Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More from Tofino - Whale Watching in Clayoquot Sound

For today's post we head back to Tofino.

One of the things we were most excited about doing in Tofino was going on a Whale Watching tour.  We were lucky enough to notice a Groupon offer way back in the winter for a half-off tour from Jamie's Whaling Station.  We snapped it up and could hardly wait for our trip out to sea to spot some whales.

As we started out, the Captain let us know that the swells were quite big out on the open water and that it would be a bit of a bumpy ride.  

As we headed out to the open water, our family was sitting on the side of the boat that endured the biggest splashes and most wind.  We all got some mouth-fulls of salt water.  Our only consolation was that we'd be on the "dry" side coming back.

Here is a picture of me and Sasha before we both turned green from the boat ride!

We all agree that we have never ever seen so many eagles as we did in Tofino.  There were a tonne of eagles out at sea, and we were able to see several nests as well.

The thing about whale watching is, you've got to be patient.  Well, not only patient.  You've also got to have an iron stomach that can handle the ups and downs of the swells for long periods of time.  About the point when we got out far enough that we were in whale territory, Sasha looked at me - her skin a nice shade of green - and said, "Mommy, my tummy feels so funny".  I knew just how she was feeling.  One of the employees on the boat could see Sasha was turning greener by the minute and came by with a hard mint candy for her to suck on and some advice.  "Keep looking out at the water and take long deep breaths".   This seemed to help a little.   We kept our eyes out on the sea and were determined to see some whales!

A few minutes later we were rewarded by some great sights.  You know you're going to see a whale come up and dive down when you see the spray of water coming up from their blow hole...  We were able to see 2 whales coming up and going down - not Orcas (apparently those are few and far between on these tours) but Grey Whales.  We even got to smell whale breath.   Really.   It's worse than you might imagine it to be.    Let's just say it doesn't help with the nausea.

After spotting some whales we carried on to a big rock where a huge group of Sea-lions make their home.  They were yelping and barking and lazing around in the sun.

Meanwhile, on deck, Sasha was curled up in my lap in the fetal position.  I was looking out to sea, taking DEEP breaths through my nose.  Sasha was given anti-nausea wrist-bands to wear by one of the Jamie's staff.  Soon after, she fell asleep on my lap.  I was so relieved for her.  I didn't know how much more that poor kid could take!

2 1/2 hours after we departed, we were all relieved to see Tofino come into focus.

I woke Sasha up as we docked and carried her off the boat.

She said she didn't want to go on a boat ride again for a long long time.

I didn't try to convince her otherwise.

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