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What Is Sustainable Tourism?

July 24, 2013

Because Ocra Spirit Adventures follows the Pacific Whale Watching Association (PWWA) guidelines, we consider ourselves part of the “sustainable tourism” industry. But what does that mean? Here’s a little bit about how we are part of a sustainable tourist economy. Basic principles Sustainable tourism aims to minimize the environmental and cultural impacts of touristic activity. It […]

Who Is George Vancouver?

July 9, 2013

Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver are both named after Captain George Vancouver, one of the first explorers to visit and map the northern West Coast of the American continent. Since his legacy is present everywhere in coastal British Columbia, we thought we’d give you a little information about this important British explorer. Early […]

Navy Town: The Military Importance of Victoria

June 21, 2013

As you leave the Inner Harbour during your Victoria whale-watching trip, you may notice the grey military ships docked at Esquimalt naval base. Did you know that Victoria is home to the Maritime Forces Pacific (in other words, Canada’s Pacific navy)? It is the home port of 30 ships, including two submarines. Thousands of military […]

The Coast Salish, Early Inhabitants of Victoria

June 5, 2013

Although only settled in the 1800s, southern Vancouver Island has been inhabited since, archaeologists say, at least 9,000 BC (or for 11,000 years). Victoria, in fact, is built on the traditional land of the Coast Salish, where they lived and thrived for thousands of years before the arrival of European colonists. As you prepare for […]

Two Marine Ecological Reserves Near Victoria

May 14, 2013

Victoria’s unique geographical position, at the confluence of Juan de Fuca and Haro straits and near enough the open sea, makes for interesting marine and bird life, along with an ecology that’s fascinated scientists for years. The perfect spot for whale watching in British Columbia, it’s also home to numerous and unique marine life. Not […]

Sea Birds of Victoria: Great Blue Heron

May 11, 2013

A common bird in coastal and wetlands areas of North America, we are lucky to have a Great Blue Heron rookery here in Victoria. As you walk along the shore in Victoria or observe it from a boat during a Victoria whale watching adventure, keep an eye out for this smart and elegant bird. What […]

Erich Hoyt: Whale & Dolphin Researcher & Conservationist

May 4, 2013

An inspiration and an authority on whale and dolphin watching and conservation, Erich Hoyt is arguably the most influential figure of modern whale watching. He is the author of 14 books and hundreds of articles, some of them for children, and a major figure in oceanic research and marine habitat conservation. In the beginning, there […]

Orca Groups of the Pacific: A Short Overview

March 24, 2013

During your Victoria whale watching trip, you may hear our experienced guides discuss “orca groups”. “Groups” is a specialized name meaning something like “extended family”. Orca groups are groups of orcas hunting and mating together, stable in its members but showing incredibly complex family structures. Scientists have named three types of orca groups: resident, transient […]

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