Sunday, October 26, 2008

B.C. Ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo (Duke Point) on Vancouver Island

Sunrise at the Tsawwassen harbour

Water churning as the ferry departs

Leaving Tsawwassen at 7:45 a.m. sharp

Another B.C. Ferry returning to Tsawwassen

Lighthouse backlit by sun penetrating storm clouds near Nanaimo

Mainland coastal mountains to the north, layered in the mist

Last week we made our annual pilgrimage from Vancouver to Tofino, one of our favourite destinations in British Columbia. Although the point of the holiday is to visit Vancouver Island's west coast, even the two-hour ride on the B.C. Ferry can be restful and beautiful. These pictures were taken during the 7:45 a.m. ferry from Tsawwassen (on the mainland) to Nanimo (Duke Point terminal on the island). Since days are getting shorter, the weather was cloudy and the time change has not yet happened, passengers were able to watch a spectacular sunrise slowly unfold. We were on The Coastal Inspiration, one of the corporation's new acquisitions. This is a very comfortable ship, and the early Tuesday morning off-season sailing ensured that there was lots of room, peace and quiet for all. There are ample decks for walking, a lovely sun deck (covered with many sky lights and well protected from the ocean wind on three sides), HD TVs to watch if you must, a book store, Starbucks coffee shop, cafeteria, and multiple lounges (all smoke-free) with comfortable seating and large windows.

Along the way we saw the mainland's harbour slowly disappear into the sunrise, the layers of mountains rising above the morning's mist, a lovely small low island with an old-fashioned light house beautifully back-lit by sunlight streaming dramatically through dark clouds, another ferry heading back to Tswwassen, and occasionally sea creatures coming up for air.