Victoria: Tour of the Salish Sea

In the beginning of July we went to Victoria Island for Andrew’s 30th! I posted one entry about the trip already, but there are so many more to share. After we found our Airbnb the first day in Victoria, we walked down to the harbour for the main event that day: our whale watching tour!

Andrew’s been wanting to go ever since we got here, but it’s really expensive. No better time to go though than on Andrew’s birthday! It was the Canada Day weekend, so Victoria was filled of people. Down by Ship Point Marina there were stalls with food, drinks and homemade crafts. Before our boat trip, we got some lemonade and popcorn. We then signed in, put on our massive boat suits, and got ready to board the Zodiac-style boat. I was really nervous, afraid I’d get nauseous and just simply be uncomfortable and in pain for the whole 4 hour trip. That I would spend hours just wanting it to end. Andrew, however, was so, so excited.

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We drove out of the harbour. On the way out to the sea, a family of seals swam by the boat. It was magical. Along with the weather and our cheery captain and guide, it felt alright. I couldn’t stop smiling, especially because Andrew was so happy. He loved it. After 40 minutes of driving (what’s the adjective for going forward in a boat?), we found them; a family of orcas. After a while, we noticed there were two families. It was so, so cool. I didn’t catch any photos of them. I only used my phone so there was no way of getting a good picture anyway. I just focused on adoring them from a distance with my own eyes.

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After a while of observing the families, our captain said there had been a sighting of a blue whale about 40 minutes away. It was up to us if we wanted to take a chance and hurry over there, or if we wanted to stay with the orcas. We decided to give it a go. The boat sped up, over more turbulent water. It was ok at the start, the thrill and danger of going up and down, up and down over the waves. After a while I started to feel a bit uncomfortable; I really had to pee and I had to focus on keeping my body down in the boat. I knew the chances of me flinging over the boat were slim, but it was still constantly on my mind. The sun was setting, my feelings on the boat ride turned from fun and adventurous to uncomfortable, unnecessary and honestly painful.

When we reached the location where the whale had been spotted, we looked around for a while but saw nothing. We circled the lighthouse outside Bentinck Island where groups of seals and many birds had their nests. The lighthouse keeper came out of his little house, waved and took a picture of us. It was so beautiful, with the sunset and the seemingly hidden away island.

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A bit later than planned, we rolled into Victoria harbour again. The town looked glorious and we all started to warm up in our suits (except I was slightly drenched in sweat). Once out, we enjoyed the market a little bit before we went for dinner and then went home early. Exhausted but with hearts full.

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