Our Tofino Neighbours: Ryan Teremy & Jamie's Whaling Station

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Shawna Gardham
By Shawna Gardham, Public & Media Relations Manager
Newsletters22 March 2021


Lifestyle, community and shared passion are all themes that shine through when sitting down to chat with Ryan Teremy, General Manager of Jamie's Whaling Station in Tofino and Ucluelet. Though a Tofino resident for over a decade – he first moved to the coast in 2008 – Ryan had been visiting the area for surf trips since early 2000, when he was living in Victoria and Courtenay, on Vancouver Island. As a lover of the outdoors, Ryan sought employment as a front desk representative with Jamie's for the opportunity to share his love of Clayoquot Sound, as well as work with a locally owned, community-minded company with a reputation for great team dynamics. Over the last 10 years, he has worked his way up to the position of General Manager with the company, which offers a variety of wildlife viewing and ocean-based adventure tours.

Perhaps Ryan's self-proclaimed "irrational love of surfing," discovered initially on Lake Huron, brought him to Tofino, but he has definitely broadened his repertoire of activities to love. When asked about favourite spring pastimes, Ryan encourages everyone to "get out on the water" in all its forms: surfing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, and more. And through working with Jamie's, he's developed an appreciation for the Grey Whales that make their way up the Pacific Coast each year starting in March. Some of his favourite facts to share:

  • Grey whales make one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal. Around 10000km one way. Baja Mexico to Alaska!
  • They are roughly 13-14m in length and can weigh around 27 - 30 metric tonnes
  • Grey Whales are primarily benthic feeders (feeding off ocean floor) but do occasionally surface feed.
  • They feed on various types of zooplankton (animal plankton) - most of the population feed on amphipods; however, they tend to feed on mysids in our area. Other food items include ghost shrimp and surface feeding on crab larvae and feeding off herring roe when available in late winter and early Spring along their northern migration route.
  • No chewing for these animals as they don't have teeth - they have baleen instead. Taking in big a big mouth of water, debris and food items, they lift their tongues against the roof of their mouth and the baleen, allowing the water and sand grains to filter out, but items 6mm and up can be trapped behind and swallowed whole.
Ryan at Jamie's - Izabela Elias
Jamie's Whaling Station, Tofino
Ryan Teremy - Izabela Elias
Ryan Teremy, General Manager at Jamie's Whaling Station

Learning and being a part of the larger community is part of what drives Ryan and his team at Jamie's. As "citizen scientists," crews are encouraged to note the location and behaviours of sighted grey whales and contribute photos. This information is then shared with research bodies such as Pacific Wildlife Foundation and Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society. In March of 2020, Jamie's closed due to the initial COVID shutdown, then remained closed during the brief summer 2020 reopening of travel to give smaller operators in Tofino more opportunity to host visitors. Though the crews missed their year of being on the water, Ryan appreciates the time it gave them to work on a robust safety protocol plan and tour offerings for opening this Spring.

It's a testament to Ryan and Jamie's family that almost all team members came back to work post-closure. They love welcoming visitors who are keen to learn about and respect the natural surroundings. This shared experience helps create bonds with guests and further solidifies Jamie's crew team environment. The view from the office helps Ryan too. Located on Tofino's Inlet, Ryan says he takes a moment to pause every day and look at the view up the Inlet to the – often snow-capped – mountains of Clayoquot Sound. We hope he will be gazing out at the serene panorama for years to come!

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