Back when we made the decision to come to Canada to spend our summer, I knew that I had to go whale watching no matter what; after all, it’s the 30th item on my bucket list. In Tofino, the whale watching season runs from March to October, so I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to watch these majestic mammals in their natural habitat. Since I’m not a big spender, I searched for the cheapest option available and finally settled for the tour offered by Weigh West Marine Resort; the total price for the whale watching tour was of $77,28 CAD, tax included.
As I chose to go on the open decked boat, I arrived at the dock early in the morning. We were only 6 people on the boat, plus our guide. The company provided us with a floating suit, just in case we’d fall in the water; plus beanie hats to keep us warm during our ride. Even if I looked like the Michelin man’s sister, I was grateful for the extra insulation in this gray and misty morning. The boat glided swiftly on the water on the way out of the bay; but as soon as we got into the open ocean the huge waves made our boat bounced around a lot, making us all giggle.
After about 45 minutes, we got to our first spot to see a pod of gray whales feeding. It was hard to take photos of them, as one could never tell where and when they would surface; plus the waves kept rocking the boat vigorously, making it even harder. I just managed to get a couple of good tail shots and a video; although I must warm you that you might get sea sick just from watching it! After trying a few times, I just turned off my camera and decided to just enjoy the moment.
From there we went on to other spots where we saw seals, sea lions and we even sighted a bald eagle in the distance. As before, taking photos with my point-and-shoot Canon Powershot G11 was a challenge because we were a bit far away and the boat kept moving with the waves. I would have liked to have a more powerful lens to zoom in; but nevertheless, my little camera managed to get some pretty decent shots.
Overall the trip lasted just under two and a half hours. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see anymore whales apart from the gray whales, as I would have loved to see some killer whales; but I understand that whale watching tours can be a hit-and-miss affair. Besides, that same afternoon we met a couple who had chosen another company that took them on a tour that was almost an hour longer; but they only got to see the gray whales as well. In any case, it was a great experience and I can’t wait to go whale watching again somewhere else in the world.
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