We know it’s the thrill of the whale and wildlife watching experience that has you booking your first tour with Eagle Wing. But it’s our staff that has guests coming back for adventure after adventure.
Eagle Wing Whale and Wildlife Tours has been taking guests out on the water to experience whale watching in Victoria for 20 years. Our staff is not only among the most experienced and educated in the Victoria area but are also some of the most passionate and engaging leaders in the industry.
Here’s a little window into what makes our fearless leader (and co-owner!) Brett Soberg tick:
What’s your role at Eagle Wing?
Co-owner, captain, marketing, etc….
Tell us in one or two sentences about your job.
My job is as organic as the ocean water flowing with the tide and wind. Each day is different offering a diverse range of activities and responsibilities. But my first passion will always be as a captain navigating out on the water and orchestrating an informative, comprehensive wildlife experience for guests from all over the world.
What did you do before you worked here?
I went to school for art history, visual arts and biology. I’ve worked in many fields—labour, construction, food services, hotel and hospitality. I’ve even worked on a farm! There isn’t really an off-season for me. As a co-owner, there are many responsibilities to running a business, but I do cherish my time with family and coaching soccer (now for over 17 years)
The best thing about your job?
Sharing my knowledge, passion and quirky sense of humour with those from all over the world in my blue backyard—the Salish Sea.
The most unexpected part of your job?
Smelling a whale’s breath was the most unexpected part of the job in the early days. Now it’s how the industry is changing and evolving for the better.
Tell us about the most magical experience you’ve had with Eagle Wing.
I once had a female killer whale approach my shut-down boat, “presenting” her newborn calf to the boat and passengers. She approached from a great distance with her calf cradled across her rostrum (nose) then stopped about 10 metres from us and sat there for what seemed to be forever (but of course it wasn’t). The little one wriggled about and vocalized at the surface before both swam off, satisfied.
What kind of Salish Sea animal would you be and why?
I’d be a killer whale—intelligent, passionate, emotional. I have a deep passion for family and community and relish the freedom to explore the ocean.
What is one thing that very few people know about you?
I went to art college and developed my own techniques to create, design and install custom works of art on floors of homes from slate and stone. Treating the slate as my colour palette, I would create a design such as an eagle flying with a seven-foot wingspan over a valley with trees, sunset and clouds. Each project took about 120 hours from inception to completion and would cover approximately 100-200 square feet.
What is one thing you want guests to take away from their experience on a tour?
I always hope that my guests walk away with a greater appreciation for the ocean and how we’re ALL connected to it no matter where we live.
Brett, right, with Center for Whale Research lead scientist Ken Balcomb. CLINT RIVERS PHOTOGRAPHY