Among the famous destinations for whale watching today is Vancouver Island, BC, with tourists from all over the globe coming in droves to see whales in their natural habitat. People love to take whale-watching excursions to experience the thrill of seeing these enormous sea creatures only a few yards away.
Whale watching started in North America about 1971 with attention directed primarily to Beluga and Fin whales.Overtime, other whales have grabbed the interest of nature lovers. As these mammoth creatures grow scarcer with each passing year, most countries have condemned the hunting and killing of whales, and people have become increasingly more fascinated by these beautiful sea mammals.
While it is true that one cannot guarantee whale sightings, you can enjoy high chances of seeing them from May to October during a whale-watching excursion.Among the popular whale-watching destinations are Victoria, Campbell River, Tofino and Port Hardy.
Tips to Enhance Your Whale Watching Experience
- Bring along a waterproof and windproof jacket, as the ocean spray can really soak you.If the wind blows, you’ll want to be wearing something warm for it can also be very chilly.(It’s better to have it and not need it than not have it and spoil your trip.) A hat and sunscreen are also “must haves.”
- You need a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun, and also from the glare of the sun on the ocean surface.The sea is surprisingly bright even on a cloudy day, and you never know when the sun might decide to shine.
- Binoculars are useful for observing the whales, especially as there are laws about how close the vessel can approach these wild creatures.Whales don’t like to be disturbed when enjoying their ocean environment.
- Don’t forget your camera!
- If you’re prone to seasickness, make sure to be prepared for that, too.Don’t assume that it will be smooth sailing when you cruise the ocean.If you have experienced seasickness before, or suspect you might this time, take some over-the-counter motion sickness medication 30 minutes before boarding the vessel.
Experienced Cruise Operators Add to the Pleasure
Experiencing a whale-watching cruise with a guide who provides information about the whales is definitely educational, and adds to the pleasure of your adventure.The antics of whale are great fun to watch as they frolic in the rolling waves, slapping their tails, breaching, and sending spouts of water up into the air like a group of living fountains.
Moreover, whales love the water and splash and perform their activities with great joy.When they’ve had enough or are disturbed by vessels that are too noisy and move too close, they all plunge below sea level, and the show is over.
To make sure that you aren’t forgetting anything important, select the items needed for whale watching the day before the tour.Then, in the morning before going to the vessel, double-check that you have the necessities:
- protection against the spray, rain, sun, and wind
- a pair of binoculars and a camera
- motion sickness medication – just in case
When Stepping Aboard, Choose Any Seat
The vessels for whale-watching cruises are designed to provide all passengers with a good vantage point or viewing perspective.Since whales may show up at the back, front, or on either side of the vessel, it really doesn’t matter where you sit.
Stay In The Moment!
Your whale watching cruise experience is always fun and you will enjoy yourself with your fellow whale watchers.However, since the main purpose of your adventure is to see the whales, focus your awareness on what’s going on in the water, even when having conversations with others.You don’t want to miss anything!
To find transportation options for getting to the various island whale hotspots, check out our Vancouver Island travel page.
Republished under Creative Commons License from West Coast Aquatic Safaris, an acclaimed Bear Watching, Whale Watching, Hot Springs Cove Tour Co & Marine Charter Co in Tofino, BC on the famed west coast of Vancouver Island. Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.