While on our whale watching day we managed to see stellar sealions, harbour seas, eagles and a few dolphins but all these are hard to compare to a humpback whale rising out of the water behind the boat while we are taking a lunch break. The important part of the previous sentence is the word “day”. We are not limited to as four-hour tour like the companies from Telegraph Cove or Port McNeil nor do we arrive late in the morning and have to leave early as the companies that travel from a greater distance. We are close to the viewing area, approximately 50 minutes, and unless it is your departure day there is no set time to return to camp so if the activity occurs later in the day we are later returning to the lodge.
The last 3 years we have been starting to view sea otters in our area more regularly. They are still often a distance away, but the sightings are increasing with some “rafts” of them developing in areas near the western portion of our whale watching trips. These animals were hunted heavily for their fur and were completely wiped out of British Columbia waters. Re-introduction occurred from Alaskan otters in the 1960’s. They have long been protected and their numbers have been steadily increasing along the exposed BC coast and are now moving back into inside waters. They are unique in that they don’t have the insulating blubber that other marine mammals use to keep warm. As a result they have dense (over 1 million hairs per square inch) fur and feed heavily. They are important in balancing the eco-system. They eat a lot of sea urchins, which eat a lot of kelp. Kelp is extremely important as it provides cover for juvenile fish and is where the herring spawn in the early spring. With the increase in these otters we are seeing a greater abundance and healthier kelp forests.Visit our Blog