Then embark on a Nature Walk to Beacon Hill Park where we are introduced to the "Terrestrial Fauna of Coastal BC" as our naturalist leader uses slides to illustrate the species, their habitats and life cycles. Learn about characteristics of coastal rainforests; common plants and animals, adaptations and associations; old growth vs. second growth forests; wildlife trees; indicator species, soils and habitats; and sensitive environments. Management of wildlife, fish and their habitats is the priority land use but other uses may be permitted. In these areas, wildlife has special priority. .Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.Afternoon: This afternoon we enjoy a marine wildlife viewing adventure in one of the most spectacular settings on earth, the southern coast of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Our leaders are conservationists and pro-active in working to improve our environment and our natural resources. They are committed to responsible wildlife viewing and abide by the guidelines established by the Whale Watch Operators Association Northwest. Our vessels are equipped with engines that meet or exceed EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards. We join a marine safari that meets the highest safety standards, yet is exhilarating and action packed.
The adventure is highly educational and leaves a lasting and memorable impression of local scenic beauty and a good understanding of our marine wildlife eco-systems. View seals, sea lions and marine bird species. Skim the waves with schools of porpoise. Watch majestic eagles soar overhead and come close to nature's gentle giant and awesome predator, Orca, the Killer Whale. Experience the excitement as fins as tall as a man break the surface all around you and these magnificent creatures blow. An unforgettable 3 hours on the wild side!Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore the many dining options Victoria has to offer.Evening: Evening is free for a walk or to catch up on rest.Lodging: Harbour Towers Hotel & SuitesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
On to Duncan and the Garry Oak Reserve and the Somenos Marsh Bird Sanctuary to Chemainus for lunch and a tour of the murals. In the heartland of the Cowichan Valley, Chemainus was once a mill town home to the largest completely covered sawmill in North America. The Port was one of the first developed in the Pacific Northwest. It was believed that the forestry sector would always thrive, however, during the early 1980s, the industry began to show signs of decline and many jobs were lost. In 1982, a downtown revitalization project was initiated to give a fresh new look to a tired main street in Chemainus and Karl Schutz, a local businessman, came up with the concept of painting history on the walls of Chemainus. Today, there are 38 murals painted on the downtown business walls each painting depicting a moment in the history of the community. We experience this community in a unique way from aboard a covered, open air carriage as we view the murals and learn the fascinating history of this vital and courageous group of people.Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.Afternoon: We continue our travels by motor coach to Errington and visit the Wildlife Recover Station & Educational Centre. This not for profit, volunteer facility receives injured wildlife from all over Vancouver Island and provides the necessary care and medical attention to heal before the creature is returned to the wild. Birds and animals which would be unable to survive in the wild are kept at the Educational Centre for the rest of their lives. We are able to view these animals closely and learn of their habitats, food requirements and physical features. The centre is beautifully designed and offers a wonderful introduction to Vancouver Island's fauna.Dinner: Dinner tonight at a local Courtenay restaurant.Evening: Time to explore Courtenay and enjoy a walk to the Estuary or downtown.Lodging: Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites or Travelodge CourtenayMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We seek encounters with bald eagle, blue heron, white sided dolphin, Orca, Minki and Humpback whales, Dall's porpoise, seals, sea lions, mink, otter, deer and wolf to see and learn about their habits. To do this we travel through the Northern Gulf Islands and thrilling tidal rapids that make nutrients and food available for wildlife. Learn about park mandates: management roles: fish farms and shellfish culture sites. See small island communities, lodges, fish farms, shellfish aquaculture sites, logging camps and isolated private homes as we travel this enchanting route. Bring your camera, binoculars, field guides, notebooks and curiosity. Don't forget to dress warm. This is a covered vessel and the travel is amongst mostly sheltered islands and bays. Waters are usually calm, but there are no guarantees.Lunch: Lunch onboard Vessel.Afternoon: For thousands of years, the history, economy and culture of Canada's west coast has been inextricably linked to Pacific salmon. Fisheries and Oceans Canada's (DFO) Pacific Region Fisheries Protection Program is responsible for protecting and conserving marine, intertidal, and freshwater fisheries resources in BC and Yukon. The facility and surrounding rivers offer excellent opportunities to view salmon in their natural setting, or being handled at the hatchery.Dinner: Dinner at a Courtenay restaurant.Evening: Free time to explore!Lodging: Travelodge CourtenayMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner