Wildlife adventure from Tofino

Emily and I headed out in search of the elusive breakfast! A latte and a cereal bar would be fine! We settled on a coffee bar patio and delighted at the humming birds flitting about in the tree below.

Our adventure trip began at 12 with a short video introduction before we donned the full survival suit! What the heck were we getting into???   Sadly it was cloudy with a few spots of rain, but on Vancouver island this can all change very quickly!
It would be a 90k boat trip up the coast seeking out the wildlife. The twin-engined dinghy powered away leaping onto each wave with a thump… so thrilling!  After about 10 minutes it came to a sudden halt because there ahead were two grey whales blowing. We waited quietly, well fairly quietly as we had a noisy bunch of Chinese on board. Why oh why can’t they just stop talking! The whales surfaced several times and could be identified by the markings on their backs. These guys are about 50 feet long and feed on snails and small creatures like shrimps at the bottom of the ocean.

The boat leapt into action again and then came to stop by some rocks literally covered in sea-lions with one huge male in the middle. Nearby we spotted some tufted Puffins, I was thrilled to get a half decent shot as the boat bobbed about with the engine turned off.   We pressed on and saw some more Grey Whales, this time more closely, before heading on to the hot water springs. We had to get out of our survival kit in this remote place before hiking 2k through beautiful rain forests to the hot springs. By this time the sun had come out again.
The hot springs were made up of a very hot water fall that fed into a pool like a hot bath then flowed on down to an area where you could sit in lovely hot water but feel the sensation of the cold sea around you every time the tide came in. It was quite treacherous getting down to it over jagged rocks but worth it! Picture shows Harry and Terry in the springs.  After my picnic meal I thought I would return through the rainforest before all the noisy Chinese got out of the pool. I love the sound of the rainforest and it was so good to have it to myself.
After getting togged up in our spacesuits again we set off back down the coast by a different route between the islands. James was a great driver and guide… and extremely knowledgeable.
We came to an abrupt halt beside a sea otter which was floating on its back with something in its paws… so cute!
Next James negotiated a narrow cave entrance to show us starfish and explained how they would prize open mussel shells and suck out the contents. We shot off again speeding round small islands til eventually we stopped to see a wolf sauntering off into the trees. It had been feeding on a carcass on the beach. Way above on a tall tree were perched a pair of Bald Eagles.  The eagle pictured here looks a bit strange, I don’t think those red things tucked in front of him are actually his feet… flowers or something on the rock!

This area reminded me of a book I’d read prior to coming to Canada by Grant Lawrence called ‘Adventures in Solitude’ based in Desolation Sound.
James negotiated another very tight area called Shark Creek before returning to the quay at Tofino. We were treated to one last wildlife sighting – a pair of porpoises. As we returned I looked back at the wake in the water behind us to sea the most beautiful sunset.

In the meantime Gary and Jeanne had bought provisions for a barbecue which we all prepared. The guys did the cooking of course and we cracked open a bottle of wine… well three actually! A perfect end to a great day!

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5 Responses to Wildlife adventure from Tofino

  1. marie robinson says:

    sounds so wonderful Maureen! Your descriptions are lovely x

  2. LeighH says:


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