Ocean Wildlife Adventures in Sooke
There is no doubt about it: Vancouver Island is a natural wonderland. There is nothing quite like standing on the edge of the Pacific listening to the roar of the waves, with nothing but the enigmatic ocean between you and Japan – a mere 7,431 kilometres away. If you’re looking for a great way to connect with the wild, consider a tour with Adventures by Hip.
Adventures by Hip is a locally owned eco-tourism and Ocean Adventure attraction for true wildlife enthusiasts. Owners Mike Walsh and Sarah Pillon are based out of Sooke, B.C. They have a passion to pursue new frontiers in the open waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Encountering animals in their natural habitat is both an incredible and unforgettable experience. The Sooke area is recognized as one of the most predictable places to see marine life such as Orca Whales, Grey Whales, Humpback Whales, Sea Lions, Porpoises, as well as a variety of birds.
Resident Orcas travel in pods made up of several large extended family groups. The population of orcas that reside in the waters surrounding Vancouver Island are made up of three pods: J,K and L and are commonly referred to as the Southern Resident population. Their diet consists mainly of Chinook salmon, and they use echolocation to locate their prey.
These species of whales have Baleen instead of teeth, which is used to collect krill, plankton and other small fish from the sea. Baleen is made out of keratin, which is the same protein that makes up our fingernails and hair. The shape and colour pattern on a humpback whales’ tail is as individual to them as a fingerprint is to humans. One of the spectacular behaviours of this species of whale is the breach. This is where a whale generates enough upward force to lift roughly two-thirds of its body out of the water – this is believed to be related to courtship or play activity.
Harbour Seals can be found throughout Sooke. They are smallest seal species, measuring roughly six feet in length and weight upwards of 200 pounds. They primarily feed on crustaceans, mollusks, squid and fish. Their coat consists of thick, small short hairs ranging in color to allow them to blend in with the environment to prevent becoming prey to transient orcas.
TRIP ADVISOR REVIEW
“We had the pleasure of spending the Day on the water creating memories with our kids that they will never forget! From humpbacks, to orcas, otters, seals and even harbor porpoises – we were able to see them all!! They also do the picture taking so you can literally just sit and enjoy the beauty and wonder in its fullness. Boat was immaculate – suits were dry and warm. Made for just the best day! Mike and Sarah are gems. They are both so incredibly passionate and knowledgeable when it comes to Ocean Life and very sincere as hosts. We will definitely go again when we return to the Island, and would encourage everyone to use their services as they are just the best! – Kimberley F.”