It's hard to believe it's that time again already but we're very excited to be gearing up for our 2014 season. Spring has officially sprung and we can say good riddance to the long winter cold (okay, maybe it wasn't THAT cold- this is Victoria after-all). Cherry blossoms are out with the promise of spring, bringing the excitement of new life, and as a reassurance the wildlife sightings are beginning to pop up all around us! April 1st marks the start of our Whale Watching season and we sure are eager to get back on the water! The boats are tuned up and our captains and naturalists are excited to be back out there next week, to show our guests the amazing beauty of Victoriaʼs coastline and the wildlife that call it home.
We've just come back from the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, hosted in the SECOND most picturesque place on Vancouver Island:Tofino (second to Victoria of course)! This festival celebrates the annual return of migrating Pacific Grey Whales to the coastal waters of the communities of Tofino, Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. An estimated 20,000 Grey Whales make the journey each year from the Baja Peninsula’s breeding and calving lagoons in Mexico, toward their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas near the Arctic.
We were honoured to be a sponsor for the interpretive education events this year, boasting a colourful booth at the Maritime Kid's days in Ucluelet and Tofino. Although we see an abundance of marine wildlife year-round off the coast of Southern Vancouver Island, Grey Whales rarely frequent the waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait. It was a treat to observe several Grey’s from the shore as we soaked up the sunshine-yes, sunshine!- from the shores of the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet. It was a wonderful experience to inform the local children about the Southern Resident Whales we are so fortunate to see here so regularly. In turn, they taught us a thing or two about their travelling friends enduring the longest migration in the world!