Written by: Lori, Zodiac Driver
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and what better time to book your first whale watching excursion! It may come as a surprise to some, but winter is an incredible time to view marine mammals. The waters surrounding Victoria are less busy during the off season, and wildlife sightings are still abundant with sightings of Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, seals, sea lions, and many different bird species.
So what should you wear to prepare for your tour?
Dress to enjoy your adventure – and that means dressing as warmly as possible!
Wear Lots of Layers
Before your tour begins we will get you all bundled up in our cruiser suits, which will add an extra layer of protection while you’re out on the water. That being said, it is always best to keep all of your layers on under these suits, and I do recommend a lot of layers! I would recommend wearing a base layer, a sweater, and a rain jacket or winter jacket overtop to ensure that you stay as cozy as possible. Wearing rain pants underneath the suit is a great way to ensure that you’ll stay dry if you happen to get splashed. Zodiacs are an open boat so we are very exposed to the elements once we leave the docks.
Don’t Be Shy to Accessorize
Gloves, toques, scarves, and buffs are all wonderful things to wear whale watching. You won’t regret the extra warmth that they offer. It gets a lot colder when you’re traveling at speed, and the last thing you want is cold fingers while you’re trying to snap a photo of a whale! Bundle up as much as you can, and don’t be embarrassed to dress like you’re going skiing! We do offer extra toques and gloves at our office if you happen to forget – but it’s always best to bring your own!
Bring Closed-Toed Shoes
Closed-Toed Shoes are a must! I think this goes without saying in the winter, but closed-toe shoes are as much about safety as they are comfort. Pair them with some warm socks and bonus points if your shoes are waterproof!
A Pair of Sunglasses
This may seem counterintuitive in the winter months as we don’t tend to see as much sun – but trust me on this one! Sunglasses offer great protection from the wind and you’ll find them very useful when you’re traveling at speed. If you happen to be out on a bright sunny day they’ll protect you from any glare and you’ll be free to stare out at the ocean and its wildlife for hours. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the day.
To Sum It Up…
Dress warmly and you’ll have a wonderful time! When you arrive at our office one of our captain’s will get you fitted into a warm and protective cruiser suit. If you happen to forget a toque or gloves we do have spares to lend you for your trip – and sunglasses are for sale at our office if you’re really keen to have a pair with you.
There is an incredible amount of wildlife off the coast of Victoria even in the winter months. We can’t wait to show it to you! Our winter whale watching tours depart at 12pm daily.
Come on down and experience the wild with us!