See that picture of the float plane coming in for a landing in Vancouver Harbour? That’s what I see from my downtown office window. I’m not kidding. I see the mountains, the water, helicopters landing and taking off, tug boats, cruise ships, freighters. This harbour is a very busy place.
After admiring the float planes landing and taking off over the past year, I finally got an opportunity to book a flight on one of them. It wasn’t because I wanted a beautiful, scenic trip to the Island, it just happened to be the only way I could get myself to Victoria early enough to be able to spend the day there and still get to Calgary that evening.
As I said, time was tight. I loaded my briefcase with plenty of work. No time to lose, you know. I’m one of those business travelers who gets half a days’ work done just waiting for the next flight.
Well, that’s how I started out anyway. But then something happened. I think it struck me when I got a good look at the tiny little single propeller plane on pontoons, secured to the dock by two massive ropes. The plane and the floating sidewalk I was on were rocking gently in the wake of a large ship. As I ducked into the plane and found my seat, the awesomeness of the experience I was about to have really hit home. With my nose glued to the window, we taxied over the water, picked up speed, and then took off. I couldn’t open my notebook. Work was very far away.
If you think the islands off British Columbia’s coast are beautiful by sea, you should see them from the air in a low-flying plane. I could see the changing depths of the sea and sometimes I could see striations in the rock as it protruded to form tiny isles.
For the entire 35-minute flight, my eyes were glued to the passing scenery below. My only thoughts were of how lucky I am and how beautiful this place is. My career has taken me all over Canada — I’ve lived and worked in a number of cities, from the eastern-most parts of Atlantic Canada, and now to the western-most shores. I still can’t believe I get to live in such a beautiful area and maintain career momentum. Stress just took a holiday.