Written by: Matt, Zodiac Captain
The ground is spongy and wet from the heavy rains that wake us early each morning, as blue skies soon follow us into midday, lighting up the incredibly lush green forests of our coast. Port Renfrew is as rich of an ecosystem on land as it is on the water, this June has presented the perfect spring for a burst of life all around us. This is a definitive month for our upcoming summer season, the rain and sun determining the growth of our forests and their resilience to summer heat. On our tours we are seeing waterfalls flowing off the rugged shoreline cliffs directly into the ocean providing an important mix of water that contributes to the growth of plankton; the foundation of our marine food webs. In the last 5 years, I have never seen such an explosive bloom of life here in Port Renfrew and I anticipate an incredible year ahead for wildlife sightings.
Having started tours on June 1st, we have already seen large numbers of marine mammals including humpback whales, orca, seals, sea lions and porpoise. Not to mention the incredible variety of coastal and pelagic seabirds who are beginning to gather offshore. Everest is the local name for our pinnacle wildlife area, sitting just out of reach to recreation boaters on the southside of an orca sanctuary, is an underwater plateau that redirects the powerful currents flowing in from the deep open ocean. On our tours we rarely see another boat out at Everest, aside from the massive deep-sea vessels heading away from Vancouver enroute to distant shores around the world. Over the last few days humpback whales have been energetic, they are hungry after their long trip from winter breeding grounds at either Mexico or Hawaii. Seeing as the whales mostly do not eat over the winter, you can imagine what their first priority is when they arrive back on the pacific northwest coast: to eat fish and krill!
We are already experiencing higher than average numbers of these whales at this time of year with most of our outings getting to view 20-30 humpback whales diving all around our vessel at Everest.
So, please come see it for yourself! I can guarantee a bounty of nature upon your arrival to Port Renfrew, especially on our whale watching tours but also at every moment and around every corner during your stay. We look forward to being your guides and introducing you to our favorite paradise on Vancouver Island.