Humpbacks in the Barkley
It has been really refreshing watching the resurgence of the Humpback Whales in the Barkley Sound area. It seems as though we have been racing around to the far reaches of our range-to-time-limit for our whale watches to find grey whales that are foraging in the kelp beds and muddy ocean floors – essentially touring all up and down the coast without visiting Barkley Sound. However, things seem to be on the move! Today we got to watch a solo Humpback lunge feeding in huge circles all over a bay in Imperial Eagle Channel. This resident humpy is known to the locals as Pinky and she’s a very active feeder. She put on a great show for our guests and to top it off we had the double bonus of touring through the Broken Group Islands National Park on our way to and from the whale show. Everyone left the experience with huge smiles on their faces and pretty well blown away by the natural beauty of the area. We are very proud to call this place home.
One-on-one Whale Watching Experiences with SpyHop Ocean Adventures
The one benefit over the years operating out of Barkley Sound that we have noticed at SpyHop Ocean Adventures is that we have the advantage of having intimate one-on-one experiences of whale sightings. The traffic in the summer season can definitely increase, however, we can still manage to come across a lonely whale or pod of whales with no other boats around to disturb our experience. That is exactly the case that we had catching these photos with National Geographic photographer Connor Stefanison as we bobbed along in the SpyHop Zodiac boat in flat calm waters on a blue sky day. No other boats in sight, no other inboards or outboards to drown out the hypnotizing sounds of the whales traveling, diving and breathing. Not to mention the beautiful weather provided a back glow to the whale spots, giving them a stunning appearance in these photographs. Check them out for yourself!
Grey Whales in the Barkley!
It’s a feeding frenzy out there right now in Barkley Sound for the Pacific Coast Feeding Assembly of Grey Whales. We have been having great sighting everyday for the past 5 days with (relatively) stunning weather and lots of activity for our guests. Book a tour today and come explore the fun with us!
SUP Adventure with SpyHop Ocean Adventures!
Those glorious bluebird days out on the west coast are hard to beat. Glassy waters and not a threatening cloud for miles, what better way to spend the day but on the sea. Stand Up Paddleboarding doesn’t have the most amazing reputation out on the west coast but this is why I love it so much. An SUP board is like a playful kayak. You’re not restricted to a seated position, you can stand or sit or jump off and go for a swim at your desire, you can lay down, work on your face/hand wetsuit tan, and your vantage point at the water world below is SO much better. SUP rentals are CHEAP compared to kayak rentals if you’re on a budget as well! We rented our gear from Relic Surf Shop , ukee’s finest surf shop, and had an amazing morning exploring the rocky intertidal world off Ucluelet’s rugged coastline. Get your adventure on!
First Adventure of the Season in Barkley Sound!
We had a first adventure in Barkley Sound this past Saturday evening with Relic Surf Shop co-owner Derek Hale and friends. What was initially supposed to be a quick little pre-dinner sunset cruise turned into now of the most enjoyable evenings I have had on the water in a long time. The sun was scorching hot, the water was as calm as a lake and the old growth islands of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Broken Group Unit were mesmerizing. After an hour or so of venturing off into the open water to check out sea lion foul and scouting for whales, we pulled up to an abandoned cabin in the sound for a chance to stretch our legs. The water was crystal clear and due to the shallows actually quite warm so obviously a few people couldn’t resist and slipped into the sea for a quick swim. We saw all sorts of marine creatures including multiple moonsnails!! – an animal I had never actually seen in the wild but have always been drawn to the peculiar and beautiful design of their calcite shells. To top it all off, when we had given up on a whale search long ago it wasn’t until our return home that we stumbled across 3 socializing/feeding Pacific Northwest Grey Whales. With no other boats in sight and not a gust of wind, we reached the appropriate viewing distance of 100 yards from the grazing animals and killed the engines for a peaceful, quiet, personal whale watch. There’s nothing more peaceful than sitting with whales listening to their haunting breathe echo over flat calm water with no disturbance. What an epic adventure we all had! Still haunted with the experience today. Ucluelet British Columbia is the place to be in the summer months! Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime on the West Coast.
SpyHop Ocean Adventures Moves Offices!
Well this is a bit of a shocker… After 6 years of operating off the Floathouse Patio & Grill, an amazing opportunity for change has fallen into the lap of SpyHop Ocean Adventures… The past 6 seasons have been unforgettable and the people I’ve got to meet through the Floathouse will forever be lifelong homies and the transition definitely pulls on the ol heart strings, but SpyHop is on the move. Come visit the new location at the Whiskey Landing Lodge. Everyone and anyone is welcome!
Orca Sighting Near the Ucluelet Inlet! (June 8th, 2015)
Another great day for SpyHop Ocean Adventures out on the water! The benefits of having friends out on the water is huge when you can coordinate with not only follow whale watchers, but also sport fishing charters, sailing charters and various other forms of marine transportation people out on the west coast to find wildlife. As we were leaving for our tour yesterday, we received a call from Bobby Sherlock from Wild Pacific Sailing informing us that he came across a pod of orca’s right outside the Ucluelet Inlet. Timing was impeccable and our crew had a great sighting as we were first on the scene after Bobby’s charter. The episode was short-lived but everyone was stoked nonetheless.
Such a great start to the season with whales sighted on every trip thus far! Many more amazing days to come!
Humpbacks Sighted in the Barkley
Really great to see a number of familiar humpbacks again in the Barkley Sound region. We had a bit of an awkward season with the La Niña last year, and even though we are apparently about to experience a second one in a row, at least we are seeing a bit more humpback whale activity in our coastal waters. We got to see lots of tails and a bonding mother and calf who were playing copy-cat, where the baby mimics all the same behaviors and movements as its mother. Overall, great day in Barkley Sound today (June 6th, 2015), SpyHop Ocean Adventures is very excited for the upcoming season!
Reminiscing of Whales
Today I was going through old photos from last year on my seasonally dormant camera and came across this beauty!! The thing I love about taking photos on most of my trips is that although the trips and photographs generally consist of viewing the same west coast wildlife, I can remember the exact moment of when and where every single photo was taken… like traveling back in time with every single photography still.
Orca’s Spotted in the Ucluelet Harbour May 26th 2015!
May 26th was meant to be a casual training day with SpyHop Ocean Adventure’s original operator Rachel Muehlenberg and her new employees of the 2015 season; however, this casual venture turned into an amazing day for wildlife viewing! It seemed as though at the beginning of the trip, most of the neighboring ukee whale watchers were having a bit of trouble locating our whale friends in Barkley Sound. With a stroke of luck and being in the right place at the right time with a trained eye for spotting whales, the training cruise spotted a lunge feeding humpback whale known as “Pinky” to the locals for her particularly pink baleen and her calf in Imperial Eagle Channel. Another whale watching company joined SpyHop shortly after to partake in the viewing experience of a lunge feeding 40 tones mammal.
In attempts to avoid disrupting wild animals in their natural habitat, there are various time limits and viewing restrictions on how long wildlife viewing tours should stay with one particular animals. Therefore, after SpyHop had reached their appropriate time limit, the training trip left Pinky and her calf and continued on to cruise around Barkley Sound. After cruising by traditional Seal and Sea Lion rookeries and exploring various hot spots throughout the sound, SpyHop was set to head back to land for the remainder of the day only to come across yet another amazing wildlife viewing experience at the mouth of the harbour as a couple of Transient Orca’s were making their way into the Ucluelet Inlet! Again, through a stroke of sheer luck with being in the right place at the right time, SpyHop had an amazing wildlife viewing day. We are beyond stoked to get this summer season up and underway!
2015 Season Kickoff Starts Next Weekend, May 22nd!
Although the winter has been a mild one, SpyHop Ocean Adventures has been dormant for the off season. With a celebratory/complimentary Sunset Cruise on May 22nd for the first 11 people to contact our bookings agent, we will be ready to rock and roll on the west coast waters for the summer!
Call/Text (250) 726 3749 for your chance to be apart of this awesome complimentary kickoff cruise! There is so much more to see out on the west coast waters than whales, come check it out for yourself!
First Orca Sighting for SpyHop Ocean Adventures of the 2014 Season!!
On May 27th, a very active pod of resident orca’s made their way through Barkley Sound. Steadily traveling at 3-4 knots on a directly western course. The group of them was very easy to hang out with and were most definitely not camera shy (still trying to figure out which pod they were). What better way to spend such a glorious day on the coast than with these mystical animals!
Still blown away by this sighting… such respect for these animals and seeing them out in the wild where they belong will never ever get old. Check out our Facebook page for more photos!