Friday, July 31, 2009

Orcas on the hunt

Another amazing day out on the water today. West Coast Aquatic Safaris guests had quite the show from transient orcas passing through our waters. Our 3:30 trip got to see the orcas hunting sea lions. Orcas are known for not killing their prey right away and are often seen "playing" with it before. The guests aboard WASCO saw this orca behaviour and were able to see these incredible hunters in action.

Our 6:30 whale watch had a great show from humpbacks with lots of breach and tail fluking. And they were also able to catch up with the orcas! The orcas were spy hopping, breaching and tail fluking. They then began their hunting again and our guests got to see the orcas heading towards Long Beach where the sea lions are typically found. It was an amazing day out on the water with lots of activity. Some of these photos are posted on our website. To see all of the pictures go to our Flickr page!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Going, going...gone.

Tofino is buzzing with activity! We are right in the middle of peak season and everyone has come out to enjoy the sun, surf, whales and bears here in Tofino. Our boat WASCO has been running all day long with whale and bear watches heading out several times a day! With this being such a busy time of year we here at West Coast Aquatic Safaris cannot stress enough that you should book in advance if you have a particular time you would like. We have been selling out daily and we always hate to have to say no! So either book online more than 24 hours in advance to get a 10% discount or just come by our office and book ahead. We want to ensure everyone gets to experience beoing out on WASCO and seeing all of the beautiful nature and wildlife that Tofino has to offer!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hot summer days

Everyone in Tofino has been enjoying the hot sunny days that we have been having! The fan in West Coast Aquatic Safaris is working overtime to keep all the staff at least a little bit cooler! July and August are typically the driest months for Tofino and it is proving to be true so far.

A great way to cool off in this heat is to head out on the water with WASCO. A great sea breeze will cool you off as Jeff or Keith drive you around to view all of the wildlife that Tofino has to offer. We have been seeing gray whales every day! But there is always a variety including sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles and porpoises. And ofcourse lets not forget the scenery! Seeing Tofino from the water is a definite must do while visiting. So take a ride on WASCO and see what everyone is talking about!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Huge pod of Orcas!

It was an incredible day out on the water for West Coast Aquatics Safaris guests and staff. A huge pod of 40 orcas were seen in our waters today! Jeff one of our drivers of WASCO said he had never seen such a large pod of orcas before. Some people have thought it might be one of the pods from Victoria passing through.

They were a very active group of orcas with lots of breaching, spy-hopping, fluking and tail slapping. They were swimming around and under WASCO and coming very close! It was an incredible trip out on the water. Our guests got to experience a truly rare occassion with so many orcas travelling through.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Overcast today...but the bears are out!

The weather is chilly and rainy today in Tofino. But this cooler weather has encouraged the black bears to come out of the bush! West Coast Aquatic Safaris guests got some great views of these black bears while out on WASCO. Four different bears were seen on our bear watches today. Our guests were able to get up close with some of these bears by standing on the front bow of WASCO. Also seen while out on a bear watch our guests saw harbour seals and a mink. And they also could hear a wolf howling!

The inlets of Tofino offer a natural beauty that is hard to describe. The bear watches offer our guests a great opportunity to see this other area that is often missed. This natural area has a lot of variety of wildlife that can be viewed including river otters, harbour porpoises and on occasion orcas have been seen passing through. Book your bear watch now and see what it is all about!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amazing Photos

We are always fortunate here at West Coast Aquatic Safaris to have great guests who send us great pictures from out on WASCO for the photo of the week. We have had some amazing photos sent to us and we want to thank all of our guests for sending them in!

We recently had two professional photographers as customers on both a whale and bear watching trips. They have been kind enough to send us some prints which are displayed in our office as well as a CD with some additional photos (two pictured here). You can see the other photos on our website by clicking here. Thank you Brenda Berry and David Middleton of Photographers Alliance Workshop. Your photos are amazing and we greatly appreciate you sending us some of your amazing shots for everyone to see! Want to learn more about these great photographers? Just go to

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Welcome Beth!

West Coast Aquatic Safaris is happy to welcome Beth to the team! Beth is living in Tofino for the summer and will be returning to Nanaimo in September to resume her studies. We are very excited to have her with us for a couple of months during our busy season. Welcome to the team Beth!!

Our whale watching trip this morning had some exciting humpback sightings. They spotted three humpbacks including a calf. They were an active bunch with lots of breaching and tail fluking. Our guests got quite the show on our 9:30 trip. The weather has cleared up and we are happy to have some sunshine. It is looking like the 6:30 whale watching trip is going to have a great sunset. It is a great opportunity to see whales, Tofino from the ocean and a sunset all in one cruise!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Photo of the week winner!

West Coast Aquatic Safaris would like to thank Claire Crawley for her amazing photos of the black bears while out on WASCO. She submitted some amazing photos and of course you can see the winning photo on our home page or by clicking here. Our bear watches are a great way for our guests to get up close with the black bears in the area. We plan our bear watches for low tide. The reason for the low tide is that the bears usually come out to the shoreline to look for crabs under the rocks so it gives our guests a chance to see these bears from our boat WASCO.

The whales have been out quite a bit in the past few days. The grays are very active feeding lately. The humpbacks have been seen and yesterday quite a few were spotted! Orcas were rumoured to be in our waters early this morning. There was as many as 10 spotted however they had made their way further off shore by the time the first whale watches had gotten out and haven't been seen since. Still lots of wildlife to see while out on our trips.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mom and pup!

It has been a great day with no rain today here in Tofino. West Coast Aquatic Safaris has been busy with lots of wildlife sightings today. Our two morning bear watches were successful with the early morning trip finding three black bears and the 9:30 trip getting a good long look at one black bear who didn't mind WASCO and guests stopping by.

The whale watches have been eventful today with gray whales and humpback whales being spotted. A special treat for our driver Jeff and our guests today was our first sighting of a mom sea otter and her pup. This is the first one Jeff has seen this season! Mom had her pup on her belly as she swam around on her back. It was great to see and our guests were very excited when they got back in. We are hoping for the clouds to part for our evening whale watch. It is a great way to see the sunset and whales all in one great trip!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting for some sun

It has been rainy for the past few days here in Tofino. We have now entered into peak season and the streets are busy with visitors exploring Tofino. The rain hasn't slowed down too many people which is always great to see. West Coast Aquatic Safaris had full trips today and our guests had some great wildlife views. Jeff was driving WASCO today and was happy to find both humpbacks and gray whales while out on whale watches.

Our Helly Hansen jackets and heated indoor cabin were very useful today with the rain coming down steadily until just after 6:00. The good news is that the whales didn't care that it was raining and our guests had lots to see!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The BIG 3-0!!!

All the staff at West Coast Aquatic Safaris want to wish owner Keith Phillips a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Keith is 30 today and so will be sure to celebrate this milestone in style! Keith will be having a pig roast in the back parking lot to celebrate this big day with all of his friends. West Coast Aquatic Safaris staff are looking forward to the end of their shifts so that they can also join in on all the fun!

Keith - on behalf of all of your staff here at West Coast Aquatic Safaris we wish you a very happy birthday and hope it's a great one. We wish you lots of success and happiness for the coming years as well! All the best!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lots to see

It is another hot day in Tofino and Jeff has been out on WASCO enjoying the sun and wildlife today. West Coast Aquatic Safaris guests got a lot of variety today. There were lots of gray whales to see today. Plus the humpback whales were seen as well. The sea lions have decided to hang out on the rocks again. And the sea otters have been spotted as well. Our guests were happy to see so much variety out there today. The bald eagles nest is always a popular place to stop by as well. The little eaglets in the nest are not so little any more! They are looking like it is getting close to flying time! We are keeping an eye out and waiting to see their first flights!

On sunny days like this it is always great to sit upstairs on WASCO. Our boat offers our guests the option of being outside or inside! So depending on the weather and whether you want the wind in our hair or want to enjoy the ride from the comfort of our cabin WASCO gives you that option! Come and see for yourself!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Video

It's a hot day here in Tofino! West Coast Aquatic Safaris guests enjoyed sitting outside on WASCO and enjoying the ocean breeze. The humpbacks have been spotted today! It has been almost a week of no humpback sightings. They were here but just a little too far off shore. So we were happy to see them again. We spotted a mother humpback and her calf today. We also saw gray whales, sea lions and sea otters today.

Want a little taste of what the fireworks show was like on Canada Day? Just click here and check out our YouTube video!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

West Coast Aquatic Safaris wants to wish everyone a Happy Canada Day! It is a beautiful sunny day here in Tofino and the Canada Day festivities are well under way. There is currently a bbq and skateboarding competition being held. There are fireworks, a DJ, salmon dinner bbq and silent auction happening this evening.

There is lots to see on land AND the ocean today. Our 9:30 whale watch caught up with a large pod of 10 orcas today. After Jeff spent some time with WASCO up in Cow Bay with our guests watching gray whales, orcas were seen around Cleland Island and La Croix Group. So they headed over that way to take a look. They were not disappointed getting to see a pod of 10. So even the orcas stopped by the Tofino area for Canada day and hopefully you were able to make it out too!