What to wear

The survival suits seen in the picture below serve as both floatation suits and to keep you warm - the ocean water temperature is 56° F - and dry when we encounter large waves. They are optional as we also have regular life-jackets, however, every person who has ever asked not to wear one has asked us later to stop and put one on. They have built in suspenders making them easy to peel down if you get too warm when we are stopped for a period of time.

flotation survival suits for whale watching in Victoria, BC

Pack for ALL types of weather.

The weather conditions are variable, so we strongly suggest to be prepared.

Here is a list of what we recommend you wear:

  • layered clothing - fleece is most comfortable, but anything in which you’re comfortable and warm is good
  • long pants - again focus on comfort
  • flat soled shoes; ideally running shoes which will also not scuff the boat and give you good grip
  • gloves and head cover - just in case you get cold
  • If you do not intend to wear the suits then we also recommend a good winter jacket, otherwise not needed.

Other things to bring for a smooth day at sea:

  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • camera with spare batteries
  • We supply motion sickness relief wristbands for those who tend to experience sea-sickness

motion sickness relief wrist bands

 Food, Drink and Head

  • Bottled water is always on board
  • Please bring along any light snacks and/or food you may wish to have with you - we have a cooler and running water. Insurance & Food Safe regulations prohibit us from supplying food
  • There are also islands where we can go on shore to eat - choices will vary with our location relative to wildlife
  • Again varying with our location we try to make a pit stop or two at a marina with public washrooms. For backup  there is a porta-pottie on board.

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.