“There he is!” exclaimed a guest with an outstretched hand pointing out onto the water.
At the same time there was a perfect blowhole spray of water shooting up from the surface. The boat rocked as a dozen anxious whale watchers pinned their eyes to the surface near the spray, waiting for the whale to come up again.
At first this Humpback whale delighted us with a few shallow dives, showing off its small dorsal fin as it arched its back and disappeared into the water. It wasn’t long before this playful whale started rolling around on its side. Sometimes it would roll from one side to the other, waving his gigantic fin and slapping it down on the water.
“He is waving at us,” smiled our guide and Skipper Dave. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the wave but the experience of watching this whale in its natural and wild habitat is something I will always remember and cherish.
The Canadian Princess Resort has Wildlife Nature Cruises that leave every afternoon from the resort. These affordable trips give you the opportunity to see whales, sea lions, seals, eagles, and even deer or bear on the shores at low tide.
They cruise through the Broken Group Islands, a unit of the Pacific Rim National Park located in Barkley Sound. The Broken Group is made up of over 100 islands and reefs and they boast idyllic sandy beaches, dramatic rocky outcrops, coves, lagoons, dense vegetation, and all kinds of wildlife.
Before our group ventured into the Broken Group we stopped at Sea Lion Rock. This is a popular spot for both Stellar and California sea lions. Dozens of these massive creatures lounged on the rocks. Some sat up with their heads up tall and proud. Others gave a growly roar into the air while the more playful sea lions jumped off the rock and swam around between it and our boat.
From there we headed into the Broken Group Islands. This is one of my favourite places to visit. Tiny islands made of solid rock still have thick green vegetation growing from them. Trees find the smallest amounts of soil and grow tall like a beacon in Barkley Sound. The larger islands have golden sandy beaches and rugged outcrops cut into the water at every other angle.
We saw a great eagles nest high up in an old cedar tree. The eagles were soaring in circles above their nest as we slowly moved passed. All eyes were to the sky.
These wildlife tours are on aboard of one our deep-sea cabin cruisers and are three hours long. The cabins are heated, have washrooms, and coffee or hot chocolate is always available.
This is a fantastic way to have close encounters with the beautiful wildlife on the west coast. We hope to see you soon!
Gone Whale Watching,