Blogs from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, North America


Sunday 23rd June 2019 Eleven intrepid travellers and one sea captain, set forth for three and a half hours this morning to navigate eighty-eight kilometres of ocean, in search of Killer Whales. The captain was Jimmy, a marine biologist from Victoria and the passengers comprised of five German tourists, four Canadians and John and myself (two brave Brits paying cheaper “Senior” rates). Our craft was a fast twelve-seater Zodiac, the only one on the west coast that has six double seats and a walk around edge, so everyone can stand up (if they really must) and everyone has a “window” seat (well they would if there were windows but the Zodiac is an open inflatable-rib boat); a great craft for close-up views of marine life. One doesn’t just don life jackets to get on board, we ... read more
Female Orca just 2 metres from our Zodiac...
...and her calf

Saturday 22nd June 2019 Our drive from the West Pacific coast to the east of Vancouver Island on Thursday was yet another sensational scenic and memorable journey. On the way we went to a Salvation Army “Thrift store” in a town called Duncan, which has a fair percentage of families in need (sadly a disproportionate number of these are First Nation communities). We spoke to the manager there who was delighted when we donated our tent, inflatable mattress and sleeping bags. She was so delighted with these useful items that it made our day. We arrived at my cousin Kaye and Randy’s beautiful home in Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Peninsular in the afternoon and spent a lovely evening with them. A speciality in the region is salmon barbecued on a cedar plank of wood. The ... read more
Butchart Cove
River otter

Tuesday 18th June2019 Dawn came early to Ucluelet harbour and by 6 a.m. the sun was casting golden shimmers in streaks over the water. Ucluelet is a unique natural harbour, reached from the ocean by a long inlet dotted with islands, from the jagged rocky end to this mountainous and deeply- forested peninsular. The Ucluelet Peninsular is surrounded by a distinct marine ecosystem full of seabirds, seals, sea lions, eagles, whales and sea otters. The forests are home to black bears, cougars, wolves, deer, moose and raccoons. Ucluelet means “People of the Safe Harbour” in the indigenous Nuu-Chah-Nulth language spoken by First Nation peoples in the area. It is one of the most beautiful harbour settings we have ever seen. The little Dixie 4, our cruiser for this morning’s marine tour, was skippered by her owner, ... read more
Dixie 4 with Captain Brain at the helm
Ucluelet inlet
All aboard!

Monday 17th June 2019 Yesterday, we left Squamish early at 8 a.m. to drive down the “Sea to Sky Highway” to Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver. To quote my friend Barbara in her last comment on my previous blog, Canada just keeps “giving and giving”; great way to describe it! As one drives down the Pacific coast, the sea of the Howe Sound shimmers on the left and the snow-capped mountains soar to the right. It is sensational, stunning and takes away breath! We stopped just once at Porteau Cove, it was rather misty and mysterious, the mountains looking pale grey above a silvery sea. By 9 a.m. we were at the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay. We were delighted to be told that there was room for us on the 11 a.m. ferry. We parked up ... read more
Porteau Cove
Horseshoe Bay
Horseshoe Bay, ferry dock on right hand side

Day 8 13/05/2019 Vancouver – Butchart Gardens – Victoria Up early to get ready for the tour to Vancouver Island to see the Butchart Gardens and Victoria. We decided to check in with the Concierge to make sure that they knew we were waiting for a tour and we were asked f we had booked the tour a while ago as the tour company wasn’t doing them anymore. They then quickly informed us that someone else had taken over the tours and they pick us up at the bus stop outside the hotel. E found the bus driver and boarded and was on our way. We picked up other people from other hotels and then headed for the ferry that goes to Vancouver Island It was a 90 minute ferry ride over. First stop for the ... read more
Butchart Gardens
Butchart gardens
Tulips Butchart Gardens

Victoria, BC Friday, October 5 Our first, and only, day of inclement weather. Rain. No big deal. We have the umbrella and our coats to keep us warm and dry. It won’t be a long day in Victoria, as we depart around 4ish. Christopher and I get our tickets for the shuttle, get on the warm bus and head into town. We stop on the main shopping street in Victoria (this could be a problem) and get out of the rain asap. Conveniently, the bus stopped directly in front of a store featuring Irish wool and linen. We are always on the lookout for linen napkins as we no longer use paper napkins in our house. Eliminate paper waste, and the water used is the same as used for our towels; we mix our towels and ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver Island September 4th 2018

Nach der Übernahme des Campers schaffen wir es noch im Schnelldurchlauf einmal durch den Walmart am Fährterminal und dann gerade so auf das Boot, welches das Festland um 17 Uhr in Richtung Vancouver Island verlässt. Die vorgebuchte Fähre war der einzige geplante Baustein unserer Reise und wie es sich herausstellt tatsächlich eine sehr gute Idee, da sich auf Grund der letzten Ferienwoche der Kanadier und des bevorstehenden Labour-Day-Wochenendes außer uns heute noch ziemlich viele andere Reisende auf den Weg nach Vancouver Island machen. Ohne Reservierung hätten wir erst zwei Fähren später übersetzen können und dann nicht nur die wunderbare Aussicht verpasst, sondern wahrscheinlich auch ein heillos überreiztes und übermüdetes Baby 90 Minuten herumtragen müssen, da der Aufenthalt im Camper während der Überfahrt nicht gestattet ist. Die Fähre ist riesig und beherbergt auf ... read more
Fährüberfahrt nach Vancouver Island
Victoria Parlament

This was a ‘steady-as-she-goes’ day as we took our time over breakfast before making our way to Mt Washington, an alpine skiing resort, 1 590m above sea level, with 82 ski runs, receiving 10.5m of snow each winter season. We took the chairlift up and down admiring the view, whether looking down or up, on each ride. Whilst at the summit we walked 3 of the trails to various viewing points, each giving us a different perspective. We had 360 degree views on all occasions so were able to see across the sea to the various islands and to the BC mainland. The views into the valley and up the opposite side to the snow covered mountains were the ones most enjoyed. Bird wildlife, particularly the Whiskey Jack’s, were in abundance and proved to be, surprisingly, ... read more
Mt Washington ski run and chairlift

After loving goodbyes with Michele, David and Stefanie it was Amtrak to Vancouver. A ‘bit’ of a panic that we would miss our seaplane flight to Nanaimo however some quick talking by me had had whisked through passport control into a taxi for a fast drive to Harbour Air. Easy as! Arrived with plenty of time to spare that we had time to down the complimentary glass of wine, share a turkey sandwich, answer a few questions about my leg braces from a woman with drop foot and video a few seaplanes taking-off and landing. We were now mentally prepared! Take-off and landing were exactly as we liked … uneventful. The views on take-off, flight and landing were sensational. We even saw 2 whales We were met by Gary and Linda Willis, very close friends of ... read more

And we’re off Heading from Victoria to Tofino - by coincidence my brother Jamesie ( or Martin) has friends almost directly on the way between Victoria and Tofino so we dropped in on Kathy and Michael and their 2 children who had recently moved from Findhorn to Vancouver Island. Brunch a chat and a walk followed which broke up our journey perfectly. Kathy is a great artist who should give folk the opportunity to purchase her work - it’s that good. They recommended we stop at cathedral grove where we saw an ancient forest before we continued to Tofino. Tacofino apparently is the place to eat near Tofino and we weren’t disappointed. In fact we managed to go twice while we were here. Mind you we managed to go to the Tofino craft brewery 3 times ... read more
my run
one of 4 beaches we walked though.

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