Dom: Tofino is situated on Vancouver Island, just west of Vancouver. It's actually the size of England but looks far less significant next to Canada's land mass (Canada is second largest country in world). Tofino is a small town which has gained itself a reputation as a chilled out, herbally-fuelled backwater of Canada. Everything here runs on 'Tofino Time' as the locals like to say.
In short we loved the place. The hostel had stunning views out into the sound where we could see boats moored and seals playing amongst them, and snow-capped mountains beyond. Beautiful surroundings. The town is surprisingly small considering its notoriety. Just one hostel, one supermarket, one horse.
On one day we signed up for a boat trip around the area that was, I suppose, a nature watch with hot springs thrown in. One of the best days we've had. C and I were thrilled to spot some Grey Whales in the bay almost immediately after setting off in the super-powerful zodiac boats. As we sped along we nearly ran over a Grey as it emerged immediately in front of us. But better was to come.
As we headed out to sea we came across an island covered with Stella Sealions and some sea otters played around our boat for a while. They were hunted to extinction in this area and had to be reintroduced from Alaska. There fur was sought after because it has about one million hairs per square inch!
And then we saw the Orca Killer Whales. Incredible. They're only seen around here once or twice a month so we were very lucky. The pod numbered about eight with one full-grown male obvious because of his huge dorsal fin measuring about two metres tall. They were curious of us and so came right up to our boat and then underneath us. We had their full attention for about 15 minutes and how privileged we were.
The hot springs were relaxing. Nice remote location shared with about 50 other people sharing an area the size of about 3 bath tubs. A good place for a picnic, so we had one.
Back on the boat the wildlife spotting resumed with ease. Spotted some more Stellar Sealions, some bald eagles, and then a black bear which was feeding on whatever was left to eat on the beach at low-tide. This was a great excursion in a beautiful part of the world.