What should I wear?
-It is quite cool on the open water, even in the warm summer months. Please dress in warm attire; Long Pants, Long Sleeves, Closed Toed Shoes and WARM Socks (NO FLIP FLOPS OR SANDALS PLEASE).
-Warm hat and gloves are definitely recommended, even on a summer day. If you forget to bring these, don't worry, we have extras we can provide for you. Sunglasses are also recommended.
What should I bring with me?
-Bring your cameras/cell phones; most days they will be safe from sea spray but sometimes waves can unexpectedly soak the boat, so if you have weather sensitive gear, you should bring a dry bag too.
-Binoculars can come in handy sometimes, but they are not a necessity.
-You can bring a light snack if you would like. You may also bring a bottled beverage. Just remember not to drink too much. There are no toilets on board our small vessels and the trip can last up to 3 hours.
Is this tour suitable for children?
-The short answer to this question is Yes! (see below for conditions)
-Adventures By HIP is a family friendly tour operator. We allow children of all ages to accompany their families on our Ocean Adventures. We ask that parents please judge for themselves, if their child is capable of sitting through a 2.5 hour boat ride without growing irritable and causing a disturbance, that other guests may not appreciate. Same rules apply to unruly adults 😉
Is there a whale guarantee?
No silly! They're wild animals!
What is the best time of year to see whales?
-Humpback whales begin to return in numbers in late June early July. The prime months for whale sightings around Sooke are August- November. We will see some humpback whales remain right into January.
-Orca sightings are possible all year round. The prime months for Orca sightings are July-December, peaking from August through September.
Is there any wildlife to see in the winter?
Here on Vancouver Island we often have very mild winters making it possible to comfortably get out on an open boat ride. When the weather permits, winter tours are our favourite! Race Rocks Ecological Reserve is thriving with life in the winter months. There, and along the way we may encounter; Elephant Seals (pups in January), Harbour Porpoises, Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, "Ollie" our lone resident Sea Otter, Harbour Seals, Cormorants, Bald Eagles as well as other avian species. Orca sightings are much less frequent, but still possible in the later winter months.
What kind of personal safety equipment is provided?
All of our passengers must wear Transport Canada Approved floatation while aboard our vessels. For passengers 1.5m/4'9" and taller we will provide a Mustang Floatation Suit, which is equivalent to a one piece snow suit with a built in life vest. For our smaller passengers we will provide snow gear (pants and jackets) which we combine with a Transport Canada Approved PFD.