A narrow passage separating British Columbia’s northern Vancouver Island from the mainland, Canada’s Johnstone Strait is a paddler’s playground with countless sheltered inlets, islands and estuaries. Perhaps the 40-km-long, 4-km-wide strait’s most alluring feature, however, is the chance to paddle among orcas; Johnstone Strait is considered by many to be the world’s best spot for watching killer whales in the wild. Proof lies in the nearby Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, established in 1982 to protect killer whale habitat. Other wildlife paddlers can encounter include seals, eagles, dolphins and bear. Outfitters: Canadian Outback Adventure Co., (800) 565-TREK.