March 20, 2018
Sometimes in life, we just need a new perspective. That’s exactly what you’ll get exploring BC’s scenery and wildlife from the water—not to mention some…
By Jenn Perutka June 16, 2015 #php comments_number('0 Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?> #php echo wpb_get_post_views(get_the_ID()); ?>
While it wasn’t a day spent with royalty, I did have a fantastic experience with Prince of Whales, the largest whale watching and eco-adventure company in British Columbia. With whale watching season kicking off at the end of May, I signed up for the Ultimate Day Adventure that consists of a whale watching trek from Vancouver to Victoria, exploring Butchart Gardens, and a sunset cruise back to the city.
After an early wake up, I headed to The Westin Bayshore to sign in and board the boat we would be travelling on for the next four hours to Victoria. The crew was friendly and helpful as my friend and I grabbed some bright yellow raincoats, since it was a bit chilly that morning and we’d be travelling on an open boat. We left Coal Harbour, and as we made our way, the crew came around to point out all of the wildlife we would be seeing during the trek.
We learned that whale watching is sort of like being a storm chaser. Boats in the area will communicate with each other on orca sightings. It was pretty exciting as we rushed our way to a spot that had some sightings and we knew we had arrived when there was a circle of other small boats in the area. The standard is to leave about 150 m (492 ft) between your boat and the orcas, and if anyone disobeys, there are seriously hefty fines to pay.
So while we weren’t close enough to high-five a fin, we were able to watch a pod of orcas playfully swimming by, including two baby orcas that jumped out a couple of times!
It really was a beautiful experience to see these magnificent mammals in the wild. It’s one of those things you might have on your bucket list, but you’re not sure if you’ll ever actually get around to it. I’m so glad I had the experience to see the orcas in their natural habitat, especially living on the coast where the area is synonymous with these majestic creatures.
Once we arrived at Victoria’s Inner Harbour, we waited a short while for a bus to pick us up for the short trek to Butchart Gardens.
Of all the times I visited Victoria as a kid, I don’t think I ever really appreciated the beauty of Butchart Gardens. The trees, plants, and flowers you come across through the paths are stunning and create such a serene environment that will have you wandering for hours. We made our way quickly through the gardens to be on time for Afternoon Tea in The Dining Room. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a small glass of trifle which immediately won over my heart because dessert before a main meal is always a good idea.
Once we finished the first course, we were brought three tiers of savoury and sweet goods. Sausage rolls, scones, macaroons, and chocolate cake were all among the delicious foods we ate along with our freshly brewed tea. I packed up the leftovers for the boat trek back and my friend and I made our way into the gardens in hopes of walking off some of our indulgences.
I had such a fantastic experience connecting with nature in a way I never have before. It can be easy to take our surroundings for granted when we’ve grown up by them our whole lives, but this trip with Prince of Whales put a whole new lens on the city I live in. We’re surrounded by stunning examples of mother nature and the day trek was the perfect opportunity to unwind, disconnect, and appreciate the natural beauty of BC. One more item on the bucket list checked off!
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