My son and I were in Victoria for part of our March Break. We had hoped that a vessel would be available for a nature tour. I am so glad we called Eagle Wing Tours! From speaking with a gentleman in the morning on the phone to find out about the possibility of going out on the water that day, to having him call me back right on time, to the pick-up at our hotel, to the tour itself, Eagle Wing was top-notch!
Luckily, the waters were calm and there were enough people to go out for a trip. We were picked up and driven to the wharf, suited up with warm jackets, pants, hats, gloves, sunglasses, and blankets; everything was supplied. We went out in a very powerful speedboat (a scarab?), which was very comfortable and very 'open-air', so that we felt very close to the ocean in the best possible way. The sights and the smells of the harbour were wonderful. And then the boat started to really move! It was exhilarating.
The captain of the boat had been made aware of a killer whale sighting much earlier in the day. Captain Jeff was determined to find the pod of whales for our tour. On our way out to sea, we saw a huge Steller sea lion. It was amazing. I know we were all hoping we would see some killer whales but we knew that during this time of year it was very rare to see them. But Jeff was determined and he never gave up, finally we spotted them off the left side of the boat! A pod of transient killer whales and Jeff could identify them by looking at their markings on the dorsal fins. Again I couldn't believe how lucky we were to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat and to see them at this time of year. We switched off the boat for a while and just watched the magnificence of the animals; it was quiet, it was beautiful and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
Jeff and the other biologist on board seemed just as excited as we were even though they have seen the whales many many times before. Their enthusiasm was still evident and Jeff gave us a large amount of information about the biology of whales and told us so much about them, which was fantastic. He could answer any question. There were seven whales in the pod we watched. Wonderful!
It was also nice, on the way back to stop at an island to see the Steller sea lions and the harbor seals and bald eagles. As an added bonus on our way back into harbour, Jeff spotted a sea otter which he said was extremely rare to see in the wild. We kept getting very lucky that day!
I would highly recommend this tour through Eagle Wing to anyone. The staff was incredible, the boat ride was great, it was comfortable and they were all prepared. We were well over three hours in the ocean and on the ocean and it was definitely a highlight of our trip!
Thanks to the staff at Eagle Wing and to Mother Nature for making our trip such a blast!
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