It sure is shaping up to be an amazing year here at Toad Hollow, with many exciting events scheduled that will feature various aspects of Vancouver Island and Canada 150 Celebrations.  Each year for the past 4 years running, one of our highlights is to join the Fort Macaulay Historic Interpretation Event being held in Esquimalt and photograph the event.  As it turns out, this has been the same weekend the Swiftsure Yacht Race has been hosted in Victoria for the past few years, and Fort Macaulay provided a great vantage point to watch the boats as they raced.  This year certainly did not disappoint with incredible weather and scenery for the event, and in today’s post we will take a look at some of the shots we captured here.  We’ll feature some of the shots from the Fort Macaulay Historic Interpretation Event in a future post, so please do stay tuned for that.

Swiftsure Weekend - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Swiftsure Weekend – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

We always arrive early at the event to set up and check out the various exhibits and scenes that present themselves.  For this year, 2017, the day was clearly going to be a hot one with rich blue skies and a gentle marine breeze coming in from the ocean.  From the top vantage point at Fort Macaulay we could see the group of sailboats as they headed out for the weekend’s race at the beginning of the day.  It was amazing to see the flotilla of boats as they came around the point in Victoria and headed west towards Langford and Sooke.  The day was perfect.

Swiftsure Weekend - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Swiftsure Weekend – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The weekend was about much more than the beautiful sailboats, with people from all walks of life with all sorts of interests and hobbies out and about enjoying the incredible weather.  Paddleboarding is a very popular activity out here on the west coast, and we saw quite a few folks enjoying that past-time.  And seriously, who could blame them.

Swiftsure Weekend - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Swiftsure Weekend – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

As we looked south towards the Olympic Mountains in Washington State across the Strait, we could see a thick coating of snow on the mountain peaks, likely a side-effect of the colder than usual winter that felt like it lingered forever in the area.  Container ships were anchored all around, a controversial subject here locally, but they also add a great anchor to photographs in how they add scale and context to the scenes.

Swiftsure Weekend - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Swiftsure Weekend – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The waters were relatively still, particularly in the morning, creating interesting soft reflections from the command bridges onboard these massive container ships.  In all truth, these ships create a strange visual dichotomy here, dotting our beautiful seascape and landscape settings with massive floating steel structures.  I’ve lived here since 1980 and don’t really recall seeing things like this until recently, so I am not sure what’s changed in the last few years that makes this spot such a great location for these ships to anchor.

Swiftsure Weekend - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Swiftsure Weekend – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Swiftsure Weekend - Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Swiftsure Weekend – Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

I believe this boat lays fibre optic cables across the ocean floor, although I am far from an expert and could be wrong here.  In the backdrop we see the community of Langford/Colwood, a growing community here on the southern part of the island that speaks to the popularity of living in the region.  This also explains the booming real estate values we’ve seen over the past 10+ years as more and more families move here looking for a lifestyle that only exists on the west coast.

We came away from this weekend with a deep catalog of photographs we’ll be posting and sharing here in the coming weeks.  And as mentioned, this appears to only be the start of a very busy summer for us as Canada celebrates it’s 150th birthday and we visit and photograph the events.

Thanks for your kind visit to our humble corner of the internet here at The Hollow today, we really appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have below.




  1. Love that third shot, great scene and nice series

  2. avatar Lisa Gordon says:

    What truly beautiful scenery you had, and you captured it so beautifully.
    I look forward to seeing more.
    I wish both of you a wonderful week ahead!