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Captain’s Blog

How To Prepare And What To Expect – Whale Watching

September 9, 2013

image-stewardship-header-updated Your first Victoria whale watching adventure is an exciting moment. In order to enjoy your trip to the fullest, here are a few tips to help you prepare for your adventure ahead of time!

What to bring

Because of the nature of a whale watching trip, we suggest you bring a few essentials with you in order to enjoy your adventure to its fullest. In our region the temperature on the ocean can be quite a few degrees colder than on land, so you need to dress in layers. For clothing, we suggest:

• Comfortable pants or shorts and a long-sleeved top
• Sweater or fleece jacket for layering
• Raincoat (if necessary). We provide a full length cruiser suit for each passenger on our Zodiac trips; these are worn for safety and to help protect passengers from the elements.
• A hat and on cooler days gloves
• Comfortable shoes (rubber soles are recommended)
• Good sunglasses

Here are a few things you may also want to consider bringing:

• Camera /video camera
• Extra batteries
• Water (available to purchase at our office)
• Snacks (also available at our office)
• Nausea medicine if you are susceptible (this should be taken 30 minutes prior to boarding the boat)
• Sunscreen
• Binoculars

What to expect

First, it’s always good to check the weather on the day of your trip, so you can bring the appropriate clothing and items. It is important to note that we are on an Island and weather predictions are often wrong; call ahead if you are at all concerned about weather.

We recommend that you make reservations in advance.  That way you are guaranteed to get on the tour that works best for your schedule. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the docks and board the boat. We generally ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to departure. 

Whale sightings can be unpredictable. Wild animals do not work on a schedule! Try to go with “managed” expectations: although the crew will do its best to find whales, occasionally this does not happen but there plenty of other things to see. Avoid disappointment by enjoying the entire trip: sailing on the open sea, the salty air and the beautiful views of the Juan de Fuca strait.

Depending on the weather, the water can be calm or rough; the zodiac tends to have a bit more of a bouncy ride than the cruiser. Temperatures will be cooler and winds stronger than on land. The cruiser has a heated cabin for an all weather viewing experience.

Hopefully this information will help you prepare for and enjoy your next Victoria whale watching adventure!

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