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WE ARE BRITISH COLUMBIA’S
1st WHALE WATCHING COMPANY





Founded in 1980, we are British Columbia’s first whale watching company.


From the outset we began offering tours aimed at educating our guests about killer whales and have been deeply involved with research and conservation. Almost four decades on, we remain dedicated to ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation and continue to operate out of our unique location at the end of the boardwalk in historic Telegraph Cove. From here we are only a few minutes boat ride away from one of the best areas in the world to see marine mammals and other wildlife.

 

We are located on the north east coast of Vancouver Island, at the northern end of Johnstone Strait. Our tours take you through the cold nutrient rich waters of Blackfish Sound and the Broughton Archipelago, a stunning cluster of islands and calm inlets that create the boundary to Robson Bight, a protected marine environment to which the Orcas return each year. This is a tidal area rich in nutrients, where different waterways and currents converge off the Pacific Ocean. This creates a unique environment and great food source that attracts and supports the diverse marine life we encounter. The fish, birds and mammals congregate here to feed and raise their young. It is a very special place!


Our 3 hour tours offer the opportunity to venture into the wild and ignite all your senses: the salty taste of the ocean spray; the unmistakable smell of a humpback’s breath; the blow of a whale; the shrill sound of the gulls and eagles; the squeaks, squeals and whistles of the killer whales vocalizing through the on-board hydrophone or the soothing yet elaborate song of the humpback males. It is the echolocation that gives the orcas and dolphins the ability to communicate and locate their food. If you are lucky, the leaps of the acrobatic pacific-white sided dolphin or the speed of the Dall’s porpoise, as they seemingly hydroplane through the water at speeds of up to 55km per hour, will leave you in awe of the smaller cetaceans that grace our waters.


For close on 40 years people have come and return to Telegraph Cove to see the Orcas, our ambassadors of the ocean. But in the last 15 years the Humpback whales have been making a welcome come back from near extinction. These magnificent gentle giants come to feed all summer. They are surface feeders, attracting lots of birds and action around them and they are exciting to see. It is truly an unforgettable experience to watch whales forage for food, witness their social surface activity with lots of tail and fin slapping and if you’re really lucky a full breach!

We love what we do and our Captains, naturalists and crew work very hard to introduce you to whales in the wild but they will not disturb them. They will make sure that our guests are in a position to observe their natural behaviour, witnessing what they would normally do if we weren’t out there with them. They will turn off the engines, making sure not to distract or endanger them and will always make every effort to stay an appropriate distance away.


We understand that some of our guests would prefer to be closer but we operate within strict regulations. The only exception is if they choose to come and check us out while our motors are switched off.


We make sure that you have plenty of opportunity to observe, listen and then reflect upon your wildlife encounters as we cruise through stunning scenery before returning you safely to the dock.


Please remember . . . there are no guarantees: you are in the wild, viewing wildlife. If you set out without expectations - you will be rewarded by the unexpected of the wild and the wonders of our natural environment.



OUR ONLY GUARANTEES ARE:
  • A friendly welcome
  • Safe, comfortable vessels
  • Professional on-board naturalists who will interact with guests, interpreting all that this diverse ecosystem reveals during your tour
  • A remarkable experience

WHAT SETS US APART



We are leaders in ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation. We respect our environment and do everything we can to reduce, reuse and recycle.


We are owner-operators who are professional and passionate about what we do. You are guaranteed a friendly welcome, stunning scenery, memorable sightings, an abundance of marine mammals and bird species to be found in our unique environment.


Our two Transport Canada certified vessels (18 & 12m) are purpose built. Their larger size minimizes the impact on the whales and other wildlife, while offering 3 viewing decks and lots of room to move around safely, with spacious heated cabins and full washrooms onboard.


State of the art hydrophones enable you to listen to whale and dolphin echolocation and vocalization.


Our certified captains and trained marine naturalists complete our enthusiastic and knowledgeable crew.


Operating out of historic Telegraph Cove for almost 40 years we have and continue to be, at the very heart of where Whale Watching and Killer Whale research began

 

OUR LOCATION


Telegraph Cove

Vancouver Island North

When you visit Stubbs Island Whale Watching and Telegraph Cove there is an energy that surrounds this unique destination. There is something indisputably special about operating out of the epicentre of where both Whale Watching and Killer Whale research both began.

Historic Telegraph Cove, is one of the last remaining boardwalk communities in BC. Strolling down the Boardwalk you quickly become aware of the history that has been lovingly preserved to offer visitors from around the world a unique choice of accommodations and a fascinating insight into a bygone era. Telegraph Cove’s location offers easy access to the Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound and the Broughton Archipelago. This is a nutrient rich marine environment that is favoured by many species of marine mammals and wildlife and visitors often comment that it is like no other.



OUR BOATS


Both our boats are spacious and comfortable as they are purpose built for wildlife viewing with multiple viewing decks and the ability to quietly navigate our waters, minimizing our impact on the whales and other marine mammals natural behaviour. They are Transport Canada Inspected, meeting or exceeding all requirements for passenger safety.

OUR TEAM


At the helm of the company

Left to right: Roger, Heike & Geord

Heike Wieske, Geord Dunstan and Roger McDonnell took over the helm in 2011and pledged to carry on the vision that facilitated Stubbs Island to earn its world-wide reputation for responsible wildlife viewing with true educational merit. Together, they have continued to successfully grow the company and strengthen its position as BC’s 1st whale watching company and an industry leader in ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation.

Passionate about marine wildlife, all three play an active role in the tourism industry on Vancouver Island. Heike and Geord are also owners of Discovery Marine Safaris in Campbell River offering whale watching, wildlife and grizzly bear watching tours to the mid-island region. Roger is a part owner of Beaver Aquatics in Campbell River and well known for his video and photo work promoting the region.



Equally committed and passionate about what they do is an energetic team of individuals ready to greet you with a smile and keep you safe, entertained and informed.



As a team we are 100% focussed on giving our guests a fun, safe and educational experience!