Category: Blog

Tips for Capturing the Perfect Whale Watching Photo

Tips for Capturing the Perfect Whale Watching Photo

Whale Breaching

Whale watching in Newfoundland can be an awe-inspiring adventure and, for some travellers, the cherry on top is a postcard perfect souvenir photo. Photographing whales comes with a unique set of challenges. Between being on a moving vessel and the unpredictable nature of wild animals, it can be difficult to get just the right shot. With preparation and patience you’ll increase your chance of leaving Trinity with a shot to make your Facebook friends jealous.

Prepare Yourself

Before you can get that next National Geographic shot, you need to make sure you’re comfortable. You don’t want to be thinking about the elements while Finnegan is putting on a show. Our flotation suits ensure you stay warm and dry on the zodiac. Apply sunscreen before your trip so that you’re not thinking about the sun. If you’re prone to motion sickness, take precautions before you leave land.

Choose the Right Gear

The night before your trip, do a double check of your batteries and memory card free space. There’s nothing worse than getting set up for the perfect whale photo only to discover you don’t have room on the card or to have your camera turn off. If you have one, put an extra battery in your kit. As for your memory card, choose one with a fast write speed as you may want to set your camera to burst mode to get the full range of a breaching whale and a slow memory card can bog you down.

If your camera has a neck strap, use it. While travelling in the zodiac, the safest place for your camera is around your neck, tucked into your flotation suit.

You can leave your tripod at home, as it’s impractical in our zodiacs and wouldn’t offer much assistance anyway on a floating vessel.

Do pack your zoom lens. In Canada, we need to maintain a minimum 100m distance from whales so a good zoom will help you get a close-up shot.

Plan Ahead

Get to know your camera settings before setting off in our zodiac. If you have a simpler point and shoot, we recommend switching it to ‘sports’ or ‘action’ mode and turning off your flash.

If you’ve got more control, but aren’t completely comfortable in manual, try using shutter priority mode instead and starting around the 1/1000s mark. You want your shutter to be fast enough to freeze the motion of a travelling whale. There’s no one perfect setting though so you may need to adjust as you go, depending on the weather and light. The more photos you take, the better your chances of ending up with a prize photo.

Be Patient

No matter how prepared you are, you need to pack your patience because wild animals are unpredictable. Our best advice is to keep your camera ready and always be scanning the water. Also, if you see a whale dive, don’t keep your eyes on that spot since they’ll likely surface again somewhere else.

Be prepared. Be patient. And if you don’t get that perfect shot you can always just enjoy the experience of being out on our zodiacs, seeing whales and other marine life with your own eyes. And remember, you can always try again next time!

If you’ve caught any amazing photos while out on one of our tours be sure to post it to social media and tag us. We’d love to see them.

The Best Place to See Newfoundland Icebergs

The Best Place to See Newfoundland Icebergs

Zodiac Boat Tour Near Large Iceberg

Spring is a notorious season here in Newfoundland. The temperatures don’t rise much above freezing and snow isn’t uncommon. It’s a bit like winter-lite. But the best thing happens in spring…the icebergs arrive.

Every spring, giant hunks of ice break off from northern glaciers and start their journey south, skipping southeast along our shores. There’s a reason we call that coast Iceberg Alley. By late May and early June icebergs can be so plentiful that we put them to work, making vodka, gin, rum, and beer from the ice. Some of the purest in the world. Claim yourself a bergy bit from a beach to chip into your drink and you’ll see what we mean.

We think best place to see icebergs in Newfoundland is right here in Trinity Bay, not only because of the bergs but also because of all of the wonderful things there is to do and our relative proximity to St. John’s and the airport. It’s that perfect intersection of convenience and abundance.

Newfoundland icebergs come in every size and shape, from blocky, wedges, and domes to the iconic pinnacle shape. Colours can range from the whitest of whites to the deepest aquamarines. They’re true works of art.

If you happen to be near, but not too near now, when an iceberg rolls count yourself among the lucky few who get to witness this amazing show of nature. Icebergs can be very unpredictable so we always stay a safe distance away but you’ll still be able to get an iceberg selfie.

Newfoundland icebergs are no strangers to our tours and whether you decide to head out in a zodiac or in a kayak you’ll get an eyeful. Being anywhere near a piece of ice that big makes the air around it much cooler than it would normally be, so guests are always happy to have our immersion suits available to keep them warm and dry.

Come out on a tour with us this spring and keep your eye out for those majestic beasts. Don’t forget your camera.

 

Things to Do in Trinity This Summer

Things to Do in Trinity This Summer

The town of Trinity, Newfoundland may seem small but it’s packed with things to do on your Newfoundland vacation. Between strolling our historic streets, trying local fare, and connecting with nature the hardest decision will be choosing between all of the great activities on hand.

Zodiac Whale Watching Tour

We’ve long said that there’s no better way to experience the whales and icebergs of Newfoundland than in a zodiac. It’s a more personal, social experience than you get on a traditional boat tour. Not to mention you get better photo ops to share with your friends on Facebook back home.

Hike the Skerwink Trail

One of the best hiking trails in Newfoundland is just a stone’s throw from Trinity. The Skerwink Trail is a 5.3km looping trail that skims the coastline near Port Rexton and Trinity East. During this moderate hike you’ll see sea stacks, sea birds, whales, caves, and arches. The scenery just doesn’t quit.

Sip a Local Beer

After your hike, stop by the newly opened Port Rexton Brewery for a pint. Their tasting room has quickly become a community favourite, and you’ll see why. The laid back atmosphere and local craft beer will have you coming back.

ATV Tour

Get our of your car and explore the ponds, creeks, and trails of the Bonavista Peninsula with us on one our our ATV tours. You just might see some moose, ducks, fox, beavers, or local birds. No tour is complete without a traditional boil up in the woods. Each tour is customizable to your interests and timetable.

Watch the Trinity Pageant

On this scenic walking tour, Rising Tide Theatre will give you a glimpse into the daily lives, traditions, and hardships of the people of Trinity in the 1700s. Wander back in time and check out the historic merchant buildings, churches, homes, and cemeteries of Trinity.

Sea Kayaking

Even if you’re a beginner, tooling around the harbour in Trinity in a sea kayak is a great way to spend a few hours. Or you want more open water sea kayaking, we can take you out into Trinity Bay to kayak among whales, icebergs, and puffins. Not only will you get up close and personal with sea life, you’ll also burn off a bit of all that delicious Newfoundland food you’ve discovered in town.

Tour a Film Set

Trinity has become a popular spot for films in the last two decades. While in Trinity, you can drop by the film sets of Random Passage, The Shippings News, and now The Grand Seduction. Take a selfie at Joe’s Place or see what life was like in an outport in the 1800s.

 

These are just a few things to do in Trinity. Add in visits to museums, art galleries, tracking down root cellars, and theatre and you’ll be sure to want to extend your vacation to our historic and beautiful town.

What’s going to make your Trinity bucket list?

10 Reasons a Zodiac Whale Watching Trip is Better than a Traditional Whale Watching Boat Tour

10 Reasons a Zodiac Whale Watching Trip is Better than a Traditional Whale Watching Boat Tour

10. A better view

That is right being on the water does not give you that high up and distant feeling away from the subjects you came to be close to.

Our Humpback Friend Finnegan
Our Humpback Friend Finnegan (see the CBC  story about Finnegan)

9. A more personal experience

When you leave a zodiac tour that has had interactions with whales and wildlife there is a greater sense of awe and personal satisfaction. Why? Because you were in the thick of it!

Orcas on our August trips
Orcas on our August trips

8. More social interaction

Instead of being one of 50 on a big boat you are one of no more than 11 people aboard our boats so we do get to ask you where you are from, what your highlights of the trip are so far (hoping ours is going to be it after today!!!), We also recommend events or sites that you should see in our area and indeed across the rest of the island.

Olympic Gold Medalists Jennifer Jones and Jill Officer
Olympic Gold Medalists Jennifer Jones and Jill Officer

7. Get to meet your Skipper

Instead of being ferried around by someone you don’t see or meet, talk and ask your skipper exactly what you expect to see, discuss any feature of the tour or places. Talk about the safety features of our Rigid Hull Inflatables with him and be confident that your safety and comfort are our first priorities!

Skipper Bob
Skipper Bob

6. Smell the salt air

That’s right be at water level and smell the ocean, it is a wonderfully intoxicating and liberating experience. Unlike whale breath which you will also get close enough to smell but you won’t  notice that as the proximity to a whale is more awe inspiring!!

Orca Breaching
Orca Breaching

5. Comfort

Sitting in a neoprene immersion suit all warm and toasty as opposed to be on the deck of a large vessel in a windbreaker because you forgot to pack something warmer…  common.

Warm Guests on an Iceberg Tour
Warm Guests on an Iceberg Tour

4. A shared experience

On our tours we all need to watch for whales. We keep a 360 degree vigil and it is a team effort from before we even leave the dock. For that three hours you meet wonderful people also on our tours, share a fabulous experience and maybe even exchange photos with us and your fellow fun seekers!!

Wonderful warm group in our suits sharing the love, Sweet Whale Love!!!!
Wonderful warm group in our suits sharing the love, Sweet Whale Love!!!!

3. Get closer

You are a lot more likely to get closer to whales in a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (Zodiac)than a big boat. Whales have to look out for the big boats because if they get too close they can hurt them with the props or the keel. We maneuver our boats out of their way and let them be socially interactive if they choose.

Whale lunge feeding on the surface
Whale lunge feeding on the surface

2. Better photo ops

Trying to get some good shots? Well Zodiac Whale/Iceberg/Bird Watching  is the way to go!
Be close on the water and be ready when the whales are close as opposed to being on a deck 10 to 12 feet above the water. Try not to get any whale spray on that lens!!

Blue water faced iceberg Bonavista
Blue water faced iceberg Bonavista

1. The Thrill of a Lifetime

I have been a passenger on tour boats in the Dominican Republic trying to study whales. Frankly here in the cooler waters of Newfoundland there is a level of whale activity I have never experienced anywhere including swimming with whales. The whales are gorging themselves on feed here for the long winter ahead. That means they are busy and when they are full and happy they are also quite active. Breaching whales, tail lobbing, spy hopping and peduncle throws are fairly common experiences here. See our Facebook page for our daily feed and past pictures.

Skipper Bob and Finnegan
Skipper Bob and Finnegan

Look up our YouTube channel to see some of the underwater footage we got his year including lunge feeding Humpbacks, Beluga, Orcas and lots of other stuff.

Look up our Facebook page too!!

Already did our tour, write a review for us on Google for Trinity Eco-tours Lodge and come back and see us soon.

Tips for Whale Watching with Trinity Eco-Tours

Tips for Whale Watching with Trinity Eco-Tours

Whale watching with us is a little bit different, but a whole lot better. Here are some pointers for you before we go on this wonderful experience together.

Bring the Right Gear

Bring a waterproof camera that you can hang from your neck, whales may only surface for a moment so you don’t want to be fiddling with your camera.

Be in Good Company

Choose the right people to take you out to sea. You want people who’ll make your experience more fun and memorable.

Don’t Take Motion Sickness Pills

If you’re prone to sea sickness and have to take Dramamine or other similar motion sickness pills, you can leave those at home for this trip.

We do not have the back and forth “swaying” as you would if you were in a sailboat, for example.

You Will Wear a Full Flotation Suit

These suits are survival suits, designed to keep you warm and afloat if you happen to fall in the water. These suits will also keep you warm in the cooler weather. So, it’s a win-win situation! 

Book your whale watching trip with us today! 

3 Ways to Protect the Ocean and Its Wildlife

3 Ways to Protect the Ocean and Its Wildlife

  1. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:  The effects of climate change are not only threatening the livelihood of animals on land, they also threaten the life of those in the sea.  Being conscious of your resource consumption is not only important for you, but also for the ocean and its creatures.
  2. Conscious Consumption:  It is inevitable that some of our food and resources come from the ocean, but they do not have to be procured using unsustainable practices.  Educate yourself to avoid buying products that adversely affect marine life.
  3. Enjoy It Responsibly:  If you love the ocean, you probably like going to the beach and being out on the water.  When participating in such activities, clean up after yourself, and be sure not to introduce foreign substances or dangers to the habitat.

Want to get out to the ocean to enjoy all of its beautiful wonders?  We can introduce you to ocean wildlife responsibly and respectfully.

Whales and Captivity: Like Oil and Water

Whales and Captivity: Like Oil and Water

Concrete tanks can never replace the ocean. Whales swim hundreds of miles per day in the wild and are highly intelligent animals. Even though captives are kept in an environment free of predators and pollution, they die young. Capture is brutal, families are separated and the animals have virtually no room to move, compared to what they need, deserve and would have in the wild.

Being trapped and deprived of essential nutrients, fresh water and everything natural, orcas live stressful lives and lash out against other orcas, humans and even hurt themselves. In nature however, despite sharing the ocean for just about forever, there has only been one reliable report of an orca harming a human being.

Captive whales suffer mentally and physically all their lives. At Trinity Eco-Tours, we support no captivity for marine mammals and hope you agree too.