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Black bears peek under barnacle-encrusted stones, colorful starfish cling to wave-battered rocks, and gray whales spout into the misty morning air. These are the sights of Tofino on the Pacific coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island.

We spent three days at the Wickaninnish Inn while searching for Tofino’s wildlife, wandering the beach, hiking the forests, and catching boat tours with The Whale Centre. Here are a few of the creatures we saw along the way. All photos by Hal Brindley and Cristina Garcia.

Ochre Sea Stars exposed at low tide in front of the Wickininnish Inn

Ochre Sea Stars exposed at low tide in front of the Wickininnish Inn

A Gray Whale showing the "knuckles" behind the dorsal hump.

A Gray Whale showing the “knuckles” behind the dorsal hump.

Black Oystercatchers comb the rocks during a stormy sunset.

Black Oystercatchers comb the rocks during a stormy sunset.

Harbor Seals steaming in the morning sunshine.

Harbor Seals steaming in the morning sunshine.

Bald Eagle perched in a tree in the center of Tofino harbor.

Bald Eagle perched in a tree in the center of Tofino harbor.

Sea Otters are making a comeback around Tofino.

Sea Otters are making a comeback around Tofino.

Huge Banana Slugs are common along the Combers Beach Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Tofino

Huge Banana Slugs are common along the Combers Beach Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Tofino

Steller Sea Lions haul out on a wave-battered island near Tofino.

Steller Sea Lions haul out on a wave-battered island near Tofino.

Sunflower Star and Green Anemones in a tide pool in front of the Wickaninnish Inn

Sunflower Star and Green Anemones in a tide pool in front of the Wickaninnish Inn

Black Bears lift up rocks along the shore and search for crabs. Sighted on bear tour with The Whale Centre.

Black Bears lift up rocks along the shore and search for crabs. Sighted on bear tour with The Whale Centre.

The last thing you see on a gray whale before it dives down to feed. The End!

The last thing you see on a gray whale before it dives down to feed. The End!

Many thanks to The Whale Centre in Tofino. Most of the above photos were taken during the whale and the bear watching tours that we took with them. Also thanks to the Wickininnish Inn for providing lodging during our stay in Tofino.