Scattering Cremated Funeral Ashes in the Salish Sea Victoria BC

Book Scattering Ashes charter now

Story Published in the Toronto Sun Newspapers

"… On the other coast, Birds of a Feather Marine heads out about every six weeks or so, into the whale-rich waters off Victoria, B.C., to help families scatter ashes. Two years ago, two sisters came to him with the cremains of their mother, who had twice been whale watching and yet hadn’t seen a single one. But on the day her ashes were cast onto the water, Gerhard was able to get close to a pod of Orcas."  read more

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Scattering the ashes of a loved one into the ocean can be an extraordinarily beautiful way to say goodbye. Many people love the idea of the ocean teaming with life. Many of our requests are related to the ocean, the whales and/or the wildlife having been a special place of significance to the deceased.

Typically we travel out of the harbor about 45 minutes or so, come to a rest at which point the ashes are released. Flowers are often tossed into the water after which the vessel encircles the area and returns to port.

While an urn is not required, in fact most people don’t use one and simply scatter the ashes overboard we do recommend using biodegradable urns when an urn is used. It is also nice to watch the urn drift near the boat amongst the flowers and then eventually disappear beneath the surface. One of our charters even made their own paper "boat" which sank after about 5 minutes.

 

Scattering ashes at sea Victoria BC

You can do this yourself – you do not need a licence to spread ashes in tidal coastal waters off of the British Columbia. Typically, there is no ceremony per sey, however, we can accommodate you if you wish to arrange a member of your religious denomination to conduct a cermony.

One of the nicest accompaniments (extra cost) is a bagpiper - let us know if this interests you and we’ll put you in touch with a local bagpiper who you can contract directly.

Doing this by boat as opposed to from the shoreline also lessens the chances of you being intruded upon.

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This is truly a journey of the heart and however you wish to say goodbye, in silence, spoken out loud or written on our heart shaped post-its for privacy. Your family will set the ashes free by gently lowering them into the ocean. You will then bear witness as the ashes’ transition into clouds that take shapes and colors.

This cloud will stay together in a loose formation and begin a brand new journey. We will ring the ship’s bell eight times (“End of Watch”) and on the last bell everyone tosses flowers overboard. This is the last act of letting go. We return to port while the ashes join the rest of life on their way to another world.

Bag Piper scattering ashes at sea ocean Victoria 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.