On Thursday morning, Eric did some golfing at the course near the house we were staying. Then we headed out for lunch at the Noodle Box (they're everywhere on the island and for good reason--it's fast food Thai and really good)! Then we made our way to Fisherman's Wharf for our whale watching expedition.
We got a little distracted on the way to our boat, when we discovered the six harbour seals that live beneath the dock. We bought fish at a nearby stand and fed them.
Then we got all suited up and into the boat. They gave us these really warm jackets, hats, gloves, and sunglasses to wear, and we needed them. It was a small, fast boat, and it was terribly cold from the wind. We wrapped ourselves up into blankets as well.
We drove out for a long time, but when we stopped, the cold trip out there was so worth it. There was a pod of about 20 orca killer whales in the area. It was just one after another of surfacing orcas. The kids were going nuts watching them. It really is quite an amazing thing to see them in their natural habitat so close to our boat.
One of the orcas even came out with his head straight up out of the water like you see sometimes on the nature channel.
On our way back, we stopped at a small cluster of rocky islands where elephant seals and harbour seals, California sea lions and Stellar sea lions live and sun bathe. We also saw two bald eagles on this little cluster of islands as well.
We were on the boat for five hours. It was a super long day and we slept well that night.
On Friday, we went to Beacon Hill Park to see the animals. Most impressive were the peacocks everywhere. But they also had farm animals and such.
Then we took a path down to the beach. There were the most beautiful little wild flowers everywhere. We had fun lacing them into the girls' braids.
We spent the next several hours in the sun at the beach. Portia got her capris wet. She just couldn't resist the waves. Bianca spent most of her time discovering things in the tide pools. She'd pull out interesting things and even found a small crab (see below). Eric and I sat on the rocks and admired the scenery. We noticed several sea lions swimming in the water near us.
We stopped to eat on our way home at the Sticky Wicket. That place had some interesting ceilings. Food was decent, but nothing to write home about.
Speaking of home, it was time to pack up that evening. We got up early in the morning, jumped back on the ferry (the ride was much more comfortable when the sun was out) and drove through the day.
We stopped at a hotel in Pemberton, Oregon for the night so the girls could swim in the pool. We met with some college friends in Boise in the afternoon on Sunday and made it back Sunday evening. It was too bad we had to leave Victoria just as the weather started cooperating. But still, we had a great time and wouldn't mind revisiting Victoria again in the future.