Starting off in Campbell River we headed out to the other side of Vancouver Island, to Tofino. This is quite a long drive straight through the rugged terrain that is the island’s inland.
The terrain includes steep mountains, lakes, the obvious pine forests and some pretty amazing stuff: rainforests!
Right after starting on the island highway, we encountered Miracle Beach, which is rumoured to be a really pretty and just beach. Unfortunately, it was neither. Completely empty, smelly and quite small we quickly left to get on with our trip.
We did run into a nice deer who was kind enough to pay attention to us but not flee. Long enough for us to get close enough for some nice closeup shots!
The real highlight of the day were Qualicum Falls. There actually are two falls there, we started off with the lower and proceeded to the upper falls. That is the right way! The lower falls are pretty dull, but the upper falls are very picturesk! We have seen quite a lot of falls recently, but these are pretty nice.
Further en route to Tofino we had to go through Pacific Rim National Park and we stopped in quite a few places to check out the scenery and see what this park had to offer. Mostly beaches and coastal environment.
Pretty neat stuff! Take into account there is still some temperate rainforest in this area, and you can imagine the unique make of these surroundings.
Tomorrow, we’ll be doing some local hiking before checking in with Jamie’s to go on a boat. Again!
No, you are not reading a recycled post, this is just the second time we go on this trip. 😉
As we enjoyed the first time around on the whale watching trip as much as we did on the day before yesterday, we booked a second time (today) straight after returning.
So, today, a third day in a row, we travelled to Telegraph Cove to get on a boat. And for the third time, it was cold. Very cold.
And again, the Johnston Straight delivered! After going out to a matriline of resident orca we found they were too far away, and still getting further out. We stopped pursueing them and went back to the Humpback whales we ignored on our way out. The biologist on duty (Jackie, a former dutch resident teaching biology in Rotterdam) is studying them and got really excited after discovering one if ‘her’ whales had a calf, and must therefore be female!
Leaving them, and with Jackie in desperation, we headed out for our true goal: orca.
And did we find them!
Eventually, the captain of our ship maneuvered us quite a long distance from a group of orca, feeding along the coast of Knight’s Inlet. As they were getting closer and closer to pass on the right, more matrilines appeared on our left and front leaving us surrounded by orca!
One of the families decided they would change their route, which led straight under out boat! I’ve got one amazing shot of an orca, appearing from under the boat and slightly breaching the water. In one word: awesome!
All in all, we saw about 30 killer whales from several families and about 6 humpback whales. A really productive day, mammal-wise!
Finally, we drove from Telegraph Cove to Campbell River, where we are staying one night before going to Tofino. Looking forward to being there!