Do Whales Sleep?

August 28th, 2010

You bet they do. They sleep quite differently than you and I though. Whales do not breathe automatically like humans. They must consciously inhale and exhale. Whales could not be in full unconscious sleep (the way we sleep) and actively decide to breathe. So this brings up the question of how a whale would breathe while when it sleeps.  Scientists have come to the conclusion that whales rest only half of their brain when sleeping. This allows the whale to never be fully unconscious but still get the rest it requires to function.  They sleep close to the surface of the water and breathe when required. The whales drift slowly near the surface, this action is known as “logging”. To find out more about whales hop on board, our 36 passenger catamaran, NANUQ, for a Whale Watching Tour. We have knowledgeable Naturalists as a part of our crew on our vessels. They know tons about whales and love to answer any questions our guests might have.

Looking for Guest Photos

August 27th, 2010

A whale tail caught by one of our guests this summer!

Our crew at West Coast Aquatic Safaris is often able to get some pretty amazing shots of local wild life while out on our tours. However, some of our best photos have been from our guests. On our website we love to show off all the wild life our guests have seen on our tours. We have a photo of the week contest to showcase the most brilliant picture taken that week. We send our winner  a West Coast Aquatic Safaris travel mug, regardless of where they live. We’ve sent them out as far as Germany! To see some of our previous entries visit our photo gallery. If you are heading out on one of our Whale Watching, Bear Watching, or Hot Springs Tour make sure you have your camera ready. You never know what you might capture!

Local Guides and Captains Offer Local Knowledge

August 26th, 2010

When spending time on the water it is important to know who you are going with and that they are safe and reputable.  West Coast Aquatic Safaris prides itself in being Transport Canada Safety Certified since we have opened.  All of our Captains maintain a level of certification higher that what is required by Transport Canada.

Everything Is More Exciting On A First-Class Vessel

August 25th, 2010

When planning your vacation, everything must be perfect.  Hotel must be comfortable and convenient for the things that you want to do, activities should offer an enjoyable experience at an affordable price and meals should be the perfect accent on every day.  For each of these things there is of course many options in Tofino and at times it can be a little overwhelming to have to make the decisions.  At West Coast Aquatic Safaris we want your time with us to be as stress free as possible.  We encourage you to take the advice of others that have been through it and are offering insight into their own personal experience.  Understanding just how important and precious your vacation time is we put every effort into offering the best.  Our vessels have been designed with the purpose of wildlife viewing in mind which means; comfort, maneuverability both for yourself and the vessels, the best possible vantage point for that perfect photo and knowledgeable helpful staff that understand the importance of having all the details worked out.  If it is something that we don’t offer that you are asking about then we will still go the extra mile to make sure you are getting what you need.  For your comfort and convenience you can visit our website to find all of the details on the tour that interests you.  You will also find a Guest Book section where our past guests have shared their comments and insights.  For those that want to look one step further you will also find a like on our site that will take you directly to Trip Advisor and see how we compare.  We offer First-Class Vessels With a Comfortable Price and the service to match and encourage all of our guests to post their feedback.  We look forward to hearing from you!

The Perks of being our Guest

August 24th, 2010

Heading out on the water with West Coast Aquatic Safaris is an experience that is carefully thought out; just for you. Our goal is to make your experience as “first class” as we can. We want you to be comfortable through out the entire duration of your experience with us. Your comfort begins with our boats. Both WASCO, our 12 passenger vessel, and NANUQ, our 36 passenger catamaran, have heated cabins with dehumidifiers. Not only will you be dry and warm when you are inside, but the windows will be free of fog – creating a clear view for watching wild life. You’d like to be outside you say? No problem. Both of our vessels have open top decks so you can feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. And not to worry about the wind or rain; we supply complimentary Helly Hansen rain jackets. Wherever you choose to sit on our vessels you will always be able to change your mind. There is plenty of room to get up and move around. Our guests are able to view wild life from the bows and the back decks of our vessels. There is also a clean bathroom on both boats. NANUQ is equipped with a flat screen that shows our live navigation through Clayoquot Sound, so you are able to see where your experience is taking place. And last, but not least, our crew is one of a kind. We are very proud of our drivers and naturalists. They are friendly and knowledgeable. We get complimented regularly on our crew. If you’d like to hear for yourself our guests’ real experiences; check out our online guest book. A first class experience at a comfortable price.

Vargas Island

August 23rd, 2010

Vargas Vargas Island is a large, mysterious island in Clayoquot Sound located a few kilometers Northwest of Tofino, British Columbia. It is approximately a 20 minute ride to Vargas Island by boat from Tofino. It contrasts strongly against it’s neighboring mountainous islands such as Flores and Meares because it is flat and boggy. Vargas is vast and begging to be explored with it’s thick rain forest, soggy marsh, and the long stretch of beaches, broken up by jutting rock ledges as it’s outline. Vargas is home to the beautiful Ahous Bay, which is located in Vargas Island Provincial Park.

August’s End

August 22nd, 2010

Here in Tofino, summer is still in full swing, but fall is definitely on the horizon. Our thoughts flicker every now and then to September. Excitement builds in all the surfers’ bellies as the swells that start to come in are getting bigger and bigger as the summer ages. It has us checking Magic Sea Weed and every morning, afternoon, and evening to see what the sea is brewing up for us. Local businesses anticipate the excitement of the summer’s climax: Labour Day Weekend. A time for visitors to have on last dance with with Clayoquot Sound before heading back to the city for school or work.

How Close Might We Get?

August 21st, 2010

One of the most commonly asked questions when we are discussing our Bear watching tours is, how close will we get?  Every trip is a little different and we can’t guarantee that we will always be this close however when you travel with West Coast Aquatic Safaris aboard NANUQ you have the advantage of height and an exceptional walk out bow deck to get as up close and personal as the bears will allow us to get without disturbing their routine.  Our tours are scheduled to depart at a time that is the best conditions for viewing the bears.  This usually means during a low tide that is below five feet in height for the duration of our tour.  The best conditions are when this type of low tide coincides with cool temperatures.  Even in the best conditions there is no guarantee that we will see bears or how many.  West Coast Aquatic Safaris is very fortunate to have some of the most highly experienced guides and Captains with true local knowledge of the water that are dedicated to providing a “First Class” experience for all of our guests.


August 20th, 2010

We see many species of animals on our Whale Watching Tours, however the Humpback Whales are probably the superstars of our tour, especially when they are particularly active. Humpbacks tend to impress us with their awesome size of 12 to 15 meters in length. Humpback Whales travel to Clayoquot Sound in the summer to feed. Summer is completely dedicated to feeding as Humpbacks tend not to feed when they are migrating or mating, if they do; it is extremely rare. Humpbacks seem to enjoy breaching, spy-hopping, and fin slapping, making them a spectacular show to watch. We see alot of the same Humpback Whales return to Clayoquot Sound every summer. Humpback Whales are identified by their tails. The tail(or fluke) has black and white markings that are original to each individual whale. So next time a Humpback Whale shows you some tail, take note, he may be introducing himself!

Swimming With The Orcas

August 19th, 2010

The conditions in Tofino continue to be picturesque.  The sea has been very calm, the views are spectacular and the whale activity has been exceptional.  The temperature in town has been roughly 27 degrees so a trip out on the water has been the best way to stay cool.