Smooth Skies with Salt Spring Air

I was born and raised on an island. Yep, an island! Salt Spring Island in particular.

Throughout my childhood this was no big deal. I knew no different. In winter the biggest concern was the rain and summer meant swimming in the ocean or watching a soccer game.

When I was 19, I moved from Salt Spring to Calgary and just last year moved to Vancouver.

Since leaving the island, travel back home has been a pain in the ass. When I lived in Calgary it meant a 90 min flight to Victoria and then a taxi to the ferry and then ferry to the island. If I couldn’t make that work, I’d fly into Vancouver but the commute to the island was way longer. Often planes were delayed which caused me to miss the last ferry of the night and hit up a hotel for the night.

When I moved to Vancouver, I thought that travel home would become simple again.

Not the case.

The most economical way to get to the islands is BC Ferries (less than $20). You can take the sky train from downtown Vancouver to Bridgeport station and then transfer to the bus that takes you to the ferries. The bus usually comes once an hour so you better look up the schedule before you leave. From there you’ve got a 40 min ride to the ferry terminal and then you have 2 options. You can take the 3 hour ferry that takes you from Vancouver to Salt Spring or you can take 90 min ferry that takes you from Vancouver to Victoria and transfer to the ferry that takes you to Salt Spring. The pro of the latter is that there is a ferry every hour or two whereas the former leaves once or twice a day.

I could go on and on about BC Ferries. Many of the large ferries have wi-fi now (yay!) — but it totally sucks. The ferries are archaic and old school, the boats to Salt Spring tend to be the worst. Queen of Nanaimo. Aye. The food? Less than desirable. The rugrats on the ship? In full force.

Anyways the point is… the commute from downtown Vancouver to my mom’s house takes about 5 hours. Yep the same amount of time it takes to fly to Toronto or Miami. The view is beautiful. Being on the water is divine. But the time it takes to make the journey?

Absolutely brutal.

Even though Vancouver is so close to home I dread the commute. Whenever I decide to go home I try and go for as many days as possible to justify the travel time.

For whatever reason I’ve never considered any other modes of travel to the island.

I could swim. But I’d probably die.

I could paddle board. But I’d probably die.

I could buy a boat. But I’d rather spend the money on a visiting a new country or city.

Another option is… the float plane!

I had always ruled our plane travel as I figured that’s what balla’s do and it was hella expensive. So anyways one way from downtown Vancouver to Ganges Harbour is $100ish and it takes about 20 mins. Seems like a lot when you think that WestJet can sometimes get you to Toronto for $99 each way.

Wanna know a secret? It’s a deal.

Since becoming self-employed I’ve learned a lot about the value of my time.

My time is worth a lot. {Pavel would love to hear me say that out loud!}

I had been stalking Salt Spring Air on social media for awhile. They post ‘deals’ on their social media channels from time to time — and I was keen to get myself a deal for Easter weekend. I was thinking that it would never happen. Long weekend and everyone likes to head home for family time. All of a sudden yesterday — BOOM. DEAL.

The customer service was great! Philip over on the social media channels got everything arranged and then a lovely rep called this morning to confirm and get my credit card number. I arrived at the docks 10 mins before we left and my gosh, travelling with 2 others is sure efficient! The pilot wheeled my bag down the dock and we got our bags all sorted. He didn’t drop my Macbook in the ocean so he for sure gets points for that!

One of the other customers asked if I wanted to ride up front and I was like — WHOA. YES. I sat beside lovely Rob {the Pilot!} and he taught me how to drive {?} the plane. Well not really, but I did get to take in the view, listen to the radio and chit chat with him about how his job is sweet. {The last time I was on a small little plane like this one, it was in Costa Rica and everyone was violently ill. Damn winds.}

It was a beautiful day to be in the sky. Gorgeous weather, minimal wind and quite the sight. I love West Coast BC. I love the ocean. Flying through the islands calmed my mind and immediately I was at peace.

For under $50 and in 20 mins I was back home on the island.

YES. HOME. 20 MINUTES. 

Door to door it was probably 55 minutes — so efficient.

I was blessed to be raised on a beautiful island. If you haven’t been to Salt Spring, you must check it out this summer. They have a nice hippie market that takes place on Saturday’s, beaches galore, the blackberries are plentiful and if you are really keen you can run the hills {like I will be doing tomorrow}. Barbs Bakery, Salt Spring Roasting Co and Treehouse Cafe are all must do’s. As long as you don’t mind seaweed, Vesuvius Beach is my favourite.

If you would rather poke yourself in the eye then take BC Ferries again, I’d recommend taking Salt Spring Air. Especially throughout the summer when the skies are divine.

To stay in the loop with their promotions and day to day, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Huge thanks to Philip, Rob and the team at Salt Spring Air for getting me home for Easter. The mother is happy. :)

Looking forward to travelling with you again!

{Note: I wasn’t asked to write this post. I had a positive experience and wanted to share what I learned. And obviously I wanted to highlight my ‘pilot skillz’ so that one day they let me fly the plane. ;)}

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