Whale Watching in Tofino

Back when we decided to come to Canada to spend our summer, I knew that I had to go whale watching no matter what. After all, it’s the 30th item on my bucket list. In Tofino, the whale watching season runs from March to October. So this was the perfect time to watch these majestic mammals in their natural habitat. Since I’m not a big spender, I searched for the cheapest option available. And settled for the tour offered by Weigh West Marine Resort; the total price for the whale watching tour was of $77,28 CAD including tax.

Whale Watching in Tofino
I chose to go on the open decked boat, so I arrived at the dock early in the morning. We were only 6 people on the boat, plus our guide. The company provided us with a floating suit, just in case we’d fall in the water; plus, beanie hats to keep us warm during our ride. Even if I looked like the Michelin man’s sister, I was grateful for the extra insulation in this gray and misty morning. The boat glided swiftly on the water on the way out of the bay.  But as soon as we got into the open ocean, the huge waves made our boat bounced around a lot, making us all giggle.

Whale Watching in TofinoAfter about 45 minutes, we got to the first spot to see a pod of gray whales feeding. It was hard to take photos of them. One could never tell where and when they would surface. Plus, the waves kept rocking the boat vigorously, making it even harder. I just managed to get a couple of good tail shots and a video. Although I must warm you, you might get sea sick just from watching it! After trying a few times, I just turned my camera off and decided to just enjoy the moment.

From there, we went on to other spots where we saw seals and sea lions. We even sighted a bald eagle in the distance. As before, taking photos with my point-and-shoot Canon Powershot G11 was a challenge. We were a bit far away and the boat kept moving with the waves. I would have liked to have a more powerful lens to zoom in; but my little camera managed to get some pretty decent shots, me thinks.

Whale Watching in Tofino
Overall, the trip lasted just under two and a half hours. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see anymore whales apart from the gray whales. I would have loved to see some killer whales; but I understand that whale watching tours can be a hit-and-miss affair. That same afternoon we met a couple who had chosen another company that took them on a tour that was almost an hour longer. However, they only got to see the gray whales as well. In any case, it was a great experience and I can’t wait to go whale watching again somewhere else in the world.

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Hi there! I'm Bianca, a former nomad with a burning passion for travel. I am now based in the Netherlands, where I live with my partner and young daughter. After traveling for almost 4 years straight, I still love to explore new places any time I have a chance, on my own or with my family. For more, check the About me section.

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  • Close Encounters With Canadian Wildlife | nomadbiba

    […] from coast to coast. In Tofino, a small surfing town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, I went whale watching for the first time in my life and in Long Beach it was cool to see all the starfish glued to the rocks while the tide was low. […]

  • You did a great job getting a good pic – I worked on a cruise ship and was able to see whales everyday for months & only got a few pictures, none as good as your tail shot. Love the floating suit too!

    Watching whales is one of those things I can’t mark off my bucket list, I want to do it again and again – cool that you got to do it with a small group in what sounds like a smaller boat.

    • Thanks, Kate! I would love to go whale watching again too, whales are just magnificent; they are amazing creatures!

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