Sunday 17 June 2012

Vancouver to Victoria by Ferry

For going to Victoria, capital of British Columbia, from Vancouver there are only two options  - either by air or by sea as Victoria is an island so I decided to take the ferry so that I am able to observe nature on the way.

Dawn on way to Tsawwassen

I started early in the morning from Vancouver and saw the dawn on the way to Tsawwassen. Tsawwassen Terminal, though known to be in Vancouver, is technically in the Delta municipality, south of Richmond and bordering the USA. The Fraser river borders its northern parts.

Tsawwassen Terminal, Vancouver

Because Tsawassen touches a shallow bank the ferry terminal is built at the end of a three kilometer long causeway that juts into the Strait of Georgia.

Cars waiting to board the Ferry at Tsawwassen

It is a huge terminal and the each ferry ship takes several hundred cars besides passengers. The cars in the que above are all waiting for the terminal to open so that they can board the ship.

BC Ferry Ship

The ferry ride from Tsawwassen terminal in Vancouver to Swartz Bay in Victoria covers 24 Nautical miles and takes 1 hour and 35 minutes by the BC Ferries. The first service starts at 7 AM and then there are services till 9 PM either every hour or two hours.

Sea Gull in Flight

During the whole ferry ride the Sea Gulls are your constant companion even when you far from the shore. Maybe they are looking at possibility of getting food from the ship.

Sea Gull getting a free ride!

Besides Sea Gulls and some other birds once can also see dolphins on this route of the ocean. Sometimes the dolphins accompany you for quite some distance and what a sight it is to see them jump high in the air above the water!

Emergency Rubber Boats

Every ship has several rubber boats in case of any emergency. It reminds you of the film Titanic. The anchor of the ship is massive.  It was thicker than a thigh as one can see in the photo above which has been taken from some distance.

Huge Anchors

I stayed very little inside the comforts of the ship and spent most of the time standing on the fore or after deck despite the fact that the winds that you face there are so strong and cold (in winters). Of course, one do have the option to watch from inside also through the glass panes but the feeling is not the same.

Beautiful Island Houses

During the whole journey one comes across several inhabited and uninhabited islands on the way to Victoria. I wished I could stay in one of these beautiful locations for some days.

Sun & Shade

All along the route the sun and clouds played hide and seek and the changing reflections in the ocean were beautiful. In the photo above the cylinders that you see in the bottom right hand corner are also boats that open up in case of emergency (about five to six on one stand - and there were several stands).

Swartz Bay

The photo above is of the Swartz Bay when I was returning from Victoria to Vancouver in the evening. Both the terminals have plenty of eating options as well as shops to buy souvenirs or other stuff.

Plenty of eating options on the Ferry

The BC Ferry ship itself also has various lounges for eating as well as shops to buy souvenirs, books etc. The interiors of the BC Ferry are nice and plush and warm. The lower floor is for parking of the cars etc and the upper two floors are for the passengers with nice comfortable seats and views.

Dusk on the Pacific Ocean

I returned back by another BC Ferry in the evening and was greeted by a beautiful dawn sky and the fading lights of first the Swartz Bay and then Victoria and sometimes later houses on the various islands on the way.

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