Custom Marine Charters

Birds of a Feather charters are booked exclusively for your group - no one else is invited along - up to 10 passengers in total. Some tours are not suitable for children under 6.

Marine eco tours can include whale and bird watching, wildlife observation along our shores, lagoons and in harbours, or just general island hopping in the Gulf Islands. If you wish to go boating and/or swimming in any one of a number of nearby lakes such as Shawnigan lake, or in one of the many "secret" warm ocean currents, our boat is also equipped with a swim ladder.

Some popular sightseeing destinations

  • Race Rocks Marine Protected Area Ecological Reserve
  • Ganges - Salt Spring Island (Saturday craft market)
  • Bedwell Harbour - South Pender Island
  • Miners Bay - Mayne Island (Active Pass)
  • Saturna Island, Thetis Island … any of the Gulf Islands
  • Montague Harbour - Galiano Island
  • Chemainus - City of Murals
  • Brentwood Bay and Butchart Gardens
  • Victoria inner harbour and Oak Bay
  • Shawnigan Lake boating and swimming (suitable for all ages)
  • Finlayson Arm warm ocean current swimming
  • Historic Lighthouse Tours

Departure points can be from our dock on the Esquimalt Lagoon or from just about anywhere on Vancouver Island, since we can easily trailer the boat.

Zodiac can be trailered anywhere you wish to depart from

The Gulf Islands provide superb opportunities for birding, with sea birds nesting throughout the southern islands. Species include cormorants, gulls, tufted puffins, guillemots and the great blue heron. Loons are most populous in April and May when they are flying north on the Pacific Flyway to their northern nesting grounds. The king of Gulf Island birds is the bald eagle. Eagles are common on the islands, and you’ll see their huge stick nests atop many trees along the shorelines.

Much of the shoreline of the southern islands is rocky and rugged, often with cliffs, which the sea erodes. Vegetation on the islands is primarily Douglas fir, with groves of Madrone (arbutus) and some Garry oak. There is also some western red cedar. Salal is the dominant plant in the underbrush, along with salmonberry and huckleberry. Like the San Juans to the south, the Gulf Islands are composed primarily of sandstone and shale. Only the southern part of Salt Spring Island is volcanic in nature.

 We observe these guidelines when watching marine wildlife

Private boat charters Vancouver BC

Humpys, Orcas, Stellars and California Sea Lions all in one afternoon

Every day is a unique adventure out on the Salish Sea but today’s trip stood out. We launched at Pedder Bay Marina in Metchosin to place us close to Race Rocks. As the California and Stellar Sea Lion bulls were entertaining us from their perches on the rock formations we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by a dozen or so of these mamoths swimming, diving and porpoising. Then the incredible happened. One of the stellars suddenly sprang out of the water not 40 feet from us with a huge salmon which it had just caught as it breached the surface. The salmon was squirming it the sea lion’s mouth. Just as quickly as the stellar had surfaced he dove again and repeated this motion 2 more times. All the while a dozen or so of his very excited mates were porpoising almost in unison as a group. In 12 years being out here on the ocean that was a first for me. This was just the begginning of our adventure. We had heard reports of 4 to 6 humpbacks in the general vicinity over the past week. As we networked with our colleagues we heard 6 transient orcas were nearby. We spent a bit of time enjoying the orcas before heading out in the direction of the shipping lanes where soon we spotted 4 humpbacks. They put on quite a show for us including some excellent tail flukes. The humpbacks were also very vocal. All this in the space of 4 hours on one of those special autumn days when the seas were calm and the sun was out.