A dream came true – I went whale watching in Canada to get to see resident killer whales!
There are a couple of companies in Vancouver which offer whale watching tours. After some online research, I decided to go with Vancouver Whale Watch (www.vancouverwhalewatch.com). The whole trip (including a shuttle service from the city to the marina in Richmond where the boat leaves and back) cost around CAD 150. They guarantee that you will see whales and if you are not lucky the first time, they offer you to come back until you see the whales.
I did the morning tour and was picked up at 7.30 am at Canada Place. They have multiple locations and I think if you give them a call, they are quite flexible as well. After a 30 min drive to Richmond, a lovely suburb of Vancouver, we registered and got trousers, coats and wool hats. I strongly advise you to dress in layers – even though it was quite a warm day in the city, it was very cold at sea. I wore a shirt, a cardigan, two jackets plus the jacket provided by Vancouver Whale Watch and was still freezing. Also, it is a good idea to bring gloves, water, granola bars and sunscreen.
The trip was amazing! It took us some time to meet the whales – resident killer whales are very unpredictable. The day before my tour they were very near but we had to go for about 2.5 hours until we reached US territories. But it was definitely worth it: Apart from the beautiful scenery of the Gulf Islands, we got to see seals and eight whales – two of them were teenagers. The crew knew the whales very well and could tell us some insights about their life.
The whales we spotted are part of the family around Granny, a 103-year-old killer whale. She is the living proof against Sea World’s argument that no one knows for sure how long orcas live (in captivity their life expectancy is only 4-5 years). If you get the chance to see orcas in their natural habitat you will see that they need a lot of space and that holding them in captivity is cruel. The article “Recently Spotted 103-Year-Old Orca is Bad News for Sea World” will give you more insights on this topic.
Check out my video – it couldn’t capture the whole atmosphere of the moment, but I hope it will give you an impression of this awesome trip!