September Whale Watching

September 20th, 2010

Black Bears

A Humpback Whale

Surf’s Up

September 19th, 2010

North Chesterman's Beach at Sunset

If you are visiting Tofino for the first time or you are new to town you’ve probably noticed that surfing is a huge part of Tofino‘s culture. If the talk of surfing around town has peaked your interest enough, you might of had the urge to try riding a wave or two yourself.

Here’s some guidance for a first timer or for someone who is learning the ways of the water:

If you have never surfed before it’s probably a good idea to get some lessons. It’s worth the investment. You’ll learn how to surf safely and efficiently. Check out Surf Sister for details.

Large or Small We Provide Comfort & Quality

September 18th, 2010

As the summer begins to pass our weather begins to change and become somewhat less predictable.  It is also possible that we may vary which vessel we are using from trip to trip depending upon the number of people.  One thing that will not change however, is whether you are on a tour aboard NANUQ our 36 passenger vessel (left), or WASCO our 12 passenger vessel (right), you are guaranteed, the same comfort, quality, expertise and passion from all of the West Coast Aquatic Safaris team.  We will go out of our way to provide you with the experience you are looking for from Whales, Bears or a trip to the spectacular Hot Springs Cove.  We will always be prepared and offer you the luxury of choice to ride inside or out on each of our vessels.  We will provide you with the very best in Helly Hansen rain wear to ensure you stay as dry as possible and a toasty warm cabin with windows free from condensation it you desire an experience from a sheltered space.  Viewing our website will give you an idea of what we offer, our Guest Book page will highlight how well we do it and our Book Now page will allow you to save 10% when making reservations 24 hours in advance.  Give us a call for any further questions or to see just how accessible our boats are for your special requirements.

The Ochre Sea Star

September 17th, 2010
A beautiful cluster of Ochre Sea Stars

A beautiful cluster of Ochre Sea Stars

The bright Ochre Sea Star can be found in the intertidal zone among the rocky shores of Clayoquot Sound. The Ochre sea star has tough spiny skin and is covered in thousands of tiny needle like spines to protect them from predators. These stars are also have a particularly strong hold on the surface it adheres too, this protects it from being dislodged by waves or animals. The Ochre Star is a predator that feeds mostly on mussels, but in the absence of mussels have been known to eat chiton, barnacles and snails. The Ochre star will pry open its prey’s shell and protrude its stomach into the opened shell to ingest it’s food. Interesting little creatures they are. If you’d like to see  a few of them, head down to the rocks at Chesterman’s Beach at a particularly low tide; their bright colors are hard to miss.

Consistantly Good Results And Plenty of Room

September 16th, 2010

The season has been good to West Coast Aquatic Safaris and all of our guests.  There have been many days that the weather would be considered less than perfect if your goal was to lay out on the beach and work on the tan.  As far as adventure and wildlife viewing the conditions are well past spectacular and moving towards perfect.  We have had excellent results on both Whale and Bear Watch tours in the last couple days and today has been no exception.  On our first tour of the day NANUQ had the pleasure of viewing two sets of mother bears each with two cubs in Fortune channel.  Our Hot Springs tour aboard WASCO,which left at 11:00am was very fortunate to see Orcas, Humpbacks and Grey Whales even before getting to the Hot Springs. As the afternoon began we set out on another Bear tour with the added bonus of discovering a second small pod of Orcas in the harbour.  The action continued again as the late afternoon Whale Watch group found both separate pods of Orcas, each consisting of a couple females, one male and one baby as well as several Humpbacks within a couple miles of shore.

To Experience Clayoquot Sound

September 15th, 2010

At West Coast Aquatic Safaris it is our pleasure to take guests of Tofino out onto the water in Clayoquot Sound. We know the experience of being on the water among the mist and the mountains is pure magic. Every single one of our staff is passionate about Tofino and it’s surroundings. It brings us joy to be apart of people’s exploration of the West Coast. To truly experience the West Coast it is a “must” to hop on a boat and get out on the water. Witnessing wild life here will inspire awe and give you goosebumps. The landscape it’s self is breathtaking. We know this experience is special and our staff at West Coast Aquatic Safaris takes care and attention to make sure our guests have the best tour possible. From our beyond comfortable vessels to our knowledgeable staff your adventure is sure to be unforgettable.

Bald Eagles In Clayoquot Sound

September 13th, 2010

Bald Eagle in Flight

If you are lucky enough to be a passenger on one of out tours, there is a chance that you will pass by the eagles nest on the edge of the harbour. Bald Eagle nests are some of the biggest nests in North America; they are huge accumulations of mud branches and the remains of prey. Most nests produce two young which do not leave the nest until they are full grown.

Orcas in the Rain

September 11th, 2010

Our afternoon Whale Watch passengers just arrived back into the office from their experience out on the water, in Clayoquot Sound. Their faces were bright with smiles despite the rain today. Our captain, Keith, tracked down a pod of Orcas that have been in the area since this morning. Our passengers were delighted to see that there was a new addition to the pod; a fresh calf was seen swimming with it’s mother. The calf was so fresh in fact that it was still slightly orange from it’s birth. The killer whales were breaching in the rainy sea, giving our passengers a show of a life time. Goes to show what can be found when you brave an expedition in the rain. We supply our passengers with top of the line Helly Hansen rain jackets . Also, NANUQ our 36 passenger catamaran is well equipped to keep our passengers dry. The cabin is heated and has a dehumidifier to keep everyone comfortable.

West Coast Hikes

September 11th, 2010


Level: Pretty Easy (A couple flights of stairs)

The parking lot for Schooner Cove is located west off of he pacific rim highway. The path to Schooner Cove consists of a serene stroll through a West Coast Rainforest along a boardwalk. The half an hour walk has breathtaking views of cedar trees, tranquil streams, and beautiful forest canopy. The forest eventually opens up onto the beach. Enjoy the white sand between your toes and the view of Long Beach.


Level: Moderate. Boardwalks and a bit of mud.

Lots To See In A Beautiful Fall Season

September 9th, 2010

Now that we have past the Labour Day long weekend the Tofino crowds have began to slow down.  There are certainly less visitors at the moment however there is absolutely no shortage of spectacular scenery and wildlife.  Today our groups aboard NANUQ and WASCO have been witness to several breaching Humpbacks as well as Greys feeding in Ahous Bay and Cow Bay.