Victoria B.C.’s Fisherman’s wharf

Cute place, but you get the feeling they developed it mostly because tourists kept asking, “where is the fisherman’s wharf.” Not worth making a special trip to unless you’ve got ample time, there’s better seafood joints elsewhere.


I’d heard that Victoria had a fisherman’s wharf, but I didn’t really bother about going there till after I had already taken two different bus tours, both or which had pointed it out as a place to go.

To put it bluntly, it was inconveniently far from a walking point of view. Looking at the map below, you can see where the wharf is relative to my Airbnb apartment, which is in Chinatown, ( or about two blocks north of the bridge). Now, considering that it takes me about 20 minutes to walk from my digs to the legislature building, that adds up to the wharf being almost a full hours walking distance, or, to far to not take some sort of transportation — which I’ve been avoiding. (Let me just note that keeping my car in the garage and relying mostly on my feet to get around, combined with a diet that in majority has consisted of steamed or grilled fish, has resulted in me going down one pants size in two weeks!) However, after my second bus tour had dropped me off in front of the Empress Hotel at about 3:45, and I was tired, and cabs line up at the Empress; I decided it was too early to go home, so I grabbed a cab and paid about $8 (Canadian = $6.96 US after the 3% foreign transaction fee) for ride over there. (Granted, from there it was a walk-able distance, but like I said I was already tuckered out.)


As fisherman wharfs go, this one is kind of tiny. To it’s credit, is an actual fisherman’s wharf, in that fisherman still dock their boats there and locals can buy fresh catches from them, specifically Dungeness Crab, which is slightly ironic as I’ve only seen this sort of crab sold in one restaurant the whole time I’ve been here (a Chinese place).


But to get to where these boats are you’ll have to negotiate past all the tourist trap shops, which sell food, rent canoes, and offer whale watching tours; well that, or enter the wharf from a walkway at the far end, i.e., no where near the parking lot.




Just past all the business are a large collection of houseboats, which kind of confused me. Having lived in the San Francisco area for many years I was more than familiar with houseboats, I even have a few friends and acquaintances who live on them… and the think is that usually houseboats are not cheek to jowl with tourist areas, for obvious reasons. So on one hand while I felt kind of sorry for the folks living in these ones (practically every house was decorated with ‘PRIVATE’ and “Trespassers will be Eaten” signs, and the like) the fact is they knowingly signed up for the invasion of their privacy… which makes me wonder if the city of Victoria (or the wharf) doesn’t offer some sort of economic incentives to keep them moored there.


Once upon a time I lived in an apartment whose living room balcony opened up to canals, so that we had a gorgeous view of sailboat from our living room, and a multi-million dollar estate just across the way (complete with a yacht that could house more people than our apartment building). So I could totally get into living on a houseboat moored next to sailboats, but I’m not sure I’d be as sanguine about being able to watch airplanes take off and land from my living room window.


On the upside, this wharf meets my current culinary restrictions, as I can easily find seafood that is either raw, or cooked with the bare minimum of oil (I have a fatty liver and borderline diabetes, so it’s no longer about vanity dieting).

For my late lunch (4pm) I had three buck-a-shuck oysters and a cup of a cream free halibut chowder, which had an Indian curry flavor to it, which was ok but didn’t have much halibut in it and wasn’t anything to get excited about

On the way back I grabbed one of the water taxis, which actually turned out to be cheaper than a normal one, but quite a bit (as a single traveler, $4.64 US for twice the distance, but I was able to use my Discover card so no 3% hit); although, since they charge per person I can see how a normal taxi would be cheaper if I were traveling in a group. Of course it had the added advantage of seeing the harbor from a different vantage point.



Canadian Women’s Ride Day, Cobble Hill B.C.

The ladies of “west coast roar“(a store for women’s motorcycle apparel), via their non-profit called ‘Canadian Women’s Ride day (CWRD)’, hold their 4Th annual fund raiser rally in benefit of a local women’s cooperative and shelter called “Women in Need“.


Held annually on the third Sunday in July, the Canadian Women’s Ride Day is a women only event that brings together local women who love riding motorcycles to share their passion, make new friends, and promote safe driving… as well as raise some money for local women’s charities.

As part of the fundraiser there was a blind auction for donated prizes, such as this guitar which was signed by Jann Arden who Louise said is a well known Canadian musician (her biggest hit “Insensitive” was released in 1994, and sounded vaguely familiar).


While men weren’t allowed on the ride, there were a large number of them who had come along with, and were just hanging around, listening to the live music and eating the free food.

One of the cutest participants was this little dog.

World’s cutest motorcycle riding dog (who seems to understand posing for pictures)… She even has her own helmet and goggles

Maybe it was just me, but even the clouds seemed to be participating in the event… is it just me or does this cloud pattern look decidedly feminine

(see the breasts at the top, then the belly button and the backside… before I got my camera out the clouds had shifted a bit… before this shot they looked more like a labia )


The reason I was here (since I don’t ride): My friend Louise, contacted me a few days ago to tell me about this event that she was going to be volunteering for, as well as hosting a woman who was riding in it. Louise and I share an office in Seoul, South Korea, two years ago when we were both professors at Kyung Hee University’s Business school. Coming to visit her and her home town (that she used to tell me about) is what drew me to Vancouver Island.

Louise, helping to serve free food to the hungry riders, and their boyfriends and husbands

There was also a guest speaker, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who is the first woman to serve in the post.


Here she is talking to my friend Louise.