Monday, August 31, 2009

Weeeeeee! Zodiacs are the only way to travel!!!

I have mentioned before that my job is pretty cool in that I get a lot of free sh*t right? Or to be a little less brattish about it, I am given the opportunity to experience a lot of what the city has to offer on a complimentary basis. Well, last week was totally no exception to this as I spent the afternoon and early evening cruising up to Indian Arm on a Zodiac at about 35 mph.

I, along with some of my work peeps, was given the chance to go out with Vancouver Fastboat Adventures - a newish company run by the good folks who operate Vancouver Whale Watch. Based out of Coal Harbour, they run 2 types of tours - one that goes around Stanley Park, English Bay and Granville Island and the other that goes up to Indian Arm - a little slice of perfection just outside of the city. Only 12 passengers per trip along with your friendly captain and knowledgeable naturalist who knew a few things that even I didn't know (and I know lots of trivia about the city, trust me).

If you weren't aware, Indian Arm is literally a hidden gem in Vancouver. Only 20 minutes by boat from the city, it is like being in the middle of nowhere - so beautiful. Under the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge we went, zipping past the fancy homes of Deep Cove and onwards to Wigwam Inn. Once you are deep in the inlet, many of the houses and cabins that dot the coastline are water access only and there are a number of awesome remote campgrounds and waterfalls. So pristine and peaceful and spectacular. Many people kayak in - it takes about 4 hours or so if the currents are being cooperative. There are places in Deep Cove (like Deep Cove Kayak) that can gear you out with everything you could need for a day, or a weekend on the water.

Once you reconcile with the fact that you have to wear those horribly unflattering full body flotation suits and settle in, it is super fun. The water was pretty calm, so there were no problems with the rocking and the nausea that I normally get on the water. I wish I could have driven the boat, but i didn't even ask. I love driving Zodiacs - it reminds me of the 4 months I spent living & working in the Caribbean. So much fun! I like going faaaaaasssssst on those suckers. I miss it :(

We saw quite a bit of wildlife - mainly seals. Tons of seals. Quite a few momma and baby seals who fled from us as soon as we got to close. Except for the ones in the photo above. They were quite comfortable around the boat, until we got too close..... then they scampered off. Also around Stanley Park there were salmon jumping out of the water. I have never seen anything like it. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see one of them. Cool eh? I wish one of the little buggers had jumped in the boat.... and then into our bellies! Sadly, you are not allowed to fish in that particular section of water......

We went right by the very active BC Hydro Power Station. Apparently this is a jellyfish hotspot in BC. Who would have known? It was amazing. Thousands and thousands of the little buggers. Regular ones and the ones that look kinda like blood clots. Creepy and fantastic. According to the naturalist on board with us, they are attracted to the Hydro Station. Something about the fresh water, salt water blending together and making them crazy. Very cool to see.

I would like to take credit for these photos, but sadly I only had mu i-phone with me and it doesn't take quite as good shots as my friend Robin's camera. She is the talent behind these snaps! I love these two with the sun setting and the cloud formations over the bridge. So pretty right?

Vancouver Fastboat Adventures is super fun. It is a great way for visitors and locals alike to see the city from a completely different perspective. many people who visit Vancity have no idea that something as amazing as Indian Arm is so close! And I am sure that tons of locals like me had no idea that it was sooooo pretty up there.
If you get a chance, head out on the water with Vancouver Fastboat Adventures. Lots of fun!


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