Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Victoria's harbour

This week we're still exploring our own city as Harry gets ready to start a six-month course of chemotherapy. We were unable to go to Sicily so we're spending our days exploring Victoria.  The harbour is an important part of the city and can be accessed in a number of ways.

From across the blue bridge over in Esquimalt you can walk on the Songhees walkway past some very nice waterfront condominium real estate...

and see some lovely Arbutus trees like this one.
From here you can look across the harbour to the Victoria's downtown and the community of James Bay.

Here's another view showing the Coho ferry heading out of the harbour to Port Angeles in the USA.

 From the James Bay side you see more of the working harbour and the best way to see that is from the Ogden Point Breakwater. It's a long-time favourite walk for Victorians. As you can see, people go there to catch some fish as well.

Here's the light at the end of the breakwater. It marks the entrance to the harbour.

The views along the walkway are of all kinds of boats from tugs to Coast Guard boats to cruise ships.

The Holland America ship was in yesterday, and apparently it's the last cruise ship of the season.

For us the most fun at the breakwater was the wildlife viewing.  We first watched these two loons diving and catching little silver fish. Next thing we saw was a big long shape under the water. At first I thought it was a very large salmon but quickly we saw that it was a small harbour seal, also attracted by the little fish. It rolled and dove for a while and then headed out past the light.
The big surprise was when we saw it swimming back with four other seals, a couple of them quite large. They swam very close together heading back to where the lunch was waiting. Once they got there the five of them rolled and dove and jumped. 

We weren't close enough to see if they caught any fish but I think they did, because within about five minutes they turned around and swam in formation back into the harbour.  

It was really exciting to see this performance by seals in their own environment.  We're planning to head down there again to see if it's a regular thing, although I don't think it is. Maybe we were just lucky to be there at that time.

Here's a final image of what we saw walking back to our car. This is a view looking across the Straight of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains hidden in clouds.  The light there marks Brotchie Ledge and you can see a big freighter looming out of the mist. Those ones don't come into our harbour though; it's too small.

Hope you enjoyed the Victoria Harbour tour!


  1. Beautiful shots! What a treat to see those seals!

  2. Our friend Andrew who kayaks around this area says they are actually sea lions and it's very rare to see them around the harbour.

  3. Another friend suggested that what I called loons might have been cormorants. I don't think so though as they were quite small. Now I'm thinking maybe they were grebes.


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