Fairly often, I’ll take this walk along the outer edge of Holland Park in Victoria, BC (Wikipedia link). There are a couple of routes, but the best is what I call the lung buster. About half way through, there’s a quick climb up from sea level to the top of the bluff via a mix of stairs and path (about 15-20m elevation). Feels good when you’ve finished and you’ve caught your breath again.
Anyway, the view is always changing. These shots are from the top of the bluff looking south-east on a winter morning.
And a few minutes later,
Juan de Fuca Strait had kind of a dark mood this morning. The cloud deck was low and threatening, but still, there was a bit of light catching the edges here and there.
Calm between the storms. We had a ton of rain yesterday and more is expected tonight and tomorrow.
But, there’s always the bright spot, right?
The chum salmon are running in the Goldstream River right now. They are not as colourful as the sockeye and chinook, but the run is impressive none the less.
The fish in the photo are close to 2 feet long and are working their way up the river from an estuary at the end of Saanich Inlet on Vancouver Island. The run continues through mid December.
There are two of these yellow pilot craft that dock beside the Ogden Point breakwater in Victoria. Their job is to ferry coastal pilots out to foreign vessels entering Canadian waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. They also pick up the pilots when the boats are ready to leave our waters.
The pilots have local knowledge about the coast. They take charge of vessel navigation, to ensure they stay in safe channels on their way in and out of ports along the inner coast.
Sounds like a great job, meeting new folks, sailing on all kinds of vessels, and spending your day travelling our beautiful coast.
Still, cranky skippers could be a pain in the a**, I guess.
These preserved guns, and other older canon installations at Ft Rodd Hill Park in Esquimalt BC, are a reminder that the west coast of North America has faced it share of wartime threats.
In the second world war, for instance, these guns were used in combination with submarine nets to regulate traffic in and out of Esquimalt harbour. The nets went from about the Fisgard Lighthouse (seen in the upper right) across to another fortified installation.
For a while, Japanese submarines plied the west coast, looking to disrupt shipping. In fact, there are reports of at least one submarine (I-26) attacking a west coast lighthouse at Estevan Pt. on Vancouver Island.
There was never the death and destruction felt elsewhere during the war(s), but men and women still had to be there to stand on guard.
I’m thinking about this now, because my dad was one of those people. He flew the east and west coast of Canada in a Canso aircraft as gunner/observer, looking for submarines and other enemy shipping. Luckily, he said that on the west coast, most of the time they were just spotting whales.
Just remembering my dad on this Remembrance Day eve.
This deer was on a grassy berm last October, in one of the gun batteries at the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site in Esquimalt BC. There was a small herd running around. Not surprising, given the number of deer on south Vancouver Island. They are everywhere.
The fort was an interesting place. It, and other batteries and forts in various forms protected the Esquimalt and Victoria harbours until the 1950’s. Here’s a short description from the Parks Canada website:
Fort Rodd Hill NHS commemorates the national significance of the Victoria-Esquimalt coast artillery fortress in the defence of Victoria and the naval base at Esquimalt harbour, as part of the larger defence strategy of the British Empire and Canada, 1878 to 1956.
It also holds Canada’s first west coast lighthouse, the Fisgard Lighthouse, built in 1860.
We don’t have a long history in Canada, so it’s nice to see them protecting and preserving some of it.
After a couple of weeks house/cat sitting over on Vancouver Island, I’m back. My sister, her husband, my nephew and his partner all headed off to Europe for a family holiday together. Nice, and I’m glad I could help out while they were gone.
I also did some house hunting, and found myself an apartment in Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood. I’ve heard good things about the area, so I’m looking forward to moving there over the next few weeks.
Yes, it’s time for a change. And yes, in the future, I guess I’ll see more ferry stacks, like the one in the photo above of BC Ferries’ vessel, Coastal Experience.
I’m looking forward to some photography around the western most coast of Canada, and to exploring a more mediterranean climate around Victoria. According to Wikipedia, the area gets around 25 in of rain a year, compared to Surrey’s 55 in. Victoria is a little warmer too.
Mind you, just up the west (wet?) coast on Vancouver Island, Henderson Lake (the wettest place in North America) gets 261 in/year. A big difference across a small area.
As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, this has been and still is a big project. I’ve actually spent a lot of time over the last few months getting rid of stuff so I wouldn’t have to move it. It’s truly amazing how much you can accumulate over 20 years in the same apartment, so it’s well past time to downsize and become more of a minimalist. Ha, like that’s ever going to happen ;-), but the load is lighter now.
Still lots to do, but the big hurdle of finding a new home is over. Just a few more balls to juggle and we’re done.