The Pacific Rim Tofino Whale Festival
It is the time of the Pacific Rim Tofino Whale Festival Vancouver Island, Again and again, three gray whales emerge from the waves of the Pacific in front of us. They swim north towards Alaska. For a while, their backs push out of the waves at the same time. After a while, however, the animals separate. While one of the gray whales catapults out of the water with a jump and says goodbye with a splash, the other two dive. One of the whales squeezes his breath into the cool spring air. He sucks oxygen once more before the dive. Next to him, the fluke of the second rises from the waves. A sign that this is also on the way down.
Stormy ride to the whales at the Tofino Whale Festival
We struggled to grab the backs of our front men's benches on the top deck of the Leviathan II. With the wobbly excursion boat from Jamie's Whaling Station, we drive out to shoot photos of this spectacle. We hope, gray whales to see. At this time of year, in March and April, they are moving northwards from their winter grounds off the coast of Baja California. For the next few months, they are staying on the shores of Alaska.
"Get dressed," we were told on the descent from Jamie's Whaling Station. "And take tablets for seasickness. A trip to the whales can be bumpy. "The boat staggers staggering between the waves. These have the entire Pacific to get started. But even I do not mind. Compensate but the views of the capers of the whales for any discomfort. In addition, the sun shines so warm from the sky, as if we were in the middle of summer.
Tofino and Ucluelet - venues at the Pacific Rim Tofino Whale Festival
They are not old, the small towns on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Tofino was officially founded 1909 on the Esowista Peninsula. End of the 19. In the 19th century, settlers had settled there. Among them were Norwegians, Scots and Englishmen. Early on, the idea of making Tofino a tourist destination arose. But the geographical conditions delayed the plans. It was not until 1959 that the long-awaited Lumberjack Road was built over the mountains of Port Alberni.
At the Wickanninish Inn on Chesterman Beach
Charles McDiarmid, the owner of the Wickaninnish Inn, tells how his father's work looked before the construction of the road: "My father was a doctor and did not own a car. Instead, he had a pilot's license and an airplane. With this he flew along the island coast to his patients. "McDiarmid's father was also the one who recognized the opportunities for tourism in the region:" He bought up land on the coast when there was no road to Tofino. There he wanted to build a motel as soon as there was a road connection to the east of the island. "His son was thinking ahead. He ran luxury hotels before deciding to put his father's plans into action. Just that he did not build a motel, but one of Canada's top hotels: the Wickaninnish Inn on Chesterman Beach in Tofino.
Hippies in Tofino
In the late sixties, young people came to Tofino. These built camps in the woods. At the same time, surfers surfaced on the beaches. 1970 was eventually set up the Pacific Rim National Park. When 1972 is tarred the road, it is Canada's only tarred road that reaches the Pacific Ocean. Today Tofino is the tourism center on the Pacific Rim.
Gold in Ucluelet
Ucluelet was created at the beginning of the 20. Century, when gold was discovered in Florencia Bay. However, it turned out that the mining of the precious metal was unprofitable. Therefore, the place developed into a fishing village. The second source of income is the woodworking industry. Tourism has only played a role in the fishing village for twenty years. But one sees the place its past as a fishing center and logging place.
Pacific Rim Tofino Whale Festival on Vancouver Island
The arrival of gray whales off the coasts of Vancouver Island gives the coastal town a reason to celebrate. This is not just about the 20.000 whales that migrate north at the end of March. The people on the west coast of Canada celebrate the beginning of spring at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, In addition, they celebrate life on the shores of British Columbia and, above all, themselves. The Washington Post counts the festival as one of the best events Canada has to offer during the year. You can organize a party on Pacific Rim. With a variety of events that revolve around eating, drinking, learning and, of course, celebrating.
Events for everyone at the Pacific Rim Tofino Whale Festival
Events are offered for everyone. Who likes it culinary may start with the Fire Brigade at breakfast. Afterwards he can award the best fish soup for lunch at the Chowder Chowdown. This is offered by the local chefs. In between, he can learn how the gray whales eat. And in the evening he can finally attend the dessert reception. There is as much sweetness as your own stomach can absorb. Or you can watch the bakers of the Common Loaf Bakery create seafood from dough.
Sandcastles, handicrafts and interesting facts
But not only for the physical well-being is taken care of. Children like the competition of Sandburgen-Bauer. Meanwhile, her parents stroll through the craft market. Anyone who wants can inform themselves about diving. Or you can visit one of the lectures. These are topics like the protection of the oceans of the world. You can learn what you can do to help endangered species. Or you will then learn about the dolphins of British Columbia, their history, their food and their distribution. Another lecture informs about the feeding behavior of harbor porpoises. Or you learn more about calamari, the meaning of life and more. Of course, whales play a special role. She and her lifestyle are finally presented in detail.
Movies or readings at the Pacific Rim Tofino Whale Festival
If you prefer culturally, visit a film screening or listen to an author reading. The story of Vancouver Island's West Coast is presented. Or listen to the stories of Roy Henry Vickers. This is a painter whose Eagle Aerie Gallery is located in Tofino. If you want, you can also introduce yourself to basket weaving. If you want, you can also watch two artists working at the Wickaninnish Inn.
The Pacific Rim, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts
We opt for outdoor events. Therefore we visit the Botanical Garden first. A New England businessman has made a dream come true. George Patterson leads us through his self-created wonderland. The Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation offers both educational programs and information on conservation of the temperate rainforest. A network of paths and boardwalks winds from the visitor center into the forest. In it, Patterson transformed glades into a series of show gardens.
In some of them you can see plants that once grew in other coastal rainforests of the earth. Others are dedicated to the ethnic groups that live on Clayoquot Sound. These include the Nuu-chah-nulth Indians, the early settlers, Japanese fishing families and of course the hippies.
The Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet
The next day we leave for the Wild Pacific Trail at Ucluelet. The trail is part of a network of trails that will extend from Ucluelet to the Pacific Rim National Park once it's completed. The first sections around Ucluelet are opened. They wind along the cliffs and coastal scenery on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The views of Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands to the east and the open ocean to the south and west are breathtaking. Our hike reveals coastal panoramas and sea views through cedar and spruce forests. This walk past fallen tree giants, from which already grow young trees, makes every photographer's heart beat faster.
What is essential in your suitcase?
- slicker - You can read which is the best here
- A Umbrella* - It should be stormproof and handy, because there is often wind and rain on the Pacific Rim.
- Do you want to hike in BC? rainproof hiking shoes essential.
- A Backpack does a good job on a trip to the Pacific Rim. Hiking trails and miles of beaches invite you to take long walks and hikes.
Net fishing in Ucluelet
The highlight of our outdoor adventure at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival Vancouver Island is net fishing on Terrace Beach in Ucluelet. This is done by the aquarium in place - for a simple reason. Every autumn, all animals of the aquarium are released into nature. As a result, volunteers will provide new life in the showcases in the spring.
They pull with nets out into the shallow waters on Terrace Beach. In it, they carry everything that is caught in it. Among them are starfish, shells, oysters, fish and much more. David Hurwitz, the director of the aquarium, is proud of the concept. This gives the animals half a year later their freedom again. So he helps enthusiastically with collecting new guests in his aquarium. "We want to make people aware of how important it is to preserve nature in this region. And our aquarium makes a contribution. "A phrase that fits well on the Pacific Rim Whale Festival Vancouver Iceland.
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The Pacific Rim Whale Festival takes place from 20-28. March 2020.
Lufthansa, Air Canada and other airlines fly to Vancouver or Victoria. From there it is best to travel by car or motorhome.
From Vancouver you can get Tofino quickly with that Seaplane * .
Travel Guide for Vancouver Island:
More tips for Slow Travel Tips Experiences can be found here.
Source: own site research for the article Pacific Rim Tofino Whale Festival on Vancouver Island with support from Tourism Vancouver Island. Our opinion, however, remains our own.
Note: This article first appeared in the travel magazine 360 ° Canada.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the publishers of the Trips to Savor and Slow Travel Blog TravelWorldOnline Traveler , They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline is online since 2001.
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Monika Fuchs has been working in tourism since 1990. For 17 she was a tour guide on four continents and accompanied high-class trips. She has been a writer and photographer for TravelWorldOnline since 2001 and is a freelance journalist for DIE ZEIT online and travel magazines such as 360 ° Medien, TRIVAGO, etc. In addition, she writes travel guides about destinations and pleasure destinations all over the world. Petar Fuchs produced the videos on this blog as well YouTube.
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