August 16th: Whales, Hot Springs and Beavers

At 8:30 Tuesday morning we boarded a zodiac along with ten other people, to look for whales and visit a nearby hot spring. We headed out to Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound where whales had been recently observed.

I'd say we saw at least 10 grey whales feeding not far from the island.  We kept a respectful distance and were quite thrilled to observe these magnificent creatures in the wild.  We also saw some harbour seals but they blend into the rock shoreline so well, they could hardly been seen on camera. 

After the whale watching we headed farther north to Maquinna Provincial Park  where our guide dropped us off gave us instructions and told us when we'd be picked up a few hours later.  The 2 km hike through the beautiful lush rainforest was via a boardwalk which made it much easier to navigate some challenging terrain.

I don't know how it started but there are some really neat carvings on many of the boards along the way.  Most of them list the names of sailboats and other vessels with the date or dates that the owners visited the park.

I have to say the hot springs were a bit of a disappointment.  It was beautiful to look at mind you, but the idea of trying to find my way down the sharp, rocky incline, hampered by my right hand whose thumb joint is swollen and causes me pain when I try to grip things, in order to sit in a slimy, smelly, crowded pool of water was less than appealing.  Perhaps I'm a bit biased though - I've been to much nicer hot springs in BC and I'm not much of a fan of getting wet unless the ambient temperature is above 30.

The hike back to the dock was more leisurely and just as stunning the second time through.  

We were picked up by Tofino Air and squished into an 8 seater de Havilland Beaver, along with another family, coincidentally from Kelowna.  It was a gorgeous flight over Clayoquot and our pilot took us back to the site where the whales were.  We had an incredible view of them from above, giving us a much better appreciation of their massive size.  Only one of the white forms in the photo below is a boat, the rest are grey whales.

The shot below put me in mind of our trip to French Polynesia, just change the colour of the water and raise the temperature a bit.


  1. What a wonderful trip Suzan!! Thanks for sharing the pics and commentary. Appreciate it.

  2. Thanks so much Mary, it's so nice to get your comments. :)


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