Last time I was in Vancouver, I indulged in some aerial exploration of this beauty of a city. As you know I hopped on a helicopter on Grouse Mountain to see what everyone’s ooohing and aaaahing about when they talk about the scenery of BC.
Flightseeing is great, and I immediately though I’d have to do this again soon. Little did I know it would be so soon. My itinerary with the Virgin Atlantic crew was quite a jam-packed one, and although there was nothing on our paper schedule in the form of further aerial pursuits, they managed to put a “surprise” on there.
Well, one evening, just before heading off to the legendary VIP party where I would have a drink with Richard Branson and Cory Monteith, we all assembled in the stylish lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and were told our “surprise” was only a few minutes’ walk away. It all became perfectly clear when we walked down the stairs to the seaplane terminal!
Seaplane flight from Coal Harbour
It was the tiniest airplane I’ve ever been in – until I went skydiving. You couldn’t stand up straight, and the seats were arranged in a 3-2 pattern, i.e. 3 on one side, 2 on the other. Given it’s such a small aircraft, it’s surprising it even fits that constellation!
Of course we couldn’t take off without the obligatory safety instructions – from the pilot himself, who turned around in his seat and flashed a safety card! And then we were off. Well, it actually took a while until we really took off. A lot of floating around on the water, at increasing speed, and with quite some noise, but it didn’t feel choppy at all. Just the normal sort of movement you would feel in a normal airplane that’s accelerating on the runway.
Once airborne, everything was very smooth. And given such a fine day, I was very happy to have a window seat. Here are some of the shots I took, with my nose glued to the window