We were walking back to our hotel room and noticed a ferry loading vehicles just a block from the hotel, so we stopped in to check it out. Surprise! You can take a ferry right out of the Inner Harbour straight south across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State!
So we abandoned our plan to sail back the usual way to Tsawwassen in B.C. and instead showed up early to catch this ferry. Always nice to find an enjoyable surprise new route during your travels!
This was the ferry we saw the night before. It loads directly in and out of the stern, but at the bow is a side loader. Still it's wide enough for full size transport trucks to drive in and turn. I can't think of another ferry we've been on like this.
Soon we were chugging fast out of the Inner Harbour. On the far side, Harbour Air has repainted one of their commuter float planes (usually white,yellow and blue) in red and white for Canada's 150th Sesqui-centennial this year.
We also passed the CCGS Bartlett, a Coast Guard buoy tender based in Victoria, in charge of caring for the navigational aids on the west coast of B.C.
And this unusual ship in the Outer Harbour is the Cable Innovator, a fibre optic cabling laying ship from Britain currently in Victoria.
Looking the other direction past the harbour lights we saw one of several freighters either passing by or waiting to get into harbour.
After that it was just plain sailing almost straight south across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, into Port Angeles, a part of the U.S.A. we've never been to. We were headed for Washington State anyway, to check out the Tulip fields in the Skagit Valley. This provided just a little more convoluted and interesting route, on two lane roads (and another short ferry ride) instead of the interstate.
As we passed the port light on the way into Port Angeles, we saw this cargo ship coming down the strait from the open Pacific. Who knows where it's coming from!
And docked in port was the Alaskan Frontier, an oil tanker down from Valdez. Remember the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989? I had been a loyal Esso customer in Canada until then (because they sponsored Hockey Night in Canada), but when that happened I gave up buying gas at Esso for good!
For those interested in maps, as I am, this satellite poster that I spotted outside on Fisherman's Wharf covers the area we're talking about. The flat Fraser Valley and Vancouver is at the top. The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State is at the bottom. Vancouver Island is on the left and Victoria almost exactly in the centre of the image. You can see the white line of the International Boundary running down the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Skagit Valley is in the middle right, a short distance down the Washington coast from Bellingham. We had to dipsy-doodle across several islands to get there, but it was a fun and scenic drive.
Those spur of the moment excursions can be the best!ReplyDelete
Nice to get a little surprise find like that. That fiber optic ship from Britain looks massive.ReplyDelete
oh how fun...you don't need to follow the plan to have an awesome adventure!! nice captures, i like the wake in the water!!ReplyDelete
Nice photos and that map was so interesting! My husband and I visited Seattle last year and we took an all day boat ride to San Juan Island and beyond, all the way to Strait of Juan de Fuca to whale watch. we did nto see many whales but the scenery and amount of islands we passed was amazing. It's a beautiful part of the world! I'd love to go back soemday to see the tulip fields in spring.ReplyDelete
Great surprise, and wonderful you were able to travel on that Ferry. Super satellite image, how modern technology teaches us so much every day. Super blue water.ReplyDelete
I've been to Port Angeles but driving from the south and west - one of my Olympic National park trips. Glad you made it to the PNW!ReplyDelete
I've taken the ferry from Bellingham to Victoria Island and enjoyed it very much. That map is very instructive, too. Thank you for sharing the interesting trip you took in my neck of the woods! :-)ReplyDelete
That was a delightful surprise and taking you right to Port Angeles Washington. New adventures .ReplyDelete
Looking at the map, it really is a maze in there. Wow!ReplyDelete
That plane's my favourite of these shots.
Thanks for sharing your pictures and adventures. We have been on that ferry and know all the area on the map well. Had planned a trip up that way this summer but it isn't going to happen. Your pictures let me feel like we went anyway!!!ReplyDelete
What a fun trip you had on the Ferry (I haven't been on one is years) - Love how blue the water looked.ReplyDelete
Oh what fun and how neat that you all are able to change the mind about which way to go on almost an impulse. YAY!ReplyDelete
Neat coming into Port Angeles like that. great images of everything. Love the blue water shots. And then across the bays and straits to Whidbey Island---love that place.
Very good photos, I just love seeing the foamy waves when on a boat.ReplyDelete
I love surprises like that! Gorgeous photos!ReplyDelete