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Published: June 28th 2008
Just off Prince Rupert Island (I think) we've been in fog most of day
20th June - Victoria
Today we had a visit to the famous Butchart Gardens (see their website). We started early to avoid the coach loads of Japanesesand others that descend when thye ferries come in from the mainland. The gardens were the brainchild of the Butchart family, the wife deciding to plant up the old quarry workings. Today visitors can see the Sunken garden, the Bog garden and the Japanese garedn, alomg with various other places. We had the palce to ourselves until about 10.30 when approx 40 coaches arrived in quick succession. Still it is a tourist attraction afterall. It will be good when we get back, we can access their website for all the info. Back to the hotel pm for free couple of hours before eating at a similar restaurant to the previous evening but with better views. Fish again. Again early night called for as it was whale watching in the morning, hopefully to be one of the highlights of the trip.
21st June - Victoria
Last day in this cosmopolitan city. Early breakfast and a walk to the wharf on the otherside of the point for our whale watching trip. This was an added trip (extra bucks) but the chance of seeing Orca whales. Left port at about 9 am and spotted our first whales at 10am. What a fantastic sight, we drifted with a pod of about 9 orca whales for over an hour with cameras clicking this way and that. We had managed to grab seats on the upper deck in the open so got great views. Lin was very emotional as this was what she had been looking forward to the whole trip. It seemed it was over before it had begun and the rest of the trip was spotting bald eagles, porpoise and seals. before heading back to Victoria for lunch.
Afternoon was left to ourselves to shop etc, with a trip in the harbour ferry taxi (they look like bathtubs) across the harbour to Fishermans Wharf to walk back to the hotel. Dinner was the 'Bon Voyage' dinner for the group as we move to the cruise tomorrow. Normally some people would leave the trip here and travel home, in this instance all 35 of the group are transferring to the crusie ship.
22nd June - Transfer to Norwegian Sun
Victoria to Vancouver by ferry, a different route but still 90 min crossing. Arrived and boarded ship at about 1pm - on board by 2pm (Lin got fast tracked because of her cane) so we lost contact with the group until later. Lifeboat drill before sailaway. What a beautiful sailaway evening at 5pm - glorious sunshine as we shot the Lion Gate bridge out into the bay, with a couple of G & T's in hand. As we got on board early, we took the opportunity to book the Italian restaurant (I think there are 15/17 different eating places on board including room service). The next day was a sailing day so not much to do.
28th June - Foggy Inside Passage
Probably the next blog will be back in the UK, unless I get a chance in Vancouver tomorrow. I will put some photos on then of each call (its too expensive on board), I currently have taken over 1100 photos (don't worry, I will only put a couple of each port of call. The cruise is good, the highlight more & more whales, I will expand in the next blog - they were FANTASTIC (humpbacks)
Love Lin & Alastair
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