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19-10-2008, 09:05 PM #1
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There’s Darth Vader playing the violin – Day 8: Prince Rupert
Today was a day of excursions in and around Prince Rupert. I was up at 8:30 and by 9:00 we were in Tim Horton’s having a breakfast of toasted bagels and hot chocolate. Tim Horton’s is a chain of fast food restaurants across Canada serving everything from bagels to sandwiches to chilli but they are most famous for their doughnuts. If you are ever in Canada and find yourself in a Tim Horton’s I can recommend their double chocolate doughnuts or, if you are looking for breakfast, a toasted bagel with strawberry cream cheese.
We were on the coach and away by 10:00 and our first stop was the North Pacific salmon cannery on the Skeena River in Port Edward. There used to be a number of salmon canneries in this area from the late 1800’s and North Pacific was the last to close in 1964. It is now a tourist attraction offering guided tours explaining how the salmon used to be canned, first by hand and later by machines. The machinery is now restored to working order and a number of us commented on the fact that it would be a health and safety nightmare these days considering the number of unguarded belts, chains and blades there were on it. We had a stroll around the boardwalks looking at the buildings where the workers used to live, the office where the manager used to work and the little store where the workers used to do their weekly shop. The tour ended with a half hour monologue/play called “The Skeena River Story” where the girl who had been showing us around played a number of people that used to work at and operate the cannery.
From the cannery we returned to Prince Rupert where there was time for a quick wander round before our afternoon optional excursion. I didn’t want to have any lunch because the afternoon was to be spent on a flightseeing tour in a small plane and I didn’t want to be reunited with what I had just eaten!
We were back on the coach at 2:30 for the short journey to the seaplane base at Seal Cove. There were 15 of us doing the flight and it had originally been intended that we would go in 2 groups of 5 and one group of 10. The first group of 5 went up followed fairly soon after by the second group of 5. We were then told that the 10 seater plane had been delayed and so we ended up having to wait for the first group to return from their one hour flight before we could go up.
Once the first plane had been re-fuelled the pilot asked if anybody wanted to sit up front and having waited a respectful amount of time with nobody stepping forward I replied “I would” and clambered in. As you can see it is quite a small plane and they are not the easiest of things to get into.
Once the pilot had done his checks we taxied out and were soon up in the air for what is probably the best flight I have ever had. I had my video camera running for the whole hour leaving Dad to take the stills photos and I think he got some real stunners.
The last picture is of a massive 2,400 passenger cruise ship that was in Prince Rupert for the day.
All too soon we were coming in to land and we were both quite surprised at how smooth the landing was considering it was on water. We had another short wait for the final group of 5 to come in and when they did get back they told us how the carburettor had iced up on their plane and the engine had stopped in mid-air! Luckily the pilot had managed to get it going again without any trouble but I was certainly glad we had not been on that plane.
We returned to the hotel and then went for a short walk before returning to Tim Horton’s for a bowl of chilli and a coke each. After dinner we went back to the room to relax for a while before going to bed at 9:30.
Tomorrow: On the road again
Last edited by wickesy; 19-10-2008 at 09:20 PM.David
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