Vancouver Island

Photographer
Ricky Forbes

Vancouver Island

This is a place where dreams start. Imagine a destination where you can hike through ancient rainforests by morning, surf the shores by afternoon and enjoy cuisine and culture by night. Canada's most westerly of destinations can make you feel like you’re not in Canada anymore. You’ll know you’re on Vancouver Island the minute you arrive. Your shoulder relax, your pace slows and you get into Island time.  The possibilities here on one of the world's most Zen-full islands will change you. Welcome to Canada's west coast.  

Victoria is Vancouver Island’s major city and is found on the southern tip. You can get here by float plane, commercial jet or take a leisure sail with BC Ferries into a basecamps, including Nanaimo and Comox. These communities, each with their own experiences, are all along the east coast of the island.  Heading west or north, is when you leave many urban conveniences behind and head into places that will rejuvenate, challenge and teach you new experiences you can’t find anywhere else.

 

Province
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    "This," said Jessie the guide "is your holy crap strap. If you go over, pull it!" That all-important strap was stitched to the front of the spray-skirt, which would shortly be attached to my kayak – a kayak soon to be launched into heavy seas just off the shores of Vancouver Island.

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    There's something magical about waterfalls. From hearing roaring water from a distance to up close and personal, each waterfall is wonderfully unique. They intrigue us, inspire us, and are one of nature's greatest beauties.

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    I am a professional storm chaser.

    Yes, you read that correctly. 

    Yes, my mother does have a few choice words about this career path.

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    With fishing lines dipping into the glassy ocean, we sat and waited. Boredom brought the lines up from the depths to check the bait that would slip back into the abyss with our hopes firmly attached to the lures. Then we drift some more with the only sound of the trolling engine pushing us on a meandering course.

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    Moss won’t gather and roots wont grow under the feet of Nancy Shields. Just following her on Instagram (@nochancenanc) shows she is constantly trekking with a camera dangling from her neck.

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    Growing up on the St. Lawrence River, gave Liz Fleming the opportunity to dip the paddle into the river on many occasions. “My dad and I would silently slip the kayaks into the marshes and weeds to sneak up on the wildlife.

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    “It feels like candy in my pocket,” Deanna Brett said with childlike enthusiasm as she tucked away another piece of turquoise sea glass from the tumbling surf at our feet.

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    If you’re comfortable with being in tight spaces, then take a tour beneath the surface of the Earth for what is one of the coolest experiences you’ll ever have.