


Feb 16th, 2001, 08:29 AM
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When is the best time to killer whale watch, and where is your favorite place/company?

I was in Victoria a few years ago in Oct. and the whales had moved off. I don't want this to happen again. When is the best season to see the whales and where should I go. Thanks.
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Feb 16th, 2001, 11:23 AM
Carl Z
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As A Sportfisherman who's up 'n down the coast all season I see Orcas (the proper name) all the time.
The place they are found at/near most frequently (in season) is Johnstone Strait which is the body of water between Vancover Island and the Mainland.
This place can be accessed most easily from Telegraph Cove on Northern Vancouver Island.
However you must understand there are no gaurantees of any kind they are Wild Animals and come and go at will.
If there are lots of Salmon, this year there will be lots of Pinks, at a certain place they will no doubt be there to feed on them.
So I'd say that the 2nd or 3rd week of August in Johnstone Stait would be a good bet-UNLESS-there's an opening for the Commercial Seine Fleet in which case there will be hundreds of huge boats netting Salmon and causing a real uproar, if/when that happens Orcas make themselves scarce.
If that doesn't sound like an option you could again try Victoria, August could be good there UNLESS those same Orcas that are found around the Gulf Islands decide to go north to Johnstone Strait to feed on the Pinks.
BTW-the company that sold you the ticket in October was somewhat less than ethical any schoolchild in BC can tell you that Orcas disappear to their offshore haunts at that time and reappear in May.
Try http://www.stubbs-island.com/english/index.html for a long established ethically run organization.
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Feb 16th, 2001, 04:23 PM
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The best time to see the J, K and L pods that are resident in the San Juans/Victoria area in the summer is generally late June. There's usually a run of salmon in the Haro Strait around that time that the orcas feed on. They *tend* to stay in the area through July and August, but this past year they were gone for most of that time, then returned in September. They basically follow the salmon (their food supply) and as that has been dwindling, they have had to forage further afield for food. So there's really no guarantee of where they will be at any given time.

I had a wonderful time seeing the pods up near Johnstone Strait (a different group of orcas) in late October 1999.
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Feb 18th, 2001, 05:18 AM
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Best place is Johnstone Strait tween Mid July and Mid September. As previously stated, salmon dictate presence and they are only somewhat predictable. If looking for a daytrip then Telegraph Cove or Port McNeil will have operators with motorized boats. If looking for longer, sea kayaking, camping trips check www.canadianexpeditions.com
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Mar 14th, 2013, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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I'm looking to go whale watching the 1st of may in Vancouver more important Orca's does anyone know of the best possible place to do this
cindi_bryan_3 is offline  
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Mar 23rd, 2013, 08:21 AM
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We were too early to see any in Johnstone Strait late June 2012. But the folks leaving in rafts from Victoria were having good-luck seeing Orcas in late June. Sorry I couldn't help with May.
deladeb is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2013, 06:07 PM
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Orca season in Victoria and Vancouver is typically the beginning of April until the beginning of October. June, July, and August are the best months, typically, because rather than just having one pod of orcas (J Pod), you can have up to 3 pods (J, K, and L Pod).

If you're wanting to go whale watching out of Vancouver, there are 4 choices:

Steveston Seabreeze Adventures or Vancouver Whale Watch (both based out of Steveston, a 45 minute drive out of Vancouver - they have shuttles from downtown). They depart out of the mouth of the Fraser River and the tours can run anywhere from 3-5 hours, depending on how far you have to travel out to see the orcas.

There's also Wild Whales Vancouver who depart from Granville Island, just across the bridge from downtown Vancouver. However, you're on the water even longer (5-7 hours, usually) as you're that much further north than where the whales are typically located.

Then there's the Victoria company Prince of Whales who have Vancouver departures, but then they drop you off in Victoria. It's not an option unless you really want to go to Victoria, go whale watching on your way, and then fly or ferry back.
BC_Robyn is offline  
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Apr 21st, 2013, 11:26 AM
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I would recommend Prince of Whales. I always had an impression they were too commercial due to the heavy advertising and could not really trust them lol..... but honestly they are actually really good! Even though I generally like to support local companies (i do advise you also check them out online), we went with Prince of Whales with fam visiting, two years ago. It was in June and we saw so many beautiful whales. It's worth the money and the service is very good, they had a concession on the boat so we got a hot chocolate to warm us up (very windy Pacific waters!). We were worried about not seeing any whales but it turns out they even give you a free ticket to try again another time. Might not be ideal if you are visiting Victoria for a short time, but I say that's great service.
finding_dolly is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 12:59 AM
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June/July west coast of Vancouver Island (Pacific Rim) Tofino
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