Weekly Wild Life Report From our Naturalist Diana Lukinuk

Baby Orca with Mother by Kevin Sansalone

This week began with high winds, but a pod of transient killer whales roaming the calm inlet waters provided an ideal break from the wild outer waves. We followed the orca as they broke into the windy open ocean, watching as they gained a burst of energy, breaching and tail slapping repeatedly, giving our guests an amazing and rare show. To our delight, the killer whales continued to meander around our waters for two more days, and we tracked them along their journey right up to Hot Springs Cove, where we said
goodbye (for now) to the pod of four animals as they head farther Northwest. In the waters around Flores Island, grey whales continue to enjoy the explosion of marine life produced by the recent sunshine, and we’ve enjoyed watching them feast in the plentiful muddy depths. We witnessed one particularly inquisitive whale spyhopping (vertically raising its head above the water) directly in front of Nanuq to gain a better view of the impressive vessel and its passengers… lots of fun to see eye to eye!

On several occasions this week we were also lucky enough to find my personal favourite seabird, the tufted puffin. As one young guest so rightly declared, these little black birds resemble adorable French clowns (not mimes!), with their striped heads and orange beaks and feet.

We have had several sea otter sightings, and even watched one river otter scampering around on the docks of Tofino, just as Nanuq was cruising back into town. Also harbour seals and steller sea lions have been hauled out to warm up and rest on the rocks in great abundance, in both inlet and outer waters. On our bear watches, we have found many black bears enjoying their plentiful seafood buffet along the exposed low tide gravel beaches. One morning as we were cruising back towards Tofino we were lucky to spot two wolves roaming the shores of Meares Island. Although wolves are often feared and misunderstood, it was wonderful to see the excitement on guest’s faces as they watched these intelligent and playful animals. Just another amazing week of whale watching and bear watching in Tofino! We hope to see you all aboard Nanuq in the coming week, who knows what we’ll see next!


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