Jackie Hildering— a biology teacher, cold-water diver, underwater photographer, and humpback whale researcher living on North East Vancouver Island—came to Port Hardy to deliver a training session to our k’awat’si Tours team. Knowing tours would be operating in an area where she does extensive research, k’awat’si Tours caught Jackie’s eye a couple of months ago, leading her to reach out to the team to share her knowledge of how humpbacks and orcas hunt and live and learn more about how our teams are providing sustainable eco-tours. We invited Mike Willie, owner of Sea Wolf Adventures and member of the Musgamakw Dzawada‘enuxw First Nation, to join us for the training session.
This tour season, k’awat’si Tours will be helping Jackie with her research by taking photos of whale sightings and sending photos and observations in real time. They will become a part of the research process and note the location and number of humpbacks and orcas, as well as behavioural patterns. Our team is looking forward to sharing this knowledge and research process to the guests on the eco-tour.