If you’ve ever been to my home you know that the main décor theme is Orcas and the Ocean, so when I learned about a company that was putting the whales before their profit, I knew that they had a story I needed to tell.
Eagle Wing Tours Victoria is taking a traditional tourist activity and going the extra mile by being a leader in conservation and protection. They are a carbon-neutral company and a part of “1% For The Planet.” They “get it” and are actively engaged in protecting the Orcas and the environment that they live in.
Talking with Brett Soberg, the owner of Eagle Wing, I could hear the passion for his work and for the conservation efforts within minutes. “Any day I can get kids excited about whales is a good day,” he said. And he invited our family out to experience Eagle Wing Tours Victoria firsthand.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children” (Indigenous Proverb)
And so instead of doing a traditional blog post about what we loved about the trip, I decided to enlist the support of my 6-year-old daughter and see what the trip meant to her. Since Brett was so excited to educate and inspire the children, I thought it would be nice to share the experience as seen through her eyes.
The top 10 things my 6-year-old loved about her Whale Watching Trip:
1. “You get to be a special person”
The children on the boat were treated as if they were royalty. The tour guides went around making sure that all of their comforts were taken care of, from special kid gloves and hats to making sure they had a good seat. First-name introductions took place and the kids (and adults) got to share where they were from. Before we were even out on the water my daughter felt like a VIP.
2. “Just to see a whale”
My children have their own ocean-themed library but seeing them in a book and seeing them right in front of you are totally different experiences. Hands-on learning? Check!
3. “Just to go on a boat”
Even though we live in a place where we’re surrounded by water it’s not that often that we really get to go out on a boat. The kids were thrilled to be out on a boat in the middle of the ocean, searching for “Stinky Minky” seals, birds, and of course, whales!
4. “Seeing the whale tail”
On the way back from our tour we were fortunate enough to come across a humpback whale. Every time he surfaced my daughter would squeal and the whole boat would laugh. “It’s awesome to hear someone as excited as I am about seeing whales,” said one of the guides. Mission accomplished, Brett!
5. “Seeing them blow out the water”
One of the highlights was when we turned off our boat engine and sat silently in the ocean waiting for the whales to pass. Before you could see them crest up over the water you could hear the gigantic blow of air out their blow hole and my daughter would start jumping and pointing with the excitement of having them come our direction.
6. “You get to see their fins”
Seeing their fins was a highlight, and when they were in a group we quickly tried to count how many we could see! I think at one point there were 8 whales swimming together! The tour guides were very kind and shared the “whale book” with my daughter and taught her how to identify the different whales by the markings on and around their fins.
7. “You can visit other people”
One thing I love about being a tourist in my own city is that you get to meet people from all over the world who have travelled here to see “our own backyard”. My daughter has followed that passion for talking to people as she introduces herself and asks people where they are from. She loves giving people advice on what they should do in Vancouver as she names her favourite places to visit.
8. “You can go fast and slow in the boat”
My kids loved going fast, and being able to check out the tour on the open-air speed boat was a great way to spend the day.
9. “You get to see other creechers”
I can’t help but purposely misspell this word as it was presented to me. Sure, we were on a whale-watching tour but the other creatures that we got to meet were unexpected additions to the tour. Who doesn’t love a mother and baby seal, some seal yoga, and more birds than one can count?
10. “You get to have fun”
I love that she chose to define this tour as fun… sure, it was educational, and she improved her awareness and appreciation for nature and supported an environmentally friendly company that was committed to conservation… but her experience… well it was FUN.
Good Job Brett and Team Eagle Wing Tours Victoria! You lit a fire in a little girl and grew her passion for the environment and the amazing animals within it. Thank you for building a company that is invested in keeping the resources around so that one day, she can bring her children out to see the whales too.
Thank you for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s no wonder that you are the number one whale-watching tour in Victoria!