The evening sun casts a glow on the home of the owners of Lagoon Cove, overlooking the marina and surrounding bay. The next day we woke up to low cloud and fog, which would determine when and if Sideways Sally was able to fly out to catch a connecting flight to Vancouver. When will she stop this madness? Never, cause she loves wandering and if she has to stay in one place too long she gets pretty antsy!!
I called the Wilderness Seaplanes as instructed when I booked with them, to confirm the flight the day of. The report on the weather in Port Hardy wasn’t too promising so the dispatcher asked me to take picture of Lagoon Cove so they could see what conditions looked like there.
Sea planes fly visually so they cannot be safe if fog and low clouds obstruct the view of the many mountains they fly between. Around 11:00 the clouds lifted slightly and some warmth started shining through, chasing the fog away. I sent another photo of the bay to dispatch and an hour later they messaged that they were leaving Port Hardy to pick me up.
Paul helped me lug my bags to an adjacent dock that was free for seaplanes to land. We sat and waited for the sound of buzzing coming from the sky.
A plane came into sight and circled the area a couple of times, not unusual as they look for the best place to land. The plane would have to land on the outer basin of the bay and taxi in to the protected cove. As he started to descend it became obvious it was a goose. I’d only ever seen one land before and it was way up north on Haikai Island, bringing passengers to the Haikai Institute, a research center.
The plane landed on it’s belly and slowly made it’s way in between crab traps, turning to “belly up” to the dock. The pilot leaned out his window as he got close and yelled, “grab the wing and turn me in.” Not knowing exactly what he meant, Paul and I grabbed the wing where we could reach it and dragged the goose closer to the dock. The pilot jumped out with a big smile on his face and stated, “I haven’t been in here for 25 years!”
Neil informed us that he’d been living in Thailand for the last few decades, and since he couldn’t work after age 65 there, he came back to Canada to fly for Wilderness Seaplanes. He also said the longer they waited for the clouds to lift, the fewer options there were so he jumped in the Goose and headed over to Lagoon Cove.
Click the link below for the history of this amazing plane.
What a totally unexpected thrill this was for me!! I climbed into the jump seat and away we went, over the many islands of the Broughtons, past Alert Bay and into Port Hardy.
“Wilderness Seaplanes is the last commercial operator world wide of this famous amphibious aircraft, the classic ‘boats’ from a glorious era of travel. Folks come from all over the world just to ride around for a few hours in the Goose!”
“This was a once in a life time trip,” I was thinking to myself, or not!!
Come along on Sideways Sally adventures wherever they take her.