Saturday, May 10, 2008

Trip to Canada -- Ferry ride to Vancouver Island

The next day we took the ferry to Vancouver Island. These ferries are not like the small boats we have around the Gulf Coast -- these are ships! They have multiple decks for vehicles and two for people. The windows all the way across the ferry in the picture are Deck 5, the lower of the "people decks".

This is a picture of one of the British Columbia (BC) ferries entering "the pass".

The pass is a narrow straight with a lot of shoals that ships pass through between the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. On both ends of the pass are tight headlands where ships have to turn into and out of the pass to get through.

The portions of our vacation where we were out on the water, were where we saw the most birds. Unfortun- ately, the movement, distance and bright reflections off of the water (even with a polarized filter) were less than ideal conditions for getting good shots. Here is a picture of a juvenile Bald Eagle flying across the pass. I included the entire shot to show the majesty of the scene, and a somewhat blurry close-up of the bird.

We saw several smaller birds, that were difficult to identify (even once the photos had been enlarged!). These birds are probably Pigeon Guillemots (I'll have better shots of them later on).

Another -- less than fabulous shot is a new addition to our life list -- the Common Loon.

Of course we saw lots of seagulls. While we were told that there were 17 different species of Gulls in the area, I was only able to identify two: Glaucous Gulls and Thayer's Gull. I am fairly certain this juvenile gull is a Thayer's. This is probably one of the best bird shots of the trip! Below is a series of shots of an adult Thayer's flying by.

Trip to Canada - Vancouver

We've been home from our trip for about a week. We were both sick when we returned (though thankfully not during the trip!), so it's taken us a while to get around to posting the pictures!

We spent our first day in Vancouver and did almost nothing! We stayed in the hotel and Marc fed seagulls from the hotel room!

We did stay in some pretty nice and architecturally interesting hotels on our trip. The Vancouver Fairmont hotel had some nice Gargoyles on the corner of the building opposite of our room.

So as I said, we were pretty lazy the first day (it was a vacation, ok?). These are the only two pictures I took (I know Marc got more). I promise more pictures to come.