Discover New Experiences At Outer Shores Lodge

Guests of Outer Shores Lodge in Bamfield, British Columbia have an opportunity to witness a natural phenomenon comparable to the great wildebeest migration of the Serengeti.

In the coming days, billions of herring will gather along the coast of British Columbia to spawn, bringing with them an unbelievable concentration of predators and prey, including grey whales, humpback whales, seals, sea lions, bears, sea wolves, eagles, and more.

Throughout March, Outer Shores Lodge offers 4-day, 5-day and 7-day Herring & Grey Whale Migration lodge stays that give guests the chance to experience this natural phenomenon through a series of short sailing voyages aboard the 70-foot classic wooden schooner Passing Cloud – exclusively sailing from Outer Shores Lodge this Spring – as well as during skiff-based excursions and experiences, and on guided walks and hikes.

Scott Wallace, marine ecologist and Outer Shores Lodge co-owner, explains that: “In the weeks before the actual spawn, one of the areas where the herring congregate happens to be right here in Barkley Sound,” “As a result, they bring in all this other marine wildlife with them to our region. So, we’ll be taking advantage of this incredible mass migration happening in the ocean and along the shorelines around the Lodge to provide interpretation to our guests about the larger context of what we’re witnessing during our daily excursions into Barkley Sound and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.”

Wallace, who has spent much of his scientific career involved with herring management on the BC coast, notes that the annual herring spawn has yet to get its proper recognition as a remarkable natural event outside of the scientific circles and local communities living adjacent to these spawning events.

He said: “I don’t think enough people are telling the story of the herring spawn,” explains Wallace. “It’s really being missed in the overall conversation around BC’s incredible wildlife, considering just how significant it is. I’m excited to show our guests what our region is really like this time of year. While early to mid-March might not necessarily feel like spring for much of the rest of Canada, globally significant things are happening in BC starting in the beginning of March, and they will continue right up to bears feeding on spawning salmon in November.”

And spring in Bamfield will now be made even more memorable as Outer Shores is bringing Passing Cloud out to Barkley Sound for short sailing voyages from the Lodge until May, at which point the ship will sail her traditional multi-day voyages for Outer Shores Expeditions in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii throughout the summer and fall.

Marine biologist and Outer Shores Lodge co-owner, Russell Markel, observed that: “Bringing the Outer Shores sailing and lodge-based experiences together just in time for the herring spawn and grey whale migration is the realization of a dream for us. There’s so many ways for us to interpret, understand, and appreciate the spawn and migration. Whether it’s the Indigenous cultural significance, the ecological significance, or simply how incredible it is to look at and photograph. Having Passing Cloud there to help facilitate it all is going to be pretty special.”

Outer Shores Lodge will also welcome guests aboard Passing Cloud for a series of 5-night and 7-night Pacific Rim Explorer combination lodge stays / short sailing voyages exploring the ecosystems, wildlife, natural history, Indigenous cultures, and the post-contact era of Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. These expeditions give guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the rhythms, ecosystems, and deep cultural history of this remarkable region.