Victoria is a beautiful west coast city on Vancouver Island and the provincial capital of British Columbia and best of all it is easily accessible by boat.
We left the San Juan Islands early on March 8th and travelled with the current through Haro Strait arriving about 5 hours later after passing Trial Island and into Victoria. Unfortunately no sailing for us as there was very little wind in the strait all the way. Our first stop prior to entering the inner harbour of Victoria was to check in with Canadian Customs near the Coast Hotel. Checking in with customs was relatively easily; Rob used the phone on the dock for check-in purposes and within 20 minutes we were cleared and allowed to enter Canada!
We decided to spend a couple of nights in Victoria and arranged to stay at Causeway docks, managed by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and also located right in front of the Empress Hotel. What a beautiful view and to make things even better, we decided to stay our first night at the Empress Hotel as a treat!
The Victoria harbour is literally on the doorstep of the city centre, with many attractions and stores within a short walking distance but… for some reasons the chandlers are not near the harbour. This requires a taxi ride or a 45-minute walk one way. We went over to Trotac Marine to get some things for the boat including charts for our trip over to Sooke Harbour.
We’ve been to Victoria many times by vehicle and knew where most of the shops where and quickly found what we needed for the boat, but we also found a few places we didn’t know about. Our favourite being an Irish bar not too far from the marina, called the Irish Times Pub. They served very good Irish stew on cold, rainy nights and great Guinness beer!
While at the marina, we also discovered another Westsail 32 on one of the other fingers of the Causeway docks. We were invited over for some wine and snacks, and of course to trade ideas on any of the changes we’ve made that we liked on our boats.
We ended up staying four days in Victoria before heading over to Sooke. The weather was typical west coast weather for March with high winds and rain for the next few days before we had an open window to be able to travel down to Sooke. ~Sophia & Rob