Had to be checked out and in Tofino for bear watching boat trip by 9.30. Decided to go and breakfast there, though we ate up remaining rolls and bagels from previous night. Left a bit after 8 for 35 minute or so drive. Got parked up in spot without any restrictions. Ed picked a few blackberries though wouldn't eat them. Found shop serving drinks that was open and had coffees etc, good job not relied on it for breakfast wasn't anywhere to get food that was open. Went to Adventure Tofino office for 9.30 and met our guide, a Norwegian chap. Used loo few times as none on boat and got dressed in our survival suits. Bit overkill on warm day like today, but included life jackets and kept water out if we fell in. Also given gloves and hats if we should need them.
5 minute walk down to boat, little further than usual due to excavation of harbour channels closing part of dock. Boat was a 12 seater rib, 11 of us on this trip. Three kids sat in front row, Sam and I and their dad row 2 then others in subsequent two rows. Captain at the back. We started off slowly then sped up when out of harbour. About 20 minutes to the bear area. Was grey and some low cloud on mountains but sun beginning to come through and it soon did making a lovely bright warm morning. First place we stopped we saw a bear. Was amazing, only few metres away on shore just going about turning over rocks and looking for shellfish. Very strong and can overturn really big rocks. This bear was a juvenile male. They get hot in sun and he went into water to cool down, then got out and had shake like a dog. We watched for 10 minutes or so then decided to move on. The different boats talked to each other on radio and shared bear sightings. A mum and two cubs had been seen so we headed there. No luck, but we moved around different inlets and saw a second bear on opposite side to where he had been sighted a few minutes before. Another male. Watched him for a bit then went off again. Nothing doing so headed back and saw this bear again but on the other side of a small island.
Tried one last foray into an inlet visited before and were rewarded with what we thought was a cub. Was a young bear but as it was on its own, must have left its mum, happens at about 18 months old when mum will then have another one, work in about a 2 year cycle for each cub. So this guy was likely 18 months to 2 years old. Very cute, like a Labrador size. Time was up and we blasted back to harbour.
Ed had got hot in suit so we spent some time during quiet moments trying to unzip it for him, eventually successful. Then in ride back he was cold! It was quite windy to be fair. At the harbour we bent away from dock, I thought to miss some kayakers, but turns out there was a bald eagle sitting imperiously in a tree just looking around. Great to see that too. They dive down for fish from the tree and sometimes go for something too big, if they then get too wet trying to pick it up they can't fly out of the water and end up having to swim back to shore using wings as paddles! Then headed into harbour, over all too quick. Got out of suits, said goodbyes. German family we were with had been whale watching in the storms yesterday, pleased we didn't do that! Ed keen on sea monster noodle bat next door so went there for lunch. Made nice change and was very tasty. Then walked into town to browse shops.
Found ice cream and sweet shop first. Lady was very keen to know what popular British sweets were as she imported them to sell. She had some boxes of caramac and Bourneville that just weren't selling! Got some pick and mix, fruit pastille, about twice the price of back home for them and some ice cream. Ate in sun then went into gallery. Ed and Tash got some nice prints by the artist Mark `Hobson. Some of his larger originals went for 20 to 30k.
Moved down through various souvenir shops and galleries. Nice eclectic mix of shops. Bought some. more prints, magnets and Tash tried on bikini but decided no in the end. Needed coffee and found nice shop, then went in one more for a magnet and Tash ended up with pyjama bottoms with horses on them. Drove back to hotel and hit the beach. Was warm but very windy. Kids went in sea which was not too bad and I rented them body boards which they loved. After hour and half or so Sam and Tash went back and Ed and I stayed. Had only been able to book dinner for 8.15. Had thought about going to lantern festival in botanical gardens but decided beach was more fun. Ed built a village in the sand and told me the whole back story about the different areas and why they were like that. Great imagination to make up story like that on spot. Went back after another hour and went in not tub, very soothing.
Dinner was good in big dining room overlooking beach, sun was setting view was impressive. Service was a bit slow but food was nice. Back to cottage about 10. We had whole cottage here, with kids in upstairs room with two double beds and Sam and I downstairs where there was also big lounge. Was bit like centre parcs style room, very spacious. Could have spent more time here and used facilities like surf club etc more - another time.Read more