I Like Your Office!

Canada #6 Butchart Gardens Boat Tour

Meet Mark.

Four years ago, he moved to Vancouver Island for a break from his demanding city job. Smiling broadly as he welcomes us, Mark says “I came for a year and never left.” These days he comes to work at Tod Inlet, where his office is a little electric-powered boat.

Mark takes visitors on guided tours from Butchart Cove past Gowlland Tod Provincial Park to the edge of Brentwood Bay. The inlet, sheltered by dense stands of arbutus, garry oaks and douglas firs, is a haven for wildlife and with Mark’s expertise to guide us we see plenty.

An inquisitive seal surfaces for a just a few minutes and watches us watching him, before disappearing again. Egg yolk jellyfish and moon jellyfish drift silently by, going where the current takes them. High above, a bald eagle surveys the scene as if he rules this part of the world.

Mark talks about the Butchart family and fondly describes them as “people of vision and values”. The remnants of their cement factory are almost hidden in the forest, but in the water old timber pilings remain. They’ve been repurposed – bird boxes placed on top house the growing population of purple martins who migrate from Brazil each summer.

We cruise a little further, rounding the bend into Brentwood Bay. Here we see beautiful homes on the hills and can only imagine living every day with a view as amazing as this. Mark turns the boat and idles for a while, pointing across the water to the mountains in the distance. “This is true BC scenery,” he says and we can hear in his words his passion for this place.

We’re sorry when our 45 minute tour comes to an end and, before we return up the hill to the busyness of Butchart Gardens, we linger on the jetty. Like Mark, we would love to stay much longer.

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32 thoughts on “I Like Your Office!

  1. Bateman’s Bay? I had a double take there. Don’t you mean Brentwood Bay? We didn’t go out on the boat, but we crossed water lots of times on and around Vancouver Island. The scenery is amazing and the wildlife fascinating. You saw a lot on your little trip.

  2. The old pilings have quite a sculptural look about them and I’m interested in the numberings on the bird boxes. Do you know the significance of those?

    • I don’t know about the numbers but I wonder if it’s a way of tracking the birds’ migratory patterns. They return to the same area every year. I know Mark said there had been a lot of work to ensure the birds’ survival and to encourage them to continue to migrate.

  3. Oh my! How glorious! My favorite photos is the one of the lush thick forest and the water almost the same color and shade of green. So gorgeous. And of course the seal!! Always a delight to see wildlife in its natural habitat.

    Peta

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