I recently went on a whale watching excursion with Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Tours to check out their newest boat, “Wild 4 Whales.” I have been fortunate enough to have toured with most of the whale watching companies operating out of Victoria, Ucluelet and Tofino.
Wild 4 Whales is the largest boat in the Eagle Wing fleet. It has lots of indoor and open-air seating. The views from the massive windows are spectacular! When the whales show up, everyone is outdoors where there is still ample seating room, however with whale nearby everyone is on their feet. There is plenty of room indoors and outdoors for everyone to get a good view.
The ride in this large catamaran styled craft is very comfortable. It handles well even when the wind blows. I took some video on my camera and there was very little shake as we moved along. The ride is smooth and I will say the most impressive ride and whale watching boat I have been on. As usual the staff were pleasant and engaging, providing information to excited passengers. The washrooms were user friendly and even had skylights. There was excellent viewing from inside, out on the deck and room for 8 people up top with the captain. All of their boats have hydrophones.
On this trip we saw Humpback Whales, Orcas, and Harbor Porpoises… that was pretty cool. We stopped at Race Rocks Ecological reserve to take in one of the oldest light houses on the West Coast of Canada. While circling the rocks we got good views of “Ollie” the sea otter, yes a genuine sea otter, not river otters which are generally more common, and lots of “rock sausage” – seals! Race Rocks has a winter population of hundreds of sea lions, however none were there on this visit. This place is special to me as I spent hundreds of hours there scuba diving. Little known by boat passengers, just off the dock at Race Rocks it is like Buchart Gardens underwater, absolutely beautiful. I knew the light house keepers going back years. Back then we could scuba dive from the island and my kids got to climb the lighthouse and eat cookies baked by the keeper’s wife.
Eagle Wing offers excellent value for your money. They usually go out for 3.5 – 4 hours and often extend that time if the action is
good. On this trip we were out for 5 hours. Not bad eh! Their boats are all very fast, extending their range. On two occasions with them we have almost cleared Juan de Fuca Strait. I was not sure if they were headed for Russia or Alaska, but they were determined to find whales. These extended ranges give them an advantage and the opportunity to see more whales than some competitors.
Eagle Wing makes an effort to do EVERYTHING they can for their guests, it is no wonder they have been #1 on trip advisor since 2007. On this trip you could just hear the happiness and excitement in everyone’s voices! Wild 4 Whales was designed by the owner and staff. One of the things that I could not help but notice (especially as a senior) was that there were rails and grab bars everywhere on the boat to help everyone move around with much more safety. You will see this on some of the pictures. They reminded me of aids that are attached to help people with difficulties get in and out of bathtubs! This is the only boat that I have been on that had that feature.
They also make an effort to ensure that passengers have some extras like wind breakers, gloves and toques to keep them warm when the weather does not cooperate.
All in all, this is an amazing boat, the crew are great and there were whales galore! Thanks Eagle Wing, it was a blast! Generally, good weather follows me when I plan excursions. Sorry I let you down Eagle Wing! This was a cool day to say the least, but with the whales we saw, no one was complaining. Mission accomplished.
I have also experienced their open boats which are fast and wild! If you want to get closer to nature, try an open boat. Of course there might be more spray, the odd bounce off a wave, etc. but then that’s the fun!
Check out Eagle Wing for your next Whale and Wild Life Tour! For more pictures of our Eagle Wing Experience check out our Facebook page:
Tags: Eagle Wing Tours, Humpbacls, Ocas, Whale Watching