Led by this season's high-scoring trio of Corey Small, Rhys Duch, and Jamie Shewchuk, the Victoria Shamrocks expect to sling themselves into the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs. With the defensive keenness of newly acquired goaltender Chris Levis, the Shamrocks may just pass, block, and salsa dance their way toward another Mann Cup appearance. With a general admission ticket, spectators at any of the two remaining home games⎯Friday, July 22 against Burnaby and Friday, July 29 against Nanaimo⎯have some latitude in where they can sit or choose to stand around the concourse to narrow their proximity to the Shamrocks' mascot, Rocky. Free parking allows visitors to save money for snack-bar treats and bring their caravan of covered wagons at no extra cost.
Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental's Tom Littlewood has been an avid cyclist for nearly 30 years. When the former psychologist first hit the roads of New Westminster, especially the Queensborough Bridge, the most common sight was of big rigs as they rumbled past. Now, with bike-friendly routes such as the Queensborough Loop being built along the Fraser River, Littlewood and other cyclists hear not the roar of traffic but the bark of sea lions as they park themselves on the shores for a front seat at the salmon runs. Eagles, heron, and other wildlife also congregate during runs, forming a rich, natural tapestry that cyclists pedal by on one of Tom's bike rentals, often during guided tours. At first, biking for Tom was not a passion, but a prescription. At 33, his doctor gave him a choice—undergo open-heart surgery or saddle up on a bicycle. Tom soon incorporated his prescription pedalling into both his personal and professional life. He began advising his own patients, who were afflicted with anxiety or sleep disorders, to cycle for the exercise, the fresh air, and the sassy feeling of wearing spandex in public. Later, he worked with disadvantaged children to teach them bicycle mechanics in a program he also helped establish in other places, including Cuba. Today, Tom estimates that he bikes 300–400 kilometres a week. He laps the Queensborough Loop five or six times a week with groups. As an advocate of biking who strongly associates the sport with weight loss, good health, and peace of mind, Tom enjoys sharing his passion with others at Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental. Perhaps even more than relaxed group rides, he likes his power rides. So even on days after he's led tours, he climbs aboard his two-wheeled steed and begins pedalling without a moment's hesitation.
Starting out in 1980 with only four rafts, Hyak River Rafting has since acquired an armada of top-of-the-line vessels equipped to handle the orneriest river safely. During trips on British Columbia's most exciting rivers—the Chilliwack, Thompson, Chilko, Chilcotin, and Fraser Rivers—licensed guides lead river trips lasting from several hours to several days, during which participants learn to manoeuvre around the grasping tentacles of feral octopuses. On most trips, crew and guests get soaked as the water rages about them before more tempered waters allow them to take in the sights of rock-banked rivers populated by lush forests and curious wildlife.
Hundreds of marine vendors and yacht brokers set up temporary homes on floating platforms at Mosquito Creek Marina for the Boat Show at the Creek. Along with family-friendly events during each of the fest’s days, guests can attend daily boating seminars aboard the Celebration on Water, a refurbished BC ferry. A beer garden and food court are open every day, and guests are welcome to arrive by boat, bring their canine companions, or have the family dog drive the boat before hanging out in the beer garden.
It's hard for Andrew and Christine Edwards to remember a life without scuba diving. From an early age, they both would plunge into the depths of Vancouver's waters, gazing across underwater landscapes where wolf eels swam and octopi stretched their sneaker-covered tentacles across a carpet of strawberry anemones. These experiences stuck with them, and in 2007, the couple opened Ocean Planet Adventures to share their life's passion with others.
From Discovery Scuba classes to advanced PADI certifications, Ocean Planet Adventures' instructors guide their students at dive sites peppered across Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound, a UNESCO biosphere. During these expeditions, instructors and groups feast their eyes on jungles of aquatic plants and animals, including whales. Aside from open-water diving, the staff teaches specialty courses such as wreck diving, which lets divers explore shipwrecks or polish the hoods of sunken automobiles.
Great West Fitness & Tennis Club helps its members get or stay in shape with cardio and weight training equipment, a slate of group classes, and both indoor and outdoor tennis facilities. Divided into ladies-only and coed sections, the gym provides options both for the solo exerciser and for those who prefer to bond over mutual sweatiness. The former can build or tone muscles using the club's weightlifting machines and free weights or gaze at mountain vistas through extralarge windows while they trot in place on a bank of treadmills. Classes, led by Great West's certified trainers and instructors, include yoga, boot-camp, Latin-flavoured Zumba, and cycle classes designed to strengthen midsections and enhance apple-slicing skills. You can receive a free fitness assessment administered by a personal trainer or relax in an infrared sauna with complimentary towel service.
It's unclear why whales jump and splash on the surface of the ocean. It could be to get attention from potential mates, or a way to lose the parasites on their backs. But it is also possible that the whales are simply having fun. From the vantage point of a 65-foot whale-watching vessel, guests of Jamie's Whaling Station & Adventure Centres can observe grey and humpback whales in their natural environment, while forming their own hypotheses about their mystifying behaviour.
In addition to whale-watching trips, Jamie's leads bear-watching tours, tours to Hot Springs Cove, kayaking adventures, group hikes, and sunset cruises to find out where the sun really goes at night. A portion of proceeds from all tours supports local wildlife research and rescue programs.
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