May 18, 2009 | Tips from Us >
Richmond, Whale Watching
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I am an absolute sucker for whales and marine animals, and knowing that the ocean playground near my home in Vancouver is teeming with life makes it that much more interesting. So when I had the chance to go with a local company, Vancouver Whale Watch, on a four-hour whalewatching tour, I had to jump at the chance. Their shuttle bus collected me from downtown Vancouver, and took us to the historic fishing village of Steveston, in Richmond, BC, where we jumped on covered boat and headed out to sea.
It being late April when I made my trip, it was still a bit early in the whale season, but I learned that all the whalewatching companies who share the waterspace around Vancouver Island, San Juan Islands in the US and around the Vancouver Islands "talk" to each other over their radios, to alert others if they've spotted a pod. So the likelihood of seeing whales is actually really high between late April and October.
And even if you don't, there was no shortage of other water life! We saw dozens of eagles pearching, California sea lions, a Dall's porpoise, and literally tons (of fun) Stellar Sea Lions, who we got up close to (keeping a safe distance, of course!) and got to hear them grumble and belch at us.
But so far, the whales had eluded us. Until... success! Two enormous Grey Whales, who the naturalist said hadn't been in these waters for two years, were spotted by another boat crew. So we headed over to find these shallow-water feeders munching happily and loping around us.
Alas, we didn't see any whale tails, or the typical Orcas that one sees at the height of the season. But we did see lots of spouting off - and Orcas or not, it's pretty incredible to see these things in their natural habitat.
It was an absolutely fabulous way to spend a sunny day!