Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Port Hardy, Vancouver Island 9.29.09

Yesterday morning we jumped on another ferry and sailed down from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy through the inside passage. It was a long day…we were on board at 5:30am and didn’t arrive in Port Hardy until 10:30pm. But what a spectacular ride! This ferry is part of BC Ferries and was named the M/V Northern Expedition. It was a very new boat – only about 4 months old - so it was incredibly nice. Riding the ferry is similar to riding a train….you get to see the world go by, meet new people, and you’re so ready to get off of it when it’s over! The scenery was spectacular.

A spectacular sunrise along the inside passage

Everywhere you looked there were dense tree covered islands, spectacular panoramic views, and every once in a while, some wildlife would appear! We drove onto the ferry along with about 30 other vehicles, took an armload of ‘must have’s’ while on the ferry – books, munchies, guide books, & of course, a blanket! We found a lovely couple from Canada to sit next to in comfy reclining chairs that faced the windows. And we sat….and watched the amazing scenery go by.

Michael hanging out in the ferry

The sun came up over the mountains and made for spectacular photos. The sun peeked out on and off during the day and luckily, we were on the side of the boat that it poured in on, warming us up nicely.

We saw some pods of whales, eagles, several lighthouses, old mining towns, and a channel we passed through with incredibly steep cliffs with the trees growing right on top! It was incredible.

One of the lighthouses we saw

By the end of the evening, we were ready to get off the ferry.

Michael in line in the ferry waiting to exit

We unloaded and then drove up to a cruising friend of ours’ house, I.V.

Michael, Rene, & I.V. sitting down for a lovely dinner

We met Pamela and I.V. this past cruising season and immediately clicked. We enjoyed each other’s company in the few times we could get together as they were often in different ports than we were, but we always liked hooking up with them. It so happens that Pamela had already gone down to Mazatlan to begin getting her boat ready for this year’s cruising season but I.V. was still home so we lucked out and was able to stay with him for two days. We arrived late Monday night and left on Wednesday.

Tuesday morning we awoke with a start! The door to the room we were staying in opened and Michael asked ‘Can I help you?’! It was the cleaning lady…just coming in to strip the sheets! Haha… She was incredibly apologetic and we just laughed. We got up and around, walked on the beach a little, and drove into town to meet I.V. out at the Quarterdeck Restaurant for lunch. After lunch he took us on a tour of the town, showing us all of the highlights as well as a land development project he’s working on.

The town is very cute, only about 10 blocks long and about that wide! It only has about 5,000 people in it. They have some beautifully carved wooden ‘Welcome to Port Hardy’ signs in two places in town.

Welcome to Port Hardy

The temperature was in the 50’s, brisk but not too cold. It rained a very little bit and cleared back up. I.V.’s house is a beautiful place situated right across the street from the ocean in Port Hardy. It was a spectacular home but I have to tell you the best part – aside from a shower with never-ending hot water, a real bed, plenty of places to sit, a gorgeous deck, etc. – they had heated floor tiles in the kitchen! Yep, it was pure heaven – no more cold tootsies! That is definitely going in my next home!

That evening we made dinner for I.V. and he pulled out a fantastic bottle of wine for us all to enjoy. We chatted and chatted and before we knew it, it was almost midnight! Time flies when you’re having fun and we found we just had too much to talk about. It was great to catch up and know we will be seeing him again this season!

Tomorrow we’re off to Salt Spring Island, to visit yet another cruising couple, Joe & Deb, who we spent a great deal of time with last season. We can’t wait!

More to follow…


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