Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Roadside Encounters: Vancouver Island

Last week I was traveling, not writing (the "new" posts you saw were drafted earlier).

But I was taking pictures along our route in the southern half of Vancouver Island in Canada's British Columbia province. Here are some of the things I saw:


Along the Strait of Georgia that separates Vancouver Island from the mainland there are many inlets, populated small islands and harbors. Getting around by boat can be a necessity or a hobby, depending. This view is a small part of the harbor in downtown Nanaimo.

Nearby is a station for floatplanes, a more expensive way of getting around. Shown here are two de Havilland Beavers of Harbour Air, a major local airline. Click here for more information on the aircraft. Note that the plane facing the camera is an original version, powered by a radial reciprocating motor. I saw one or two others during our trip, but most Beavers seen in this corner of North America have been converted to turboprop power, as is the case for the background Beaver.

Morning low tide at Parksville.

Here is a goat munching away on grass. So why did I bother taking his picture?

It turns out that the goat is grazing on the roof of a store-restaurant in the town of Coombs. If you are in the Parksville - Qualicum Beach area, just ask the locals where to find "goats on the roof."

West of Port Alberni on Sproat Lake can be found a Martin Mars flying boat used for dumping water on forest fires. As you can read here, the Mars was the largest production U.S. flying boat, developed and flown during World War 2. The end of the war curtailed production at seven examples. I knew that survivors had been used for fire fighting, but was surprised they were still at it. I hope at least one winds up in a museum, restored to original Navy specifications.

This a view of a beach from a fancy restaurant in Tofino, on Vancouver Island's wet, often stormy west coast. We got soaked the day before while exploring the town on foot.

Back on the dry eastern side of the island is Comox, where there is a RCAF (currently Canadian Forces) airbase. There is a small air museum there along with a few historic aircraft. This is a CF-100 Canuck interceptor from the 1950s; for more information, see here.

Here's part of the harbor scene at Cowichan Bay. Not shown is a nearby strip of feely-groovy super organic shops and eateries.

Harbor taxis put on a "water ballet" once a week in Victoria.

Vacation ended, the Coho ferry boat sails from Victoria to Port Angeles on Washington state's Olympic Peninsula.

1 comment:

Fiend's Brave Victim said...

Jealous. I visited the island on a surf and skateboarding trip a few years ago. Great place, but watch out for sea lions in the lineup.

Keep up the good work.