Harbour Air boosts wingless beings with first-class flights on carbon-neutral aircrafts, boutique stratosphere accessories, and picturesque seaplane tours. Eco-friendly seaplanes furnished with first-class amenities such as leather interiors and hands-free cloud parallel parking launch daily and link Lower Mainland and the Islands through panoramic flights that last 20 to 50 minutes ($156.53–$563.38 round trip). The airline's auspicious boutique furnishes cloud gazers with flight-centric merchandise for gifts and seagull bribes. A small Beaver model plane ($41.99) carves its niche among collectibles with locally handcrafted western maple wood, and a Dax Wilkinson T-shirt ($34.99) celebrates Canadian aviation.
At Duncan Lanes, 20 well-oiled lanes hasten balls toward clusters of 5 or 10 pins. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Rock & Glow sessions cast incandescent hues upon the lanes, balls, and pins, simulating the rainbow eclipse that scientists have been anticipating for eons. The centre also hosts open-bowling hours throughout the week, along with leagues for adults, children, and seniors. Its on-site Lane 21 Lounge provides visitors with refreshments and a relaxing environment to help them forget about the stresses of losing balls in the alley's challenging water hazards. To keep orbs in top shape, the pro shop staff is adept at ball fitting, drilling, plugging, and resurfacing.
Landlubbers soak up sun and scenery along Lake Cowichan's sweeping 150-kilometre shoreline from Island Houseboat's decked-out watercrafts. Guests outfitted with a Pleasure Craft Operator Card are eligible to rent a Moon Cruiser, which accommodates up to 10 adults, their pets, and unlimited pirate-slang dictionaries on its spacious deck. The Operator Card is only required of captains who are Canadian citizens, so border skippers may freely join their northern counterparts in choosing among Island Houseboats' seasonal packages, such as a three-day weekend during the low season ($750), Labour Day weekend during midseason ($1,099), or a week-long watery extravaganza during high season ($2,499).
The Alternative Climbing Gym challenges climbers of all abilities with a 30-foot vertical wall in a 1,500-square-foot facility. Expert instructors put students through the paces of ropeless bouldering, the teamwork of belaying, or top-roping, in which a wall scaler ascends with the help of a rope connected to both the climber and the summit. Each climbing variation at the gym enables bodies to build core strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and stamina while slapping gravity across the face with a glove. All ages of aspiring mountaineers are welcome to use the facility and modern climbing gear, though belaying’s buddy support requires that sturdy helpers be at least 12 years old. Like the moods of adolescent rock faces, the routes change often.
Located where the Caren and Richardson mountain ranges slip into the Pacific Ocean, Pedals and Paddles sits on spectacular trailheads for hiking, camping, and kayaking. When paddling through the crystal-clear inlet waters on kayaks or standup paddleboards in guided or self-guided tours, clients can gaze at the ocean floor to commune with seafaring creatures such as starfish, sea cucumbers, and—if they're lucky—dolphins and orcas. Explorers can also camp on the beaches at Piper Point, Tuwanek Beach, or Oyster Beach, where they can sleep in between swimmable waters and the towering pines of the mountains.
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.