Wednesday, September 23, 2015

British Columbia by Boat: Day 1 Victoria

My wife, her aunt and uncle, and Bowen and I planned for a sailing trip to desolation sound. For various reasons, we had the trip cut short, but the original pitch for desolation sound sold the water temperatures hard (e.g., 80F water in Pendrell Sound). We were very skeptical (for reference, water temperatures in San Francisco Bay are around 60F, and we're much further south than British Columbia is. Despite that skepticism, the area is said to be beautiful, so we booked a Catamaran. The only Catamaran available in the area was down in Vancouver, but with 10 days we expected to be able to explore and still do the commute.

We started the trip with a flight from San Jose to Seattle, and then a transfer to a seaplane (by Kenmore Air) to Victoria. It was my first time on that sea plane, but it dropped us in the inner harbor, with the second easiest customs process I'd ever encountered on a transit into Canada.

From there, it was a short walk to our AirBnB stay, where hostess Naoko when she heard that we were headed over to the Butchart Gardens offered to call a taxi for us. When that didn't work out (British Columbia is an Uber-free zone), she ran back inside, grabbed exact change for our bus fare, and told us where to jump onto the bus.

The bus was crowded, as everyone was headed over to the gardens for the Friday night fireworks show.
The fireworks was impressive: the last time I was in the area, it had been a fountain and laser show. The bus, however, took a long time to show up for a pickup after the show, however, and despite the driver's attempt to catch up by not stopping at every stop, it took us a long time to get back to our B&B and catch some sleep.

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