When is “Whale Season”?

October 5th, 2010

A humpback whale showing some tail

“When is the best time to go whale watching?” This is the most common inquiry that we get here in the office from guests. Visitors to Tofino want to know what time of day whales are most active, what the “peak” of whale season is and what conditions are ideal for watching whales. First of all, let’s start of with the migrating behaviour of Grey Whales and Humpback Whales. Both of these whales mate and give birth in warmer southern waters and migrate north to feed in the nutrient rich cooler waters. The whales begin their migration North in March remaining in their feeding waters for months. They begin their migration south in October meaning the Whales are plentiful in Clayoquot Sound from March through to October.

Happy Passengers!

October 2nd, 2010

Today was an awesome day out on the water, in the beautiful Clayoquot Sound. Our passengers on our morning Whale Watching tour were lucky enough to observe 2 breaching humpback whales, a ton of sea otters, a few eagles, and a group of stellar sea lions. Our guests viewed all this wild life from the protected waters of Sydney Inlet. The weather today was mild and our guests were truly comfortable on our vessel, NANUQ. NANUQ, is our 36 passenger catamaran. It has 3 viewing decks, a heated cabin, and a restroom on board. Talk about luxury. No wonder our guests were so happy. Contact the office to book your seats on one of our first class vessels with a comfortable price.

Boat to the Hot Springs and Fly Back to Tofino for an Incredible Experience!

October 1st, 2010

Hot Springs in the Sun

View from the Airplane

Board our 12 passenger vessel, WASCO, to experience the Hot Springs in the Maquinna Marine Provincial Park located North West of Tofino, BC. The boat ride to the Hot Springs is approximately 1.5 hours with an endless amount of Clayoquot Sound landscape, seascape and wild life to be observed. Upon arrival at Hot Springs Cove a 30 minute walk through the beautiful rain forest awaits you. The walk takes you to the Springs were you can change into your swimwear and sink into a hot, relaxing pool of water. After your soak and your walk back down to the pier, your float plane and pilot will whisk you away into the sky for your 20 minute flight back to Tofino. Passengers will have a birds eye view of Clayoquot Sound, it’s waters, and wild life. Seeing from above pods of whales swimming together is amazing. Call to book your seats or book online and receive 10% off.

Perfect Conditions

September 29th, 2010

The sea and air conditions have been ideal in the last couple of days and are expected to continue for several.  Warm temperatures and calm seas have combined to provide some spectacular viewing opportunities for our guests.  As we are beginning come towards the end of our bear watching season we are still seeing black bears in the early mornings when the tidal conditions are suitable.  While on route to the Hot Springs this morning, Tim, WASCO and our group managed to find several Humpbacks and a small pod of Orcas as well.  This afternoon the NANUQ headed back out for our whale watching tour with Jeff and Diana to enjoy the company of some Grey Whales, Humpbacks and a group of Sea Otters.  As we move into the fall season we are still offering daily Hot Springs Tours at 11:30 as well as Whale Watching at 10:30 and 2:30.

Finishing the summer of 2010

September 28th, 2010

The summer of 2010 is now behind us, but West Coast Aquatic Safaris welcomes Autumn to Tofino, and looks forward to an extended season out on the spectacular waters of Clayoquot Sound. There is much to look forward to beyond the early days of fall and into the commencement of Winter, notably the Cold Water Classic, and wonderful tours provided by West Coast Aquatic Safaris including: the Hot Springs Cove, Bear watching, and Whale watching! Come on down to our office on 4th Street in Tofino, telephone us at 1.877.5.WHALES, or check out our website to reserve your seat aboard a first-class wilderness tour with us today.

Black Bears!

September 27th, 2010

Black Bears

Despite our rainy weather conditions this morning, our Bear Watch was very successful. Our guests saw 3 mother bears with their cubs and were comfortable while viewing the bears. Our vessel, WASCO has a heated cabin with a dehumidifier so that you stay dry and warm and can see out of the fog-less windows. You are not required to stay seated in the cabin though, there is plenty of room to get up and walk around, including 3 viewing decks. Our Bear Watchers came back to the office very happy this morning. Black bears are plentiful in British Columbia and we are very lucky to be able to give our guests such an close experience with these wonderful creatures. To book your Bear Watch with us, call the office or book online and receive  10% off.

Stormy Seas

September 26th, 2010

Even though the past couple days were windy and rainy our 12 passenger vessel WASCO took our guests on a cruise of the inside waters to seek out some bears. And thanks to the comforts of WASCO, our guests were able to stay dry and warm. It’s good to know that our vessels are comfortable to be on regardless of the weather.  After two days of stormy weather, we had a lot of visitors itching to get out on the water for some adventure . Today started off a bit foggy but as the morning wore on the fog gave way to the sunshine. Our Bear Watchers enjoyed their misty morning on the inside waters and our Whale Watchers boarded NANUQ in anticipation of an afternoon on the water.  And the weather is getting better and better as the week goes on. Thursday is forecasted as sunny and 17 degrees celsius. Contact the office to make your reservations or book online and receive 10% off.

The Harbour Seal

September 25th, 2010

A harbour seal resting on some rocks.

Harbour Seals are furry marine mammals that are commonly seen by our guests on Whale Watching Tours, Bear Watching Tours, and even our Hot Springs Tours. Clayoquot Sound makes a great home for Harbour Seals. Harbour Seals live their lives along coast lines rarely venturing further than 20 km off shore. Harbour Seals are agile swimmers; they court and breed under water but give birth on land. They eat mostly fish, but will also eat crustaceans and molluscs. Usually when viewing Harbour Seals on our wild life tours, the seals are resting on rocky islands, sunning themselves or just relaxing. Seals are an important indicator species. Harbour Seals are a key indicator species; they are predators and the state of the seal population can help researchers observe the health of the marine ecosystem.

Bears, Wolves & Orcas!

September 23rd, 2010

It’s not that often that anyone can depart on a tour and find Bears Orcas and Wolves on the same trip.  It was the case this week as West Coast Aquatic Safaris departed on our morning Bear Watch Tour just the other day.  Since we can’t Guarantee bear sightings on these tours it is important that we put a great deal of effort into making sure that we schedule out tours for the best possible conditions and lowest tides.  It does mean that there are days when we do not have a Bear Watch scheduled as the last thing we would want to do is depart when the odds are slim.  There has been so much to see this year and September has been some of the best action all season.  Thanks to a healthy bear and wolf population this year we have had the privilege of seeing many of each this year and often on the same tours.  Each have seemed to have plenty of cubs and pups and have been active and cooperative for those that have joined our tours.  On the rare occasion when we have seen Orcas in Fortune Channel at the same time it has offered an experience and memories unlike any other.  Weather has not been an issue as our boats are designed to offer the best possible view regardless of the conditions and our highly seasoned, experienced Captains and guides have a natural ability to put you in the right place at the right time.

Life is sweet here today…

September 21st, 2010

Sunny Days



The sun is shining bright and warm on Tofino today. The harbour was absolutely gorgeous this morning as WASCO departed for our Bear Watch.The office at West Coast Aquatic Safaris is buzzing with visitors signing up for Whale Watch Tours, Bear Watch Tours, and Hot Springs Trips. Everyone is smiling and excited to get out on the water. We’ve already seen Orcas, Wolves, and Eagles today and we still have one more Whale Watching Tour yet to depart. Franzi and Mariah are pretty sure days at work do not get better than this. The weather forecast for tomorrow is similar to today’s. Get a hold of some of this West Coast bliss by booking your adventure with us. If you want to get on a boat tomorrow give the office a call