Vancouver Whale Watch season runs April 1 through October 31
Just because summer is winding down, doesn't mean that whale watching season is over. Vancouver Whale Watch, based in nearby Steveston Village, runs whale watching tours through Oct. 31, 2010. Here's how they describe the tours on their website:
The killer whales* come to this region to feed on the salmon that are returning to the Fraser River to spawn. The salmon start to migrate up river in May and continue into October. There are three pods (families) of killer whales that return to this area every year and they consist of approximately 80 whales. Killer whales are matriarchal, meaning that the eldest female leads the group.The 3-5 hour tours travel through BC's Gulf Islands and the American San Juan Islands. A professional naturalist is on board to talk about the marine ecosystem and answer questions. Also included are:
Photo ID charts on board for the killer whales
Hydrophones to hear the whales communicating
Complimentary water and snack
Free all-day parking (including RVs
Vancouver Whale Watching has a 90% success rate in sighting whales. And if you don't see one, you're invited for a complimentary return trip until you do ("for life, no expiration").
I went on one of their springtime Sea Lion Tours (March 15-May 15) in 2009, and it was great fun!
*Killer whales are also commonly referred to as orca
Photos by Sue Frause aboard a Vancouver Whale Watch boat