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Victoria, B.C. | Gorge Waterway and Fisherman’s Wharf

The other day Kevin and I decided to take the dinghy out to explore the Gorge. The Gorge Waterway is a narrow tidal inlet that connects Victoria Harbour to Portage Inlet. Here’s what it looks like on the chart (with the yellow line being our cruise from Causeway Floats, up and back about 7.2 nautical miles):

From Victoria’s Inner Harbour the scenery changes from city, to industrial, to urban nature park. The speed limit is 5 knots, so we just puttered up about 3.5 miles and then back. It was a beautiful day for it!

As we returned to the Inner Harbour, the bridge was up to let a big tug and barge through.

This handsome vessel was docked nearby and we got a good look at her from the dinghy. Launched in 1930 as “The Chieftain” (she’s now called the St. Eval), she spent 60 years operating under the British flag escorting British warships during WWII. In 1992, she was purchased by Dennis Washington, and after extensive renovation (including a hot tub on the top deck with wood that matches the pilothouse perfectly!) she now operates as a personal pleasure yacht and is based here in Victoria.

Evening light on The Empress:

On Friday, Kevin flew to NY to cover the World Maker Faire for EE Journal, and I stayed with Airship to hold down the fort.

This morning I walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf along the David Foster Harbour Pathway, which winds along the waterfront of the Inner Harbour.

Fisherman’s Wharf is about a mile walk from Causeway Floats, and it was a perfect, quiet Sunday morning for a walk. I left Airship around 10:30am, thinking I might have a late breakfast/early lunch at one of the little floating restaurants in the wharf.

After reading several reviews I settled on the Floating Fish Store. I ordered one halibut taco and six Kusshi oysters with a cucumber jalapeño mignonette. It was all fantastic! So fantastic, in fact, that I brought a dozen Kusshis back to the boat, along with a sockeye salmon rice wrap and a cup of salmon chowder to have for dinner tonight.

View from my brunch
Halibut taco and Kusshi oysters from the Floating Fish House

(What I didn’t realize when I left the dock is that I’d be missing the very last Water Taxi Water Ballet of the summer, that took place RIGHT BEHIND WHERE WE’RE DOCKED! How did I not know this was going on? So disappointing!)

As I made my way back along the waterfront trail, once I could see Airship and the Empress Hotel, I could also see there were multiple fire engines with their lights flashing up on Government Street (between the Causeway Floats and the Empress Hotel). The fire engines had ladders up, but I couldn’t tell what was going on. I didn’t see smoke, so that was a good sign!

As I got closer, I could see an enormous Canadian flag hanging from two of the ladders, and as I returned to Airship, I watched as the firemen raised the ladders on two more fire trucks, and then spread an equally large British Columbian flag from those.

I decided to take a walk down to the art supply store near Chinatown (Opus Art Supply, if you’re interested…very well-stocked art supply store!), and on the way, check out what was going on up top! Turns out it was a British Columbia Law Enforcement Memorial. The street was closed off and there were all types of law enforcement and military, along with some really good bagpipers (unlike that one guy).

They paraded down Government Street and over to the front lawn of the Parliament buildings where they assembled for the memorial (complete with rifle fire and trumpets and more bagpipes).

I can say that being docked downtown is most definitely not boring!