Harbour Air expands its service, for a day

Harbour Air Seaplanes offered a rare chance to take a scenic tour of the Comox Glacier during the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival.

Harbour Air Seaplanes is known in the Comox Valley for its commuter flights between Comox Harbour and downtown Vancouver. But, on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22, the company offered something different than normal, 30-minute tours of the Comox Glacier aboard a DHC-3 Turbine Single Otter seaplane.

“It was great,” passenger Christie Adams said after the flight. “It was nice seeing a view of the land from the air; it looks a lot different.”

Adams had taken her dad Ryan Rathbone on the tour as a Father’s Day gift, a gift he described as “something original” and “a lot of fun.”

The flights took off from Comox Harbour, flying over Comox Lake before getting in close to the glacier. The tour gave passengers plenty of opportunity to snap photos of the mountains, frozen lakes and glacial ice.

Assistant chief pilot for Harbour Air Seaplanes Rob Dewar has been flying since 2003, but he had never got as close to Vancouver Island’s largest glacier previously in his career.

“I’ve done a number of trips from Sonora (Island), that sort of area, Desolation (Sound) to Tofino, where you fly right over top of it, but we’re usually pretty high so we don’t really get down and have a look,” he said after the 11 a.m. flight on Saturday. “That was my first time actually in the glacier, and it was amazing.”

This was the first year scenic glacier tours were offered in conjunction with the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival.

Harbour Air offers flights between Comox and downtown Vancouver three times per day on weekdays, and two times per day on weekends.

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