The trip over, via the walk-on ferry the Victoria Clipper, was magical due to the clear blue sky, the brilliant sun that shone on the calm glassy ocean and the profusion of wildlife. Conversations were halted by shouts of, "Over there!" as sightings of cavorting grey whales and orcas were claimed. Never have I seen so many whales during a crossing. To top it off, schools of porpoises gracefully escorted us into port.
A short note: tickets for the Clipper go on sale 7 - 2 days before your departure date. Book your reservation as early as possible or you will be, like I was, on standby. Sailings this time of year are very popular. Add a majour sporting event into the mix and 2 days in advance just won't cut it.
Luckily, I benefitted from a no-show.
As I was one of the last ones to board the packed vessel, a steward escorted me to a seat, placing me at a table with 5 worn out, dishevelled, middle-aged guys. This wouldn't have been my first choice but I thought what the hell, life's an adventure, no?
Shortly after taking my seat, out of the blue one guy commented to his buddies, "I dreamt last night that I killed a bunch of people and 2 dogs. I felt really bad for shooting...the dogs but definitely not for killing the people". I admired the fact that he had unknowingly tapped in to one of the most important steps in dream work - how did you feel upon awakening. It was hard to resist blurting out, "I'm a dreamworker. Do you want to explore this further?".
However, when I overheard their conversation about the hike they'd just completed along West Coast Trail, a trip that I'd like to do someday, and one that roommates of mine returned from in the '80's looking as if they'd come back from a war zone, I commented on how lucky they were with the weather. Well, this opened up a most delightful conversation filled with stories of their week, hiking and gear advice complete with websites and product displays. Shoes and packs were passed across the table for me to check out. A profusion of pictures were enthusiastically presented to me with more pride than a mother would have showing pics of her newborn baby.
One man gave me his camera so I could scroll through his shots of colonies of roaring and posturing sea lions, grey whales breeching and pelicans gliding just above the water (I didn't know there were Pelicans out here.) Another shared his collection of a beautiful young woman in full make-up, wearing diamond studs that would choke a horse and a diamond ring that would have been the envy of Elizabeth Taylor. He told me, with great admiration, that she hiked the trail looking like a fashion plate whereas they looked like...well, 5 middle-aged guys trudging through the woods. And, she completed the trail in cheerful spirit in less time than they and with nary a hair out of place.
I left the boat refreshed and ready and rarin' to welcome the adventures in dreaming that lay ahead.
On the return sail shortly after leaving port we were engulfed by a mist shrouded terrain where sky and sea merged as one. Only the mournful sound of our ghost ship's horn declared our location; asking for safe passage. The word "...Titanic..." was sprinkled in conversations throughout the cabin followed by nervous laughter.
During the misty passage I was entertained with the tale of a couples' trip to Ucluelet for storm watching. NOTE: The west coast of Vancouver is noted for spectacular winter storms and people come from all over the world to watch the waves and the surfers who brave them. The woman was captivated by the surfers. Her album was full of winter sky backlit silhouettes riding misty capped walls of waves in muted shades of silver and gold. This brought back my own memories of surfing with the Surf Sisters last year and so here are some pics from that...
|Surfing baby waves at Long Beach, Tofino last year.|
Perfect for this beginner.
|During an "I can't believe I'm doing this" moment,|
riding a wave to the beach
I've spotted Rod.
With 45 minutes remaining we emerged from the clouds into a sunny, welcoming sky. The hint of land came into clearer focus and the passengers became excited at the prospect of exploring this part of lotus land. As Victoria revealed itself I became their tour guide answering questions and recommending sites to see and running trails to enjoy.
About 15 minutes out a flock of Pelicans gliding effortlessly over the now calm sea served as our welcoming committee.