“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
The first time I ever saw a float plane (besides in the movies) was when I arrived in British Columbia. What a spectacular way to travel! Besides getting you to your destination in a fraction of the time it would take you if you travelled by ferry – the views, on a clear day especially, are breathtaking.
It is a wonderful experience to take off in Nanaimo Boat Basin, and sweep over the islands with the rocks and red lighthouses and log-strewn shores. You always see the ferries, other ships and sailboats below you, carving their way through the waters. You race with seagulls and marvel at the myriad colours that are the currents of the Georgia Strait. The panorama of the approaching Mainland with the majestic snow-capped Coastal Mountains; the archipelago of islets; the expanse of water and the silhouette of Vancouver are dazzlingly beautiful. And suddenly you are there … swooping in over Stanley Park, with the marvel that is Lion’s Gate Bridge to a gentle landing in front of Canada Place with the bustling waterfront and the city a few steps away.
The planes are fairly small, some are pretty old, and if you can ignore the roar of the engines, you breathe a sigh of relief that there is a warning sign on the pilot’s dash that says: “Acrobatic manoeuvres, including spins, not approved.”