If your idea of fun is a thrilling ride on the ocean wave, then Sewell’s Sea Safari is the ‘must do’ experience on a visit to Vancouver. It’s an adrenaline-rush journey from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver in a 30ft rigid hull inflatable boat, given amazing power by twin Verado Mercury 4-stroke outboard motors, custom designed to reach really high speeds.
Horseshoe Bay is about a half hour drive from Downtown and the adventure starts when you put on a Mustang Integrity suit for comfort and safety. Then it’s into the boat and you can sense the power throbbing under the engine covers as they start up. It’s at that point you realize you’re in for the trip of a lifetime.
From Horseshoe Bay the boat heads up the eastern side of the Howe Sound, past Bowyer Island to the west and then heading for Anvil Island. There a rapid turn takes you down to tiny Christie Island and then Pam Island, where harbor seals can usually be seen together with a bald eagle or two soaring lazily above. From there, the boat races south out into Georgia Sound, turning towards Vancouver and offering stunning view of the city.
During the trip the outstanding natural beauty of the British Columbia coastline emerges from the spray, with steep cliffs tumbling down to the water and the chance to explore caves hollowed out by the sea. One of my favorite moments, apart from spotting seals and other wildlife, was on the return to Horseshoe Bay where there was a chance to see some of the spectacular waterfront houses that line the West Vancouver shore.
It doesn’t matter if the sea is calm or rough, the boats are designed for comfort and safety. You’ll get wet and bounce a around a little, but that’s all part of the fun, and kids just absolutely love it.
As well as the two-hour Sea Safari, there are options to choose other packages, including the safari followed by dinner at the Boathouse Restaurant and an exciting ride back to Vancouver in a seaplane.