First Class Comfort

January 30th, 2011

West Coast Aquatic Safaris has done everything possible to take the comfort of you and your family into consideration. With years of experience in adventure tours and boat operations, Keith has carefully designed each vessel to offer the most smooth, safe, comfortable ride. At the same time he has worked hard to ensure that our vessels maintain the maximum maneuverability, speed when desired and the best view possible on the west coast.

Naturalist Notes: The Cradle of Maui Nui

January 29th, 2011

Originally formed by an underwater volcanic vent, or “hotspot”, the Hawaiian Islands began with fire and water. Through surging molten hot magma, shifting ocean plates, and many, many  years, a series of islands were formed. The original islands were quite different from those we know as Hawaii today. The islands now called Maui, Lana’i, Moloka’i, and Kaho’olawe were once linked together by a wide saddle of land, and together formed a prehistoric island called Maui Nui. In the Hawaiian language, Nui means “great”, or “large”.  As glaciers melted, sea levels rose, and the island settled and eroded,  the basin between these islands filled with water.

Maui Memories: Too Close For Comfort!

January 27th, 2011

The above image was taken under NOAA-Fisheries Permit #587-1767-01

As the HWRF research vessel Deep Blue is prepped for work, and my excitement to get back on the water builds, I have been recalling all the incredible encounters from last season.  There are too many notable days to count, but one stands out in my mind as the most heart-pounding of all.

Naturalist Notes: Lahaina History

January 26th, 2011

Lahaina, Maui, has experienced a significant evolution over the years.  From a quiet patch of land, to capital of the royal Hawaiian kingdom, to a popular party spot for whalers and sailors, to the bustling tourist destination that it is today.

Notes From Maui: Nature Needs No Passport

January 24th, 2011

After two seasons with the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation, I will have had the pleasure and privilege of working with individuals from Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Australia, the United States, and Canada. Not only has this provided a cultural learning experience and the opportunity to meet amazing people, but it has also proved the universal pull of the natural world. Worldwide, people are becoming more conscious of the value and fragile nature of the earth and its creatures. And more and more individuals are taking action to change things for the better.

Pacific Rim Whale Festival

January 23rd, 2011

As we begin talking about the start of the 2011 season we cannot go to long before mentioning one of the greatest events to hit Tofino each year. Every year in March, Tofino and Uclulet play host to the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. As I mentioned, this is one of the most exciting periods of the year but for several reasons. Not only is it a week long event filled with numerous activities, chowder competitions, kid’s events, live music and fun but most importantly it officially marks the return of the Grey Whale to our local waters.

A Naturalist’s Migration

January 23rd, 2011

Why do whales travel South for the winter? This is one of the most common questions I encounter on whale watch tours with West Coast Aquatic Safaris. My favourite analogy compares the North Pacific Ocean to a whale’s house. Northern waters such as those around Tofino are like the whale’s kitchen, while Southern destinations such Hawaii and Mexico represent the bedroom. No eating in the bedroom, and no messing around in the kitchen. Those are the rules if you’re a whale. They’re on a mission when in the kitchen, gorging themselves on their favourite dishes to the point of bursting. And when they’re stuffed and winter’s chill moves in, it’s time to move on in search of a tropical playground. For whales, “playtime” involves giving birth to their calves in a warm, welcoming environment, performing elaborate mating rituals, and even doing a little singing.

Are you ready for 2011?

January 22nd, 2011

The season is almost upon us and we are making the final preparations before getting the boats back into service. The final checks are being completed and equipment is being reviewed to ensure all Transport Canada Safety Certification standards are exceeded as always.

Is Summer Here?

January 19th, 2011

It is our first week back in the office after our winter holidays and it is starting to feel like summer already. We had a spectacular sunset last evening just shortly after this photo was taken.  This is the view down the inlet from the patio at the West Coast Aquatic Safaris office. Looking up Lemmens Inlet, where many of you from last year would recognize as a location where we saw many Orcas, Black Bears and also hosted our very first Oyster tour.

Happy Holidays Around The World

December 21st, 2010

As we near the end of December and the start of a new year we think of celebration, family and tradition.  It is also an important time to acknowledge the many different ways that our world and cultures choose to celebrate or spend this time of year.  Many will spend this time preparing and hosting what we believe to be the typical Christmas consisting of beautifully decorated trees, lights, presents and caroling however, for people all over the globe it will look quite different. Just this past Saturday, children and parents in Tofino celebrated the holiday season with the annual pancake breakfast with Santa.  Thanks to the Tofino Recreation Commission and Santa of course, for helping make this a very special day for all of the families that attended.  As you make your final preparations for this years celebration; check your list, make sure that you have all the presents organized for the special people in your life, the favorite holiday food that your family enjoys and take note of all the love and spirit in the air.  Next, take a step back and think about the people you see everyday that may not be surrounded with loved ones for one reason or another, those that will not be able to stuff themselves into a slumber with festive food, and also those that may not have a warm fire to sit near as they raise a cheer for another good year.  Between you, your families and your neighbors, find a way to change someone’s Christmas in a positive way. While most of us will be joyous and happy, we can unfortunately not say the same for everyone.