Woke up refreshed – checked out of the hotel – put the address into the car GPS of where I had to go – and off we went to pick up Noni's passport.
Success – so back to the inner harbour of Victoria we drive. I need four more caches to reach my goal of 200 finds that I what to achieve on this road trip to Vancouver Island. With GPS in hand while I drive I head towards the caches that I have up loaded to find. I am not sure where we are exactly but we end at the oceanfront once more and then park the car and do some walking here - over there and I find a cache – then drive to the next location and do more walking – another find. Then we park the car at a park and do more walking success – find two more caches – I have my two hundred cache. I am very pleased.
This park that we are in is amazing – duck pond – flower gardens – children playing – horse and carriage rides. The clock is ticking – if we are going whale watching we need to get back to down town and buy our tickets.
(199.50 $) Five Star Whale Charters Ltd .. done seen the man I talked too last night and went over to him and told him – I told you I would be back... I told him last night I was interested but could not commit to buying a ticket until I had finished my morning business.. now I was back and I had my boarding passes..
Parked the car at the Empress hotel public parking lot..that cost me 15 dollars..
I am always nefarious about leaving the computers – luggage in a car – but we wanted to go on this cruise so we did... besides this this is secure lot with camera and parking attendant.
I am dressed warmly – two warm for land but perfect for being on the ocean and I tell Noni to bring her coats as well. On the way to the Charters office after stopping to eat lunch at a noodle place Noni buys a hat. We are ready for the coolness of the ocean voyage. Our pre boarding talk we were all warned that it is cold out on the ocean that we should be dressed appropriately – kind of late as people have now parked their cars far away or their hotels are most likely not nearby. Some people are not dressed warmly !!! Not my problem – Noni and I are.
So we walk a block down to the boat – board and I go to the front of the boat. I wanted to go to the top but it was full so I was sent to the lower level which was inside – I did not want this so I went right to the front of the boat deck. It was warm only for a few moments while we were in the inner harbour moving at the slow speed. Soon we were motoring full speed and the temperatures became much colder – my hands were a little numb but over all I was cozy all bundled up in my t shirt - sweater – vest and Gore-tex rain coat.
All of sudden we slow down – stop – then a Minke whale surfaces and dives -
-- then we go on further and stop again a Humpback Whale surfaces and dives several times.
-- we move on and stop again this time Orca Whales
Once again we move to another location – the boat stops and drifts a little near an island with a light house and caretaker's house on it - that had many Sea Lions lying all over the rocks and swimming in the water.
I have gone whale watching once before on the east coast – seen a pod of Minke whales – but this was an awesome three hour tour.
I have no complaints about the cost now – well worth it...
After the sea lions it was time to head back to the inner harbour in Victoria again.
On arrival we head over to the fisherman warf to buy fish and chips once again.
I got lost a couple of times and asked different people and they kept on referring us to Barbs fish and Chips at the warf. This place has an extremely good reputation - I found it – Yes – it is one of the best fish I can remember eating in a long time. Last year Noni wanted to eat here but we didn't and she has held this against me ever since – and she really wanted to eat here this time so it was high on the priority list to do so.
Ate our fish and chips – got gas and then headed back to Nanaimo to catch the ferry at 20:18 hr. (82.55$)
Home around 24:30 hr – bed 1am.
I wished we could had spent another day or two longer – there is so much more to see and do but I have to take Mom to the hospital in Vancouver in the morning.