Wale watching and butchart gardens

20150526_16495120150526_164914WHALES! We went on a day trip with the prince of Whales tours we met at coal harbour at the start of a beautiful day! We set off around 8:30am. The sun was shining and we were given a pretty yellow rain coat to wear and a flouescent hat to keep us warm since it gets really windy and cold when your on top of the boat! Everyone started out on top on high alert for whales, eventually after a couple of hours everyone was at the ground floor of the boat, cold and tired since we set off pretty early. On the way to Victoria we searched and searched for whales but found none :-(.

They took us by several small islands off the coast of Victoria and the crew were very Informative they told us all about the islands and surrounding areas. James island in the 1900’s was used as a private sporting ground for Victoria’s sportsmen and then in 1913 they built a dynamite plant and at its busiest time was producing 900 tones of TNT per month. The island now has an industrial history and cannot allow the use of cars, they use electrical cars and golf carts only and the power lines are underground. The owner of the island bought it for $19 million and after modernizing the island with golf courses, an air strip and luxury resort development he is now trying to sell the island for $75 million.

D’Arcy island which we passed was used as a leper colony for Chinese immigrants in 1894 to 1924. Sidney island is a great island known for its sandy beaches and great camping spots. Sidney spit is accessible via canoe, kayak or boat. Defiantly an idea for future holiday adventures! They also took us to the oak bay ecological reserve which is a tiny island where they study and research the delicate Eco systems. This is where we saw some sea lions and otters


Unfortunately we we did not get to see any whales on the way to Victoria which was a little disappointing. We arrived at Victoria at about 12:30pm and it was sunny and warm. We have been to Victoria once before and it’s as lovely city, it’s not like vancouver it’s more like an English city. There is lots of shopping and restaurants to keep you busy. We had a couple of hours to explore the city and then made our way to Butchart gardens which we thought was amazing!

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Butchart gardens is a group of floral display gardens. The gardens receive one million visitors per year and has been designated a national historic site of Canada. Butchart gardens used to be a limestone quarry owned by Robert Pim Butchart and his wife Jennie Butchart, in 1909 when the limestone had been exhausted they turned the quarry into the sunken gardens (picture above). They turned their tennis courts into the Italian garden and the vegetable garden into a rose garden. There is a beautiful array of colourful flowers and water fountains.

The prince of whales tour picked us up from Butchart gardens and we set off back to Vancouver still on the lookout for those whales! Our captain got a tip from another captain that the had spotted some whales so we headed to their spot and found the two beautiful whales. Apparently they were asleep the kept bobbing up and down. The crew told us that whales are still half conscious when they are sleeping since they need to keep themselves afloat. The captain shut off his engine and kept a safe distance whilst we watched these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.



This was a great end to the day.





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