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Johnstone Strait

Telegraph Cove provides access to the waters of Johnstone Strait, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
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.
  • 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.


Search Premier Listings
  Bluewater Adventures, Vancouver Listing Details 
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.
 
  Broughton Archipelago Paddler's Inn, Broughton Archipelago Listing Details 
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.
 
  Campbell River Whale Watching, Campbell River Listing Details 
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.
 
  Discovery Marine Safaris, Campbell River Listing Details 
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.
 
  Go With The Flow Adventures, Quadra Island Listing Details 
Kayaking tours from Vancouver Island B.C. Canada with Go With The Flow Adventures. Our luxury kayaking tours offer the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. We include gourmet meals with wine, cozy cabin accommodation, hot showers, wood fired cedar hot tub, kayaking equipment, instruction and guiding. No experience necessary. Join us on an journey that washes away the every day!
 
  Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari, Knight Inlet Listing Details 
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.
 
  Island Adventure Centre, Quadra Island Listing Details 
The Island Adventure Centre at the Heriot Bay Inn has great eco adventures departing from Quadra Island: Orca whale watching, kayak day tours, grizzly bear tours, and salmon fishing. Kayak rentals also available. Explore the scenic Inner Coast and the Discovery Islands!
 
  Misty Isles Adventures, Cortes Island Listing Details 
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.
 
  Mothership Adventures, Quadra Island Listing Details 
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.
 
  Ocean Light II Adventures, Vancouver Listing Details 
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.
 
  Seasmoke Whale Watching, Alert Bay Listing Details 
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.
 
  Spirit of the West Kayaking, Quadra Island Listing Details 
Join our sea kayaking adventures around Vancouver Island, Canada's coastal kayaking paradise. Kayak with Killer Whales, paddle Desolation Sound, experience the remote north Nootka Sound, or kayak from the comfort of our 95 ft Mothership, the Songhee. Our sea kayaking trips depart from our base on Quadra Island in the BC Discovery Islands. No experience is required for our kayak tours! Our adventures are for everyone. Our trips are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. Our groups are small, ranging from 8-13 people depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. we provide everything you need to have a great kayaking adventure.
 
  Stubbs Island Whale Watching, Telegraph Cove Listing Details 
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.
 
  Tide Rip Grizzly Tours, North Island Listing Details 
Enjoy the majesty of the coastal mountains as we explore spectacular Knight Inlet. Experience the thrill of a lifetime watching grizzly bears catch salmon. We view the grizzly bears from the safety and comfort of our big flat-bottom viewing boats. Their shallow draught gets us in close to the action. Tide Rip Grizzly Tours offers the only day trips by water taxi from Telegraph Cove to see the grizzlies in the land of the Da'Naxda'xw First Nations. Bring your camera, as black bears, bald eagles, and porpoises are everywhere!
 
  Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations, Quadra Island Listing Details 
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.
 
  BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja & Shelley McKay, Campbell River Listing Details 
Live, Work & Play Coastal Style
“BC Oceanfront” - Coast Realty’s Residential and Coastal Experts specializing in selling local residential, recreational, unique oceanfront and commercial real estate throughout Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands, the Outer Islands and the BC Mainland Coast. From homes to small oceanfront recreational lots, lakefront, remote island acreages, private islands and resorts – BCO has the Coast covered!
 
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