Posted by: tim ellis | August 28, 2005

Friday 29th August 1997- Vancouver

Another luxury – we can get breakfast in the restaurant – no more self catering! our trip is from Jamie’s Whaling Station, which is almost next door, so to make it worth Denis’ time, Digna makes him drive around Tofino first to give us some idea of what is there (basically a lot of Galleries/Craft Shops) before we board the “Leviathan II” – This is a glass bottomed boat, but the weather is fine and sunny (the best day yet) and there are Whales to spot, so who wants to go inside? – not us – we take up commanding positions at the front of the top deck.

We sail between Meares and Vargas Islands to the coast of Flores Island, spotting Harbour Seal and Cormorant on the way, before picking up the Grey Whales. They are quite tricky to spot as hey have no dorsal fin, and stay low in the water – only the blow gives them away – for 3-5 blows, then arch their backs for a deep dive, displaying the tail flukes and go down for around 5 minutes (which seems much longer), and of course, needn’t reappear anywhere near where they went down. Nonetheless we are lucky and pick up 3-4 animals, including 2 very close together, and not too far from the boat. Then on the way back we see Stellar Sealions and a pair of Tufted Puffins – an excellent trip!

A quick trip back to the resort to drop bags, then Denis runs us back into town for shopping and sightseeing. There is some wonderful stuff, if only one didn’t have to first buy it, then carry it home in one piece. Also visit the Rain forest Interpretation Centre, which is quite interesting and well laid out, before returning for a shower & change before dinner in the Wickinanish Restaurant.

This has a beautiful view of Long Beach at sunset, and we are amazed at the number of stars we can see when we come out. The journey home is enlivened by community singing (I bet you never knew Old Mac Donald had a Killer Whale on his farm!) followed by a trip to the resort bar (the luxury of a 10:00 AM start in the morning).

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