Wednesday, June 27, 2012

And Finally, Victoria! - 6/21/2012

The background of the photo shows the morning's high tide, which is a disappointment to Jake; he was hoping for beach and a nice place to walk.

The next best idea is to row to the dinghy dock of Butchart Gardens and hope there is ground in front of the gates that are locked until 9 AM.

Well, that didn't happen, so Jake found an alternative.........

We are greeted today by an eagle in a nearby tree, as we prepare to cast off.  I think it is a good sign for a good day!

After the 8 o'clock start, we cruise out of Saanich Inlet around the north end of Saanich Peninsula through Colburne Passage and past the Port of Sidney.  We have flat calm waters, which is the plan in our timing.

The tugboat Swartz Head catches my eye.

I am delighted that we can see snow-capped Mt. Baker to the east.

......and the Olympics!

In the Sidney Channel our route takes us across a spot with a depth of 20 ft.,   and Herb comments that when you are used to seeing as low as three feet in the Laguna Madre in Port Isabel, this is considered deep water.  However, when you are used to traversing hundreds of feet deep in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, this is shallow!!!

Movement of something in the water catches my eye, and it is then that we see the Orcas -- three of them!!!  The camera goes on auto-pilot!  It is so cool to see them blow water.

And then to see an eagle!

What a day!  How much more excited can I get?  Now we are approaching the city of Victoria for the first time ever, and by boat with the Strait of Juan de Fuca behaving calmly.  I am told that Victoria is the busiest seaplane port, and has its own control tower.  We pay special attention to planes as we get nearer.

The water is now a little choppy, but nothing compared to the wake this whale watching boat gave us, as he sped past very fast and just before the 5 knot speed limit began!

And overhead we see first hand how busy the seaplane activity is.

When we arrive, we are given a side tie right in front of the Empress Hotel, and the Parliament Building.  What a view!   We also hear the Carillon bells playing a lively tune, just to welcome us, I am sure!    We are told there is grass for Jake at the park in front of the Parliament Building, so we head up that way.

The Empress

Parliament Building

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee

In front of the Empress Hotel, we see a sign for Afternoon Tea and think what fun that would be for the group tomorrow.

Jake goes shopping and finds a tag for his collar, announcing that he is in Victoria, (BC) Canada.  He is one proud Canadian, eh?

He stops to visit with cute twin boys, but they are not sure what to think about him.

Find Willie's Tug

Dinner is at the Wharfside Restaurant, and we enjoy cocktails and conversation.

With the sun still high in the sky, we take a leisurely stroll back to the boat, listening to street musicians and watching the performers along the way.

Bruce stops to listen to a musician and buys his book.  

Dessert is back at Maureen and David's Destiny, and a lively discussion of a wine carafe and apple ensues.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Thursday, June 21, 2012


  1. Your photos of Victoria remind us of how much we enjoyed our stay the last time we were there. A very "British" city, so close to the good ol' USA. And regarding Prince of Whales... yep.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Not all whale watching boats go fast, eh?

  3. Love the photos and now I want to go to Victoria via tugboat. You saw so much in such a short time and the pictures from the boat and of other boats are very inviting!


  4. We didn't find a weather window last year and were so disappointed, but now ecstatic that we finally made it! Hope you get to take your Tug and Gus.