We’ve Got You Covered, Literally

August 9th, 2011

It may not come as a surprise to you that Tofino has changeable weather with the reputation of being less then ideal. Although this is not entirely true, we do live in a temperate rainforest and sometimes our wild west coast likes to keep us on our toes! What you may not know is that we are well aware of our unpredictable weather and we wouldn’t want it to keep you indoors on your vacation, so we are ready for it! How can we possibly prepare ourselves for this you ask? Well, NANUQ and WASCO have both been specially designed not only for wildlife viewing, but also for wildlife viewing on our wild west coast! Both of our first class vessels have the option of indoor and outdoor seating, making it possible to have the option of being comfortable inside our warm heated cabin, or outside taking advantage of the outdoor seating on the fly deck, or soaking up the sunshine on our large outdoor viewing decks! So while you’re on vacation if the weather happens to take a turn for the worst don’t let it get you down, we’ve got you covered rain or shine!

We love dogs!

August 6th, 2011

Step aboard Nanuq or Wasco on one of our tours and you might just be lucky enough to see a wolf or two. Step into our office, and you’ll probably find the sub species of the canis lupus, the canis familiaris, better known as the domesticated dog.  Tofino is world renowned for having some of the nicest beaches in the world, and these beaches play a major role “doggie paradise”. Any time of year and at any time of day, if you take a stroll on Chesterman Beach, you are sure to come across anything from a Great Dane to a Pomeranian playing in the surf or digging in the sand.

Don’t forget your camera!

July 28th, 2011

It’s 7am and I’m still waking up. I turned on the computer and yawned, checking the e-mails that had been sent the night before, I noticed that one was from some of our guests that had been on our whale watching tour the previous day. When I opened the e-mail I instantly was wide awake! It had the most amazing picture of a Humpback whale I had seen in quite awhile! Attached to the photo was a message informing me that the photo was taken with their 8 year-old point and shoot camera! Quite fantastic! This is not the first time guests have shared the amazing wildlife they have captured on our tours! Actually, my favourite parts of the day is when the guests return from their trip and share their excitement, stories, and some of the most amazing photos I have ever seen! So remember to bring your cameras aboard, because you never know who or what will show up on the wild west coast! Who knows, maybe your photo will win our photo of the week!

Early morning risers…

July 22nd, 2011

Early morning Tofino (please note, there is not actually any snow in front of the shop this time of year)

Often, half-awake guests walk through our office at 6:45 in the morning and they look at me funny.  I can tell they’ve not yet had a coffee and are stumbling through the motions of filling out waivers and getting fitted in our Helly Hensen raincoats with eyes not yet fully open.  Although perhaps a little quite or almost distant, I do not believe these early morning adventure seekers consider me an enemy.  However, I think a certain sense of confusion is present as these guests try to understand why they are up so early on their holiday.  I collect the paperwork quietly and calmly, suit them up with a smile and then direct them down to the boat to send them on their merry way.

You probably already know that this year, July has 5 Saturdays.

July 19th, 2011

Parks Canada! As seen on Parks Canada passes around Tofino!

What you may not know is that on the third Saturday of July there is a national celebration: Parks Canada Day! This year marks the 21st year of this celebration, which was held this past Saturday in Federal Parks across Canada.  From Baffin Island in the North, Newfoundland and Labrador in the East, and our very own Vancouver Island in the West, communities across Canada came together to celebrate this event.  Pacific Rim National Park, a part of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve just outside of Tofino is a protected area and home to some of the most amazing flora and fauna in the world.  This biologically diverse region is also home to a number mammal species including the marine and land dwellers we are lucky enough to search for on our trips.   For more information on this event and other upcoming Parks Canada events, check out their site!

In today’s blog we are asking for your help…

July 14th, 2011


We are incredibly happy and proud to be considered the #1 rated whale watch charter company in Tofino, BC according to Trip Advisor! We’ve worked VERY hard over the past 4 seasons to make this happen and are thankful for all the great reviews.  However, as this a process that needs YOUR input after touring with us, we are continually looking for more feedback!

If you feel that you have had a wonderful time with one of West Coast Aquatic Safaris’ Captains: Jeff, Tim, Keith, we would

Captain Tim and his crew aboard WASCO

Designed With The Pacific Rim In Mind

July 13th, 2011

Tofino and the Long Beach area is about as west as you can in get in Canada.  It is surrounded by an amazing temperate rainforest.  After knowing these few facts it is safe to assume that it inhibits beautiful waves, a plethora of wildlife, and well, precipitation.  As a charter company that embraces Long Beach, Tofino and the west coast, West Coast Aquatic Safaris decided to welcome the areas characteristics and work with it.  West Coast Aquatic Safaris had its first boat, WASCO built to work in this environment.  WASCO has heated and dry inside seating for all, but still delivers great wildlife viewing by providing an outdoor walk around deck and seating on it roof.  These outdoor spaces allow for guests to move around while out at sea and to have optimum wildlife viewing.  Not to mention it has a restroom on board and experienced captains with extensive wildlife and historical knowledge.  WASCO set a new standard of charter vessel for the Long Beach area.  Two years latter it was decided by West Coast Aquatic Safaris that there was a need for other like vessels.  However, this time it was felt that a 36 passenger vessel named NANUQ with like characteristics to WASCO would do the trick.  NANUQ still embraces the west coast by having three outdoor viewing decks, inside heated seating for all, an upper deck with outdoor seating, a restroom, and maintains a 1 to 12 ration of passengers to crew, but NANUQ was designed with twin halls!  The twin hall catamaran style allows for more stability out at sea, but maintains the high speeds while cruising.

A Tofitian Canada Day

July 10th, 2011

(written by office staff member Kayla)

In the last almost 2 years I have resided in Tofino I’ve loved the warm small community feeling about this bustling town, and this Canada day was no exception! Tofino hosts an annual local skate competition for Canada day, and this year was the first time I had the chance to enjoy it.  As I approached the park, the smell of smokies filled the air, tents with locals huddled under covered the park with little nik naks to purchase and admire.  I strolled around for a while until the sun finally showed it’s face and the competition was ready to begin.  The town gathered on the grassy area beside the park to watch their friends and family compete. You could hear the long lost friends re connecting after what seemed to be the never-ending winter. Everyone cheered as the competitors were called to show off their moves, as the announcer commentated.

The meanings behind WASCO and NANUQ

July 9th, 2011

Join us on a trip at West Coast Aquatic Safaris and you’ll step onboard WASCO or NANUQ.  They may just seem like words that are somewhat difficult to pronounce quickly, but they also have very special meanings.

A cedar carving of WASCO

Our 12 passenger vessel WASCO makes frequent trips to the Hot Springs throughout the summer and winter months.  To make this adventure, our drivers will often venture to outside waters which requires a sturdy vessel (of course), an experienced

Our contribution to whale research

July 3rd, 2011

Image: Jeremy Koreski

When you take a tour with West Coast Aquatic Safaris, you’ll notice that a $2 “eco fee” is attached to the cost of admission.  People often ask what this fee is for and where the money goes.

At West Coast Aquatic Safaris, we feel that whale and other wildlife research is vital not only to our company, but also to the protection of whales and other species internationally.  Each year, we look at various organizations and study their mandate to help us decide whom we would like to contribute to.  This year, we have chosen to make two contributions: one local, and one international.