Canada
James Bay

Here you’ll find travel reports about James Bay. Discover travel destinations in Canada of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

61 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Vancouver Island

    September 5 in Canada

    Heute war ein Reisetag. Von Whistler zurück Richtung Vancouver. 2 Stunden mit der Autofähre (halbes Kreuzfahrtschiff) nach Nanaimo und dann Richtung Süden nach Victoria. Mal schauen was mich Morgen erwartet in der Hauptstadt von British Columbia....

  • Day6

    Victoria

    September 6 in Canada

    Vielen Dank Kudi und Gabi für den Tip. War auch meine erste Idee. Aber ich habe mich dann für ein gemütlich Tag entschieden und mich von einem Guide auf dem Velo 3 Stunden herumfahren lassen. So habe ich sehr viel Erfahren und gesehen. Und noch wichtiger für mich, ich muss Englisch reden. Mit den Walen hätte ich nicht reden können. Und ich war schon mal auf whale watching. Ich musste mich aber so konzentrieren um alles zu verstehen dass ich keine Fotos machte.....Read more

  • Day35

    Thumbs Up!

    August 2, 2017 in Canada

    After sleeping on my urge to see more Orcas (was I being greedy?) I more or less leapt out of my bunk and went downstairs to the front desk to enquire. All the hostels are generally exceedingly helpful, booking tours etc for you on request and generally getting at least 15% discounts. They found me a spot on a tour with 'Prince of Whales' on an RIB with only 11 other passengers. I couldn't help feeling I was gonna need a bigger boat. Jokes aside it was relayed to us in San Juan that there had been no recorded attacks on humans by Orcas in the wild. All known attacks have occurred in captivity. Sends a pretty clear message don't you think?

    Again, being my cheeky self I snagged the front seat on the boat along with Father and young daughter - Dave and Adelaide. They were such good company. Due to the noise of the waves when at speed our tour guide, Ric, asked us to give him the occasional thumbs up just so he knew we were doing ok and weren't getting motion sick. If things weren't going so well we had to give him a thumbs down on top of our head. Little Adelaide didn't fully understand so I told her that by giving Ric the occasional thumbs up he would know we were having a good time and that would make him happy. She got this and every few minutes would turn around to her Dad and I and say 'Thumbs up?!' . If my explanation was accurate I'm sure we made Ric a very happy tour guide!

    The ride on the RIB was a thrill in itself bouncing across the water at high speed. I'm sorry I forgot to ask how fast! Regardless, it was a bit like a rollercoaster. Thankfully the water itself was very smooth so no motion sickness experienced. The eery part of the tour was the effect the nearby forest fires were having on the visibility. Once we were less than half a km from the shore it disappeared and we were surrounded by a thick smog watching only grey still waters waiting for a dorsal fin to emerge. We were incredibly fortunate to find a pod of transient Orcas which we happily watched dive and resurface for over half an hour. Nothing can quite describe the fear and excitement that comes with waiting for whales to resurface. There's always that mixed feeling of hope and fear that they will resurface right next to the boat. It's definitely a new natural high I hope to experience again some day. I'm grateful to the friends and family who persuaded me to take this second tour. 'Carpe Diem' as my friend Jon rightly said to me. Whilst a little greedy it's not exactly something I'll get to do again anytime soon!

    A couple of interesting whale facts for you. Orcas do not sleep. They rest one side of the brain, leaving the other side active (along with the corresponding eye) and rest on the fin similar to how Albatross 'sleep' on the wing. Orcas will also prey upon humpack calves despite adult humpbacks being far bigger in size. As a result, humpback whales communicate in whispers so as not to be heard by their predators.

    Whilst we waited for the lone humpback to surface in another part of the Salish Sea, Ric told us she had been known to swim on her back and wrap her massive fins around the boat and simply hug it for a short while. I still don't know if he was having us on but needless to say it increased the fear and excitement somewhat!

    After watching the graceful but shy humpback for a short while we raced across the sea to a beautifully picturesque lighthouse at which a small colony of sealions were resident. Believe it or not these had migrated from San Francisco to fatten up leaving the girls behind - bit of a lads holiday if you ask me. They certainly looked like they'd been having a good time and were lolling around as if they were nursing bad hangovers.

    On return from the tour I had a couple of hours to enjoy the town before heading to catch my coach/ferry to Vancouver. Victoria is an interesting place. It was named after our own British monarch and it tries very hard to emanate everything about a quintessential British town serving high tea at the harbourfront hotel for example. Several people had told me I had to see Butchart Gardens which was a short bus ride from the town. The pictures did look beautiful. However on speaking to another tour operator she looked at me and said quite frankly 'You're from England aren't ya? You don't need to go there. I'm sure you've seen plenty of English gardens!'. She's right of course and I hadn't yet seen plenty of whales!

    The journey to Vancouver was stunning travelling down through further islands at sunset. Another Orca pod was even spotted but sadly I was in the wrong place! I can't complain though.

    Since travelling alone I've been taken aback by the sheer kindness of strangers. Aside from the friends I've already mentioned I got chatting to a chap on the ferry from Vancouver who had just been to the Island to source student accommodation for his son. I told him a bit about my trip and he made some recommendations for Vancouver. It transpired that there was a massive fireworks display occurring tonight and thankfully Jericho Beach (where my hostel was located) would be one of the best places to view them. As he left to relocate his family he came back and asked if they could give me a lift as they lived close to the hostel. Of course I wouldn't have accepted but I'm certain the offer was kind and sincere. Similarly when I wandered down to the beach that evening to catch the fireworks I got chatting to some more locals who offered to show me around the city the following day and invited me to dinner. Again, I thanked them but opted to play safe. You have to when traveling alone really but it does show the slightly sad state of the world we live in when we are forced to second guess the kindness of strangers.

    I can't lie, the hostel itself was a bit of a disappointment. Despite the great location there was no amenities to speak of and the vending machines inside all empty. It's a good job there was a free food shelf in the kitchen where I managed to snaffle some hummus to go with my tortillas! I believe it's an old military barracks so it had quite a stark feel about it too. Still, I had my own room with comfy double bed so shouldn't moan.

    The fireworks were nothing short of spectacular. Apparently they were part of a competition hence the added WOW factor. Someone on the beach had tuned into the accompanying music from across the water. There seemed something a little sombre about the music with tracks such as Coldplay' s 'Fix You' and Harry Styles 'Sign of the Times'. I wasn't sure if it was referring to the forest fires but even so it was comforting to hear a little piece of home. The lads I met joked that the fireworks display was my own personal welcome to the city. Let's pretend it was shall we?
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  • Day30

    BTW... what a walk!

    May 23 in Canada

    I thought the writing was all done, but with feet screaming, GIVE ME A BREAK, the other side of Victoria’s harbour beckoned.

    With no clouds in the sky and the sun just touching the horizon I set off another discovery walk. Hopefully the pics give you a hint of the two hours of enjoyment and peace. (12500 steps for those interested!)

    Revealed were... Wonderful views, magnificent reflections, seals, geese, people exercising, sea planes taking off, a myriads of boats in marinas, floating homes... and that was all with the perfect stillness of dawn.

    There is a clarity in the light of the far north that grabs the photographer inside me and says, “shoot me”. The clarity is majestic, inspiring and refreshing.

    The blessing of the walk is beyond words. But I know my feet will appreciate the long Pacific flight ahead.

    Bon voyage northern hemisphere... We will see you again!
    Read more

  • Day1

    Victoria

    August 19, 2017 in Canada

    Although we love Seattle, our visit to the city was short lived. We boarded the 9am ferry for a 2.5 hour trip to Victoria. The entire journey was really scenic: lots of green islands lining the Puget Sound, the snow-capped mountains of the Olympic National Park in the backdrop, and the bigger waves in the Strait of Juan de Fuca crossing into Canada, all under blue skies and sunshine.

    We arrived in beautiful Victoria and met Johanna's sister, Ludia, and her boyfriend, Tim, who had arrived the night before. We explored the downtown area and grabbed a bite to eat before heading to Fisherman's Wharf for a kayak trip in the harbor.

    It was seal pupping season so we were hoping to see some baby seals but unfortunately the wind had picked up at the beginning of our trip and we didn't make it to the pupping area. While we did see a few seals, it wasn't quite as exciting as we had hoped.

    For dinner, we found a highly rated burrito/taco joint that didn't disappoint. It was the first time for half of the party to try a burrito and it probably won't be their last. We capped off the night with a few cocktails at a lively bar.
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  • Day31

    All aboard for Victoria, BC

    September 1, 2017 in Canada

    Today, we regrettably left Whistler, with a promise to return when the White stuff is plentiful.

    We needed to scoot back towards Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay for our ferry to the capital city of British Colombia, Victoria, located on Vancouver Island.

    On the way, we had a few very nice stops for some hikes and waterfall views. We caught Paul napping on therailway tracks, and just couldn't resist. Was ok, his insurance is paid up.

    The ferry was a pleasant 100 minutes or so, in glorious sunshine. We saw a whale being here by a whale watching boats, before it disappeared.

    Arriving at Departure Bay at Nanaimo, we had to drive the 100 km to Victoria to catch our hosts for ourapartment for a few days...

    The apartment was brilliantly located, one one of four. We got The African Suite, which was large and lovely, and does, decorated fitting with the name. We also had access to industrial washing machines! Luxury!!!

    On recommendation of our host, we tried a local restaurant, called The Heron Bistro. Delightful! I had the best piece of Sockeye Salmon, truly perfectly cooked and delicious. I paired that with an apple cider that was enormous! Felt no pain!
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  • Day4

    Butchart Gardens

    August 12, 2016 in Canada

    What a beautiful place. We had a short bus trip out to this ex quarry site. Apparently the wife if the owner did not like the scar left on the landscape and decided to make it into the outstanding garden it is today. What a visionary! The gardens have a sunken area, Japanese area, open area, rose area. All so beautiful.Read more

  • Day9

    Victoria Parlament

    August 18, 2017 in Canada

    Um 11 Uhr mussten wir aus dem Hostel auschecken, konnten unser Gepäck aber da einschließen. Mit unserem nächsten Host Forest waren wir erst um 19 Uhr verabredet, also wollten wir uns noch das Parlament ansehen. Nach flughafenähnlicher Sicherheitskontrolle ist im Inneren auch einiges zu sehen, besonders die Architektur ist beeindruckend.
    Zum Mittagessen besorgen wir uns Fish & Chips auf der Fishermans Wharf, die gerüchteweise die besten außerhalb Englands sein sollen.. der Fish war auch wirklich super, die Chips noch gut, die Soße hst man schon besser gesehen.
    Mit dem Bus fahren wir dann zu unserem Treffpunkt mit Forest, der gerade aus einem 2-Wochen Europa Urlaub zurück kommt und sich erstmal eine Stunde verspätet. Als wir seinen völlig verbeulten und bis oben hin mit Geräten vollgestopften Truck sehen dämmert uns langsam was das für ein Abenteuer wird. Noch deutlicher wird es als wir bei ihm sind. Er wohnt auf einer Lichtung im Wald in einem tiny-house bzw. im Zelt und hat weder fließendes Wasser, noch eine Küche, Klo und natürlich auch kein Internet. Das war so nicht erwartet und wir sind erstmal geschockt. Gekocht wird auf dem Lagerfeuer, das zumindest hat er echt drauf, das Essen ist super.
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  • Day8

    Whale watching

    August 17, 2017 in Canada

    Dezente Seekrankheit trübte mein Vergnügen etwas, aber allein die Fahrt mit dem Zodiac
    machte das schon wieder wett. Was für ein Spaß, mit gefühlten 80 Sachen und spritzender Gischt über den plötzlich sehr holprigen Ozean zu fliegen.. Zum Glück hatten wir Schutzanzüge an und blieben halbwegs trocken. Als dann direkt neben uns noch zwei Buckelwale auftauchen schnell die Kameras unter der Jacke rausfummeln und warten bis sie tauchen. Ein Stück weiter war dann auch noch eine Gruppe Orcas beim Spielen. Unser Guide John hält auf dem Rückweg noch kurz an um uns riesigen Seetang zu zeigen, Ottermamas binden ihre Babys daran fest wenn sie Futter suchen müssen, damit die nicht abhanden kommen, quasi eine Baby-Otter-Leine.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

James Bay

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