Tag Archives: Aerial

Farewell to Victoria – Victoria to Farewell

Tuesday 23 August 2022 – For reasons which will become clear, this will be a fairly brief post, somewhat hastily cobbled together. I hope you enjoy the photos, though.

The day started well, in that we were up promptly, breakfasted, checked out of the hotel and in for our private charter flight, a small float plane, from Victoria to the Farewell Harbour Lodge. For a while, though, it all fell apart. The lass behind the check-in desk at Harbour Air told us that there would be a delay. It wasn’t quite clear why for a while, but eventually we understood the situation. Cloud and fog made flying in to Farewell Harbour too dangerous in the view of the Harbour Air despatcher, who was therefore unwilling to send a plane to us in Victoria unless the situation at the far end cleared. We were advised to wait and see whether the weather and the forecast changed. New forecasts came in every hour, and each one indicated that visibility would still be a problem.

Naturally, we started pondering alternatives, but the raw truth is that we needed to get somewhere over 500km away to an island in the Johnstone Strait, so flagging down a cab or seeking a bus ride wasn’t really an option. Even driving to the nearest place on Vancouver Island whence we could catch a water taxi looked too difficult.

Despite the best efforts of BT, whose circuitry detected a crisis and therefore implemented a cap on Jane’s phone, we managed to contact Discover Holidays, who are looking after us whilst we’re in Canada. Fortunately, Jane got through to a lady called Sarah, who had worked on developing our itinerary with the heroic Brendan at NATS, so we didn’t have to waste time explaining the problem to her. The idea of a driver was mooted, but then all of a sudden, a plan came into being which was to fly us as near to Farewell Harbour as the weather allowed (e.g. Campbell River) and take a water taxi from there. So we got our plane after all.

We climbed in, buckled up and the pilot taxied out past the air traffic control tower

(because Victoria Harbour is unique in Canada because it actually has a runway marked in the harbour), and off we went. Conditions were pretty clear, so here are some of the photos we managed to garner as we went:

Victoria Harbour, with the breakwater we walked around yesterday at the top of the picture;

Butchart Gardens;

evidence of some fairly drastic logging;

several views showing what a big slab of land Vancouver Island is;

a couple of arty attempts on my part;

a photo by Jane of Campbell River (meaning – yippee! – it had cleared and we were carrying on all the way to our proper destination);

coming down towards our landing and skimming along just below the clouds; and finally

arrival at Farewell Harbour Lodge, where we found out a couple of interesting nuggets. Firstly, the pilot of our plane (a De Havilland Beaver – I was going to call this post “Nice Beaver” but Jane gave me One Of Her Looks) was named, appropriately, Dakota; and secondly, Tim, the proprietor of the lodge, could take the credit for us arriving, as it was his suggestion that we fly as far as the weather allowed, and he was pretty sure it would clear, as indeed it did.

It was, thus, with considerable relief that we arrived at the lodge (which looks great and seems very well-organised)

only some five hours late and just in time to get a beer in as Tim gave us the indoctrination spiel. A key fact that emerged from this is that tomorrow will be an early start, hence my brevity. I am being brief. Yes, I am.

We actually peered round the back of our cabin and found where they park the boats, as well as this scene

which is documentary proof that you can indeed have your kayak and heat it. Thank you. Thank you for listening to my joke.

A delicious dinner was at 7, after which we got a very interesting talk on humpback whales from a lady called Vicky, and so it’s now quite late – at least relative to the 0530 alarm we’ll need if we are to join in tomorrow’s excursion to seek grizzly bears and other fauna. So I hope you’ll excuse me whilst I get to bed to try to get some sleep. Come back tomorrow and find out if we made it.

An aerial photo bonanza – from Vancouver to Anchorage

Tuesday 9 August 2022 – On just the second day of a major holiday that my wife and I took to Canada (separately documented), we flew from Vancouver to Anchorage in order to take a cruise back down to Vancouver.  We were really lucky with the weather conditions for that flight – for most of the journey there were practically no clouds and so we had fabulous views.  If your bag is aerial views of lakes, mountains, islands and glaciers, then this page will be three bags full for you.

These photos are subject to the limitations of being taken (a) on mobile phones, albeit decent ones, and (b) through an aeroplane window.  They’re not exhibition quality, but I hope they give you an idea of the treat we had as we looked out at the view.

As we started, the city of Vancouver was still under a bit of mist.

but the view from the other side of the plane, over Keats Island towards Grantham Landing was clear.

I could see the glacial water flowing down the Squamish Estuary

and Jane had a view the other side, towards Half Moon Bay.

The Squamish River winds its way between the mountains.

This was my view over some lakes near Icecap Peak

and Jane got a different perspective towards Half Moon Bay.

The procession of spectacular views, from each side of the plane, carried on as we headed roughly northwards,

including some of the distinctive turquoise of glacial water.

Varying rock types could be seen

and glacier formations, like this, just south of Silverthrone Mountain.

The variety of lakes, rivers and mountains continued as we headed north west above the Inside Passage,

until we reached Ketchikan, a place we’ll be visiting next week as we cruise back down to Vancouver.

There it is

just there, where the cruise chips can be seen!

Soon after that, as we drew level with Juneau, the clouds started to gather.

and, as a friend of mine once put it, we had a “map-reality disconnect”. This is what the real-time map, as displayed on my screen, showed

and this is what I could see looking out of the window.

We had cloud then for the rest of the journey to Anchorage, and we could only see the land once we got below the clouds coming into our final destination.

It had been a memorable flight, with some stunning views; it was a real pleasure to have been in the right place at the right time.


Day 11 – Chillin’ in Milna (Steve)

September 25th. As usual for me after a few days of relentless tourism, I felt the need for a day off, so when the rest of the group departed for other parts of Brač, I settled down to read the papers in peace and quiet. I experimented with trying to find local walks but abandoned the idea when it became clear that I would have to pay for getting the details of a local route. I also wanted to get a photo of Perla from the other side of the harbour, where the light would be good in the afternoon, so, at about 1230 I set off to walk round the harbour.

There was a stiff breeze and it was cool, but the sun was shining, and so I got other photos of Milna, such as this one

and carried on round to my selected vantage point for photographing the boat. Alas, I had been too keen, and realised that the sun wouldn’t be right for a while yet. The only thing for it was to find a spot of lunch, which I did in a restaurant called, engagingly, OmO; I have no idea why, but the burger was good and the chips were superb. So, by the time I returned to my selected site, the light was much better and I got this shot of Perla.

Whilst walking back to the boat, I realised that the breeze, while still occasionally gusty, had settled somewhat, and so thought it would be worth risking a foray with the drone. It was a bit scary, but I managed to get several aerial shots of Perla which look, I think, not bad.

and I took some video as well:

It was a satisfactory way of passing the time until I could decently get myself a G&T to await the return of the group to hear the story of their day, which may well appear in these pages courtesy of Jane’s good offices.

Until then, It’s Time For The Bar, I think.