With a very long day facing us, we got up at 5am, skipped our
showers and breakfast and castoff the lines from the dock at Bamfield. It’s
still dark, but as were retracing our steps and the shoreline being well marked
with lights on the buildings and docks, I felt we would have no problem navigating our exit. As we made the turn to the West, we picked up some large
ocean swells but visibility was good and we were all alone as we made our way
to Cape Beale.
We employed our standard two hours, on two hours off watch schedule as we counted the lighthouses to Victoria. There are five in 75 miles of coastline: Cape Beale, Pachena Point, Carmanah Point, Sheringham Point and Race Rocks.
After we rounded Cape Beale and turned southwest, our passage became calm and smooth in the light morning air. As afternoon approached, as is so often the case, the winds began to pick up and Race Rocks was reporting them from the Northwest at 25 knots. So the ride was pretty good. As we started to approach Race Rocks, the current kicked in and our speed increased and that was good. It made the end of the trip seem to go by a little faster. As we made the turn toward Victoria, it was as if the entire world had joined us. There were pleasure craft, tour boats, small and large fishing vessels, the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship and a handful of large cargo ships.
It seemed like to took forever until we got inside the outer harbour of Victoria and even then it was teaming with boats, kayakers and frequent seaplane operations. We got to the Inner Harbour Mark and called the Harbour Authority and were assigned a starboard, bow-in berth on Dock C which you enter on the southeast end of Dock D. It was quite windy but at least it came from the direction that blew onto the docks. Given the tight quarters, it was a preferred direction compared to being blown into other boats. Two nice folks came out to help with our lines as we nestled to the dock just in front of Little Trooper and his buddy who was rafted to him. It was boat central! Across the docks was a very unattractive live-aboard tug in a sickly shade of pink.
We hooked up to shore power and chilled with a beer on the flybridge in celebration of our long trip. As the sun dropped lower in the horizon, we had to put up the windshield covers to make the salon comfortable. We were near the locked entrance to the street and the garbage cans were close at hand, which was great. Our trip to Victoria took about 12 hours and we enjoyed a dinner of chili and fresh baked cornbread on the boat.
After dinner we took a chilly stroll around the docks and also along Wharf Street toward the Empress Hotel. There was a Blues Bash going on with music performances all day and night. There was a row of vendors set up outside the venue, and Karen found some killer cappuccino fudge. She was in chocolate heaven! While Karen is the chocoholic, I managed to find a vendor serving caramel soft serve ice cream. Yummy! Sometime being back in civilization has its rewards. One more episode of LOST was enjoyed by the crew of Alaskan Dream before we tucked in for a well-deserved rest.