Thursday, October 19, 2006

Broken Group Islands Nature Cruise

Sometimes it's just easier to go backwards, so after telling you all about Vancouver, the city, at the end of our vacation, here's the wildlife/nature cruise we took our last full day on Vancouver Island. It was 5.5 glorious hours on Toddy and Al's home, their 53' Archipelago yacht, 14 of us passengers as their guests!

Even though we left at 10a, it was still barely daylight. So in the entire first half of the photo album, it's hazy and without sun. No problem for me (though chilly) because I love that kind of mood. This fishing boat (above) was heading out for its catch-of-the-day (or was it already coming back in?).

Speaking of chilly, our hosts came prepared, offering nice, soft and thin-enough gloves to still operate the camera. I did find out, however, that it was cold enough to disable certain of my camera functions (namely the zoom). So I had to bundle up the camera from time to time.

Besides the myriad seals/sea lions (you'll get your fill in the album!), we did see several eagles but not close enough to get good shots. You can see they're eagles but that's the closest we got for my 12x zoom. We saw several other birds, for which we were told their names. I know I got many cormorants. But the other birds are nameless for me right now. We saw several gray whales and even saw their tails pop out but I could never get the camera on them fast enough. There's only one pic showing only the hump of one whale (see if you can spot it because I forgot to name it in the album). These whales have been living on Earth for only the past 30 million years, that's all!

As the sun came out, the colors were more vivid, as you see. You can also tell why these are called the Broken Group Islands of Barkley Sound. I actually was just as fascinated with them as the wildlife! Just spectacular in all their different shapes and sizes. It looked like sea-lion colonies were claiming their own little islands.

BTW, those sea lions preen and act coy with the best of them! Al told us that they will cock their snouts up in the air like they could care less if anyone is watching them, but then they'll tilt their heads and look to see if anyone IS watching. I actually captured that several times. So cute.

What a memory! And it started and stopped so close to where we stayed in Ucluelet Harbor, just a stone's throw from our condo. We'd do it again in the blink of an eye.

[While the cat is gone (in fact, she's flying to Basel from Amsterdam as we speak), the mouse has played :). But she'll be back here in Hannover by late afternoon tomorrow!]


  1. oh another entry. Beautiful pics. I really want to go do this with P some time. Yeah it did look really dark!

    Ah and she didn't even say hi to CS??? well maybe she did.... And now she's off to meet James... LOL...

    Enough of daydreaming. At least you guys are back together tomorrow! I want to be on that side of the pond!

  2. Your photos are just stunning. Hard to believe that there really is such a place, isn't it? But both you and I know it's there. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

  3. Gorgeous photos! Makes me also think of Acadia National Park in Maine. I must go back there some day. I loved your seal/sea lion pictures. One couldn't ask for better.

  4. ET: I do hope you and P can go there sometime. You'll love it.

    Donica's trip, actually, is the other way around. She was just in Amsterdam and is now in Basel for the day. She is so busy she hardly has time to call me! :( But, yes, we'll be together soon.

    Christina: Next time we want to go to Victoria! THAT should be wonderful as well. Your stomping grounds :)

    Tim: Oh, yes. I know what you're talking about. Acadia is fantastic, tho' different. And thanks for your compliment!

  5. How wonderful! I feel as if I were there, except not cold. Brr, but it looks cozy on the boat. And I like the looks of that meal! Did anyone get sick? All the sea life is exciting. To see the eagles, sea lions, sharks (sort of dead), cormorants, starfish all with your own eyes. Great experience.

  6. Yes, Ruth. It was definitely spectacular. And yes, there was one elderly lady (sitting next to her husband in one of the photos) who was sick the entire time. Poor thing. That's not a good way to spend your money or time! BTW, I had a nice windbreaker and did not feel that cold, even when I was out on the decks.

  7. You have some absolutely beautiful pictures here, Ginnie. I've scrolled down through the posts relating to Vancouver and some of the pictures are breathtaking.I especially loved the picture of the boats across the harbor from the condo. Wow.

  8. Thanks for sharing the beautiful picts. The seals/sea lions are so adorable! I hope to visit BC once I'm back in the country.

    ET: We were in Düsseldorf/Germany all week, so we didn't have the chance to meet up with Donica in Basel.

  9. Utenzi: Thank you so much for visiting and for leaving a comment. You've honored me. I have just visited YOUR blog and am equally impressed. Hurray for blogs that inspire us to be beter!

    CS: Düsseldorf is suddenly so close and yet so far! I could have almost reached out and rouched you! Well, our time will its time! Yay for hope!

  10. Dontcha just love being out in nature like that? Beautiful photos, Ginnie. I certainly hope to be able to explore that area sometime. Your photos brought back memories of my trip to Alaska and the boat excursions we took. We went the last week in September so our weather may have been similar to yours. Cold, yes?!? But completely worthwhile!

  11. Yes, Mad. I'm sure our time there was very similar to yours in Alaska. Same general feel to it. Cold but not bitter cold and yes, completely worthwhile!