Photos & Translation : Johnny Liu

大概是因為溫哥華島 Tofino 每年都會舉辦觀鯨節的關係,因此每每提到在卑詩觀鯨,不少人都會認為非山長水遠去 Tofino 不可。友人波比帶著太太從香港暑假遊美加,在溫哥華停留不過三數日,要舟車勞頓闖 Tofino 似乎是不可能的事。我安慰他,想看鯨魚,列治文方便得很,而且包你一定看到鯨蹤。

To most Vancouverites and tourists, the best place to go whale watching in BC is Tofino– perhaps because this small town in Vancouver Island holds a very popular Whale Watching Festival annually. But to be honest, it is actually quite far away from Vancouver. A close friend of mine, Bobby and his wife came to visit us from Hong Kong this summer for a few days. They really wanted to go whale watching in Tofino, but I had a better idea. I took them to Richmond where we started our whale watching journey; a much more convenient location and most important of all, I could guarantee them during this 3 to 4 hour trip, they would definitely see whales. Lots of whales.

Steveston 觀鯨團 : 擔保見鯨蹤
Steveston Whale Watching Tour : Whales Guaranteed

每次到列治文西南角 Steveston 漁人碼頭買海鮮,走下碼頭的轉角位有個 whale watching 的觀光亭,我想參加這列治文觀鯨之旅很久了,今回乘著陪友人之便,也來 Steveston ,坐上 Explorathor 號作觀鯨之舉。

It has been my habit for years to buy fresh seafood at the small pier in Steveston Village. Every time I walk by the whale watching promotion booth, I have the desire to jump into one of their bright yellow zodiacs and go whale watching. This time my dream really came true, as I ended up whale watching with Bobby in the Explorathor, a new 47 passenger zodiac vessel!

從 Steveston 出發的觀鯨團成人每位收費 $120。船行方向是駛往加拿大 Gulf Islands 及美國 San Juan Island 一帶的 Strait of Georgia 海峽,這區由於有華盛頓州奧林匹克半島及溫哥華島作為天然屏障,阻隔了太平洋西岸的風高浪急,內海峽灣有近七百多個大小島嶼,鯨魚樂於在此居棲覓食。

Well, the tour cost us $120 each and it took us all the way south to the Gulf Islands and San Juan Island of USA. With the Olympic Peninsula and the Vancouver Island as natural barriers, the more than 700 islands scattered all over the Strait of Georgia are protected from wind and rain from the Pacific Ocean, which is why the whales gravitate towards this area so much.

每年四月至五月,是賞灰鯨好季節;八月至十月可觀座頭鯨;而看殺人鯨的季節則更長,由每年四月至十月。因此,只要掌握到有關資料,觀鯨公司當然可以自豪地向參加者保證一定看得到鯨魚;若真箇遇上天不做美遇不上鯨魚,更有再來觀鯨不必收費的承諾。

The best months to see grey whales are between April and May, humpbacks are from August to October, and as for Orcas, from April till October.

科學家在這區研究了殺人鯨近三十年,已知起碼有近三百多條殺人鯨在太平洋西岸經常出沒,以此為家。牠們有定居於斯的 resident,也有作為 transient 的瀟灑過客。殺人鯨可說是實行母系社會的大家族,觀鯨船帶我們前往的水域,住有三十多條殺人鯨,由母輩親長帶領,組成牠們自己的小群落。由於各自型態有別,特別是背鰭部份各有明顯特徵,科學家經長期觀察,了解牠們的親屬關係,更為牠們冠上名字以作識別,在觀鯨船上,導遊都一一為牠們作了出場預告。

The waters surrounding San Juan Islands is home to at least 300 orcas. Orcas are regarded as followers to the concept of a matriarchal society, so every year, lead by an elderly female orca whale, male and female orcas will come back to this area to find food. Though they travel within a pod, all these orcas are individuals and every one is rather unique– especially their back fins. Thus, the scientists studying them can identify each whale and can differentiate between them. As for the experienced guides on each whale watching boat, they are also able to tell who’s who, making their interpretation much more interesting.

殺人鯨學名虎鯨或逆戟鯨 (Orcinus Orca),背鰭高可達2公尺,有史以來錄得最大一條殺人鯨身長約10公尺,重10噸。殺人鯨雖然胸腹呈白色及眼後有橢圓白斑,使這哺乳動物看來可愛趣緻,其實殺人鯨孔武有力,是海洋裡的勇猛獵者。

觀鯨團出海時間由三個多小時至五小時不等,視乎天氣情況而定。我們坐的是 zodiac 式快艇。雖在炎夏,但船行時海風刺骨,還幸上船之前,有觀鯨團提供的雨衣及防寒設備,穿戴充足才上路。

觀鯨船出了 Steveston 海堤之後轉向南馳,過 Tsawwassen 及 Point Roberts 之後,直往 San Juan Island 及 Orcas Island 方向駛去。不久見到海面除了小島三兩之外,還有好幾艘船停了下來,原來由華盛頓州或維多利亞出發的觀鯨團亦往這 Strait of Georgia 朝拜來了。

The Killer Whale(Orcinus orca), commonly referred to as the Orca, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Length range from 5 to 8 metres, weigh from 4 tonnes to 7 tonnes. The male dorsal fin could reach the height of 2 metres. Orcas might look cute, but they are very powerful predators.

Whale watching tours last from 3 hours to 5 hours, depending on the weather. Even though our tour took place mid summer, it was freezing cold once our zodiac accelerated to top speed. It would be wise to put on warm clothing provided by the tour company before boarding.

After leaving the long Steveston seawall, our zodiac headed south, passing Tsawwassen and Point Roberts, then went straight towards San Juan Island and Orcas Island. Before long, we saw a few islands from the horizon and we were joined by whale watching boats from Washington and also from Victoria.

眼觀四面,耳聽八方是一船四十多人的集體動作,一有發現,遠遠見到海面有類似噴水的情況都會引起咱們的躁動。

At this point, tension was building up as all of us in the zodiac were concentrated on only one thing, signs of possible orcas nearby.

老天爺果然沒有讓咱們失望,鯨魚家族三三兩兩逐水而游,只見牠們樂在水中嬉戲,戈遊於水面的同時,會得噴水、舉鰭、擺尾、擊浪、浮潛等諸般趣態;而且當你掌握了牠們的呼吸規律和節奏之後,不難猜到牠們下一次會再伸鰭舉尾。見到牠們連群結隊游近別的船家,可真有點兒妒忌和醋意。不過,別擔心,牠們是好大的一家子,說不定在咱們的船底下有鯨群在嬉戲沉潛呢!

有經驗的船長總是最早見到鯨跡的人,每次多是他在告訴我們看左瞧右,害一船人跑來跑去挺忙的。雖然這一回沒遇上好像沙龍畫面一般,鯨魚大半個身躍出水面或轉體三周半等高難度動作,但在觀鯨區停留時間既長,見到鯨魚出沒舉鰭擺尾的次數亦多,讓一船人都非常滿足。

We didn’t have to wait for long. Orcas started emerging in small groups– blowing water, waving tails and raising their fins. After watching for a while, you can almost predict when they will emerge, once you get used to their breathing pattern. It was always our captain who spotted the orcas first and gave us instructions as to where to aim our cameras.

Unfortunately, during our almost 4 hour tour, we did not see any orcas performing their acrobatic twists in the air, but we were still very happy to see more than 14 orcas surfacing and waving their fins!

回航時見到了懶洋洋地躺在小島上曬太陽的海獅;在駛入 Steveston 長堤時,船更是慢了下來,原來長堤上有一小型燈塔,新近添了住客:兩隻白頭鷹恰在燈塔頂上築巢生子,為列治文的自然景觀再添新趣。

On our way home, sea lions could be found lazily sunbathing on boulders or small islands. When we were approaching the Steveston dyke, our captain slowed down the vessel and pointed towards a small light tower. We realized that inside the tower, a bald eagle had recently built a big nest for her little loved ones.

北岸群山皚然白雪,海灣島嶼蔥綠鬱青,為航程更添優美景緻。
The northern coast is bestowed with white-capped mountains and the islands are green.

清早九時上船,一時許才回航。上得岸來,大伙都嚷肚子餓了。且帶波比伉儷到 Steveston 最有名的浮台小吃店,品嘗以本地魚獲即場炮製的 fish and chips 去也。

Since we started our tour at nine in the morning and returned after one o’clock, our bellies were very satisfied with a filling lunch at the very famous Pajo’s fish & chips.

Steveston 炸魚薯條之最
The Best Fish & Chips in Steveston

觀鯨之旅大開眼界,回到列治文漁人碼頭正是午飯時段,但見各大小餐廳人頭湧湧。在卑詩省,印象中但凡有碼頭或漁船聚集的地方,就一定會有家非常好吃的炸魚薯條店,維多利亞如是、Campbell River 如是、Granville Island 如是,而列治文漁人碼頭旁的 Pajo’s Fish & Chips 就更是知名了。

You can imagine how busy it would be at the Fisherman Wharf during weekends in summer. It reminds me of all the piers in Victoria, Campbell River and Granville Island where fishing boats park side by side selling seafood. All these wharfs have one thing in common: every fisherman wharf has a very good fish and chips stall. Amongst them, the Pajo’s Fish & Chips in Richmond really stands out.

無論晴雨,Pajo’s Fish & Chips 一樣有人龍。
No matter rain or shine, people line up patiently for their fish & chips.

Pajo’s 之所以有名,主因是他們的魚選材特別新鮮,如用上 Pacific grey cod、上佳三文魚、Pacific halibut 等,全部是新鮮而應時的魚獲,即叫即製,故魚肉的肉汁特別豐富;其薯條是選用最優質的 Kennebec potatoes 即切即炸,當然比炸冰鮮薯條來得香脆;再其次,炸油採用菜籽油亦較健康。

This famous fish and chips stall uses fresh and seasonal grey cod, salmon and Pacific halibut, and freshly cut Kennebec potatoes to make their chips. To make their fish and chips somewhat healthier, Pajo’s deep fries everything with canola oil.

還記得早年 Pajo’s 是沿用英國風,炸魚薯條以真正的舊報紙包著奉客,如今講究衛生,他們稍作變更,用白報紙印成仿報紙的招紙來包裹,既可讓白報紙吸油,又不減原裝正版的懷舊風。

有好食物還得講究有氣氛,Pajo’s 所在位置,是碼頭旁邊的小小浮台,吃著炸魚薯條,看著漁船往來,的確是別有風味,也難怪 Pajo’s 鎮日都是排隊的人龍。

Pajo’s follows the British tradition and uses “newspaper” to wrap up their fish and chips with, which is actually white paper that is designed to look like a newspaper. These “newspapers” are clean and absorb oil, making the fish and chips less oily.

As Pajo’s is located on a buoy right beside the wharf, it is a prime spot for watching fish boats come and go while enjoying your lunch at the same time.

經過 No. 3 Ave. 及 Bayview St. 交角處的 Screamers,吃了杯菠蘿軟雪糕及加入薑啤的 screamer,這才驅暑滌累,施施然步往附近的 Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site 去也。

Before marching towards the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, we stopped by the Screamer on No.3 Ave. and Bayview St. that sells ice cream and cold drinks to refresh our bodies and spirit.

Cannery 見證漁業興旺
The Cannery Witnessed the Rise and Fall of our Fishery Industry

列治文正位於菲沙河出海口,既得地利,因此,海洋產業在此確立基地,讓滿載漁獲的漁船在此卸貨、冰藏、轉口或裝罐頭等自是順理成章。

Richmond is located right at the estuary of Fraser River, a prefect location for processing seafood.

歷史可追溯至 1894 年,當列治文 Steveston 還是以漁農作業為經濟支柱的時候,海口的三文魚罐頭加工廠 Gulf of Georgia Cannery 已是當年規模最大,利用原址改建而成的 Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site,展示了製罐頭的生產流程,卸貨、洗魚、烹煮、入罐等生產線一一俱備,從展館牆上掛著的歷史圖片得見,當年漁獲之豐,出口量之鉅,難怪能夠成為行業中的龍頭大哥。

Back in 1894, the economy in Richmond was greatly supported by fishery and farming, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery being the biggest processor in the area, contributed a lot to the economy. The place has turned into the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, exhibiting everything from the product line, to how workers washed, cooked and canned all the salmon to be ready for shipping. Old pictures hang on the walls showcase the abundant amount of fish that were once caught–one can imagine the how big the export business really was.

此外,館內更有專區詳細介紹太平洋西海岸的各種魚類及其生息習慣,還重新搭建了一個十九世紀漁區內的小小華人雜貨店「同和號」。

You learn more about fishes living along the Pacific West Coast in the museum, a special corner is allocated to a replica of the ” Hong Wo & Co.” general store built in the 19th century.

在當年發展蓬勃的罐頭加工業中,華工佔了很重要的席位,因而供應日常所需的雜貨店亦應運而生。

華工及日本人以刻苦耐勞而又工資低微,成為了過去罐頭業的勞工主力,想當年全盛時期,罐頭廠附近設立的工人宿舍就有百名華工居住,附近的船塢和製罐廠工人宿舍遺址 Britannia Heritage Shipyard 可供人緬懷這段歷史。

The Chinese workers played a very important part in the cannery business. To refresh our memory of how the Chinese lived before, the museum has put up a 19th century Chinese corner store inside this historic site.

Both the Chinese and Japanese worked hard, being the major labour force during that time. Their pay was extremely low for the effort they put in. When the cannery business was blooming, there lived more than 100 Chinese workers in the worker’s quarters. You can also have a glimpse of the part of the history by visiting the Britannia Heritage Shipyard nearby.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site 每小時有導遊團,要自助行也挺方便,遊人走入每一區都有旁白及音效響起,效果立體生動。

沿著 Steveston 的河堤路 Dyke Road 東行,不遠處是列治文的另一重要文化遺跡之一 London Heritage Farm。

You can either join interpretation tours visiting the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, or you can stroll on your own. All the exhibits have audio interpretation and sound effects making the tour very realistic, pleasant and informative.

If you stroll along the Dyke Road heading east, soon you will find yourself inside another very important heritage of Richmond, the London Heritage Farm.

London Farm 引證農業發達
London Farm Witnessed the Rapid Growth of Our Farming Business

Gulf of Georgia Cannery 見證了列治文漁業興旺的歷史,而 London Heritage Farm 則是本區農業發達的明證。

今時今日的列治文,要買一塊地所費自是不菲,而在 1880 年,當 Charles London 和兄弟 William 從安省來到卑詩省,看中了菲沙河口肥沃的沖積土,只花了 $2,000 就買下了 320 畝土地,築構家園,開墾農田,勤懇過活,和很多的本省先民一樣,在這片漂亮而又富庶的土地上建家立業。

While the Gulf of Georgia Cannery witnessed the prosperity of fishery in Richmond, the London Heritage Farm represented the importance of farming in this community.

Nowadays, buying a piece of land in Richmond is very expensive, but back in 1880, the two brothers Charles and William London from Ontario paid only $2,000 to buy 320 acres of land located in the estuary of the Fraser River. They built their home there and they also immediately started their serious farming business.

London Heritage Farm 內有主樓、農舍、蜂房、雞舍等。庭園種上了各種各樣的時花,更闢園一角作為 community farm,任何區內居民有興趣都可貸上一塊地,農耕之物作為自用。這一戶種日葵大如盤鏡,那一家的青豆攀過了籬界,欣欣然一片生機。

Today, their two-storey building is still in great condition, with lots of beautiful flowers welcoming visitors from different parts of the world. Tools and farming machines used then are displayed, and there is also a community farm established to allow people in that community to rent a small part of it to grow whatever they want.

主樓內,依然是十九世紀末的安逸氛圍,樓上是 London 家人的眾寢室和客房;樓下是現改為禮品部的廚房、餐房、茶室和家庭室,家具、裝飾品等都是收集自同一時期的物品,呈現富足祥和的小康農家面貌。

Inside the London’s home, the 19th century look has been maintained, with the upper floor displaying the bedrooms and guest room of the London brothers, while the lower floor consists of a kitchen, a gift shop and a tea room. They are all furnished with the same furniture and utensils used in the 19th century.

若走得累了,大可在樓下的 tea room 內享受他們的下午茶 London Lady Tea,每位 $8.5,以英國骨瓷茶具泡上壼香釅佳茗,配以手製英式鬆餅及三數甜點,晝午偷閒,坐在 tea room 一角,臨眺庭園裡繁花盛放,此情此景,讓人覺得悠悠長夏的午後身心俱閒。

休息過後,想舒心寫意地欣賞 Steveston 有兩個方法:騎單車或徒步沿著 Dyke Road 而行,直到西面盡頭 Garry Point Park。

For $8.50, you can enjoy a cup of London Lady Tea and desserts served in delicate British ceramics. Life is good.

After this relaxing break, you can either ride a bike or just stroll along Dyke Road to the west until you reach Gary Point Park.

Blue Canoe海鮮滋味
Blue Canoe is Famous for It’s Seafood

想要為 Steveston 一日遊選一個最完美的完結篇,那當然是在這小漁港吃海鮮晚餐了。「靠海吃海鮮」古有明訓,在列治文漁人碼頭流連,豈可不順道吃一回海鮮?

Having been a long day,the best thing to do is to reward yourself with a fresh meal at one of the seafood restaurants scattered along the small fisherman wharf.

這區的海鮮館子林立,特別是沿漁人碼頭行人步道附近,隔三差五就是海鮮餐廳,其中以 Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant 的景觀最佳,食物出品也最超班。

The Blue Canoe Seafood Restaurant is one of the many seafood restaurants in fisherman wharf and it really stands out because of its unique waterfront view and superb dishes.

Blue Canoe 的露天座位一邊正向著碼頭方向,海鳥迴旋,遊人紛踏都盡收眼底;而室內雅座另一邊為臨近菲沙河入海口處,緩緩流水,靜靜長堤,間或有白頭鷹掠過增其生趣,偶爾的漁舟來去更添動感。

室內小裝飾全部和漁船或海產有關,天花板上更倒懸了一隻獨木舟,好奇問經理,這獨木舟又不是漆上藍色,何解店名為 Blue Canoe?經理也說不出個所以然,咱只好心中在狐疑,波比還在猜﹕blue,莫不是「憂鬱」之意?

From the patio of the restaurant you can see the hustle and bustle of the wharf; you can also enjoy watching the sea gulls circling in the sky waiting for a piece of your meal! If you choose to stay inside, you can enjoy the more peaceful and beautiful view of the estuary of Fraser River, the dyke, and from time to time, fishing boats sailing by.

The canoe hanging upside down under the ceiling really caught our eye, but even the manager cannot answer our question: why is this restaurant named Blue Canoe even though its canoe isn’t painted blue?

餐單中最吸引我的是 Starters 一項裡的Ginger Albacore Tuna ($12) 和 King Prawn & Sesame Toasts ($11.75)。Albacore tuna 是本省吞拿魚,符合 eat local 及吃可持續發展海產的原則。大廚把 Albacore tuna 外層薄煎,內中保持魚生的軟滑口感,厚切後加上薑汁及酒調成的醬汁,帶起了魚鮮卻又辟去了魚腥,可說是整碟菜的靈魂所在。

King Prawn 其實是老虎蝦,不過,出口日本時以壯聲威,用了 king prawn 名號,這和 spot prawn 在台、日被稱為牡丹蝦同一道理,現今時勢,有包裝的市場策略才是贏家。話說回頭,King Prawn & Sesame Toasts 豈不就是蝦多士 ? 那是咱們小時候在港式茶餐廳都可以吃到的精采小吃,但如今,因為需人手製作工序繁複加上食材不便宜種種原因,已很難吃到了。叫來一試,蝦肉鮮爽脆身,滿滿芝麻添香,麵包亦烘烤得脆卜卜,光是衝著這款精采前菜,已足以讓我成為回頭客。

That puzzle aside, a glance at the menu shifted our focus from the canoe to the mouth watering dishes. What caught my eye first were the two starters– one is the Ginger Albacore Tuna ($12), the other, King Prawn & Sesame Toasts ($11.75) . As for the Ginger Albacore Tuna, this tuna comes from our own province, so it is local and sustainable.The chef did an excellent job of only slightly frying the tuna, thus leaving the inner part sashimi-like in taste and texture. The sauce was a mix of ginger and wine, which brought out the freshness of the fish.

The King Prawn & Sesame Toast dish is similar to the shrimp toast we used to have in our good old days back in Hong Kong. I can still recall the small cafes in Hong Kong which used shrimp paste to make toast which was just delicious. The process of making shrimp toast is very time consuming, tedious and even expensive; it is almost impossible to find something like this in Hong Kong now. Blue Canoe’s version tasted just right.

餐單中有 Chilled Seafood Platter,是囊括所有海中鮮物,但我更喜歡熱辣辣地吃海鮮,故選了Bouillabaisse ( 左圖 ) 及 BC Dungeness Crab Linguini。Bouillabaisse ( $27 ) 有哈里拔魚、三文魚、青口、大蜆、大蝦等豐富海產,配以番紅花加白酒煮成的 saffron white wine broth 及番茄、薯仔、茴香等配料,食材既豐,口味亦佳,加上半條又脆又香的 house crusty bread,那湯汁之美,讓我以麵包全沾來吃了。

As for our choices for the entrees, the Chilled Seafood Platter has everything from the sea, but I prefer hot seafood, so I decided to have the Bouillabaisse ($27) and BC Dungeness Crab Linguini ($27). For the Bouillabaisse, it includes halibut, salmon, mussels, shells and prawns with saffron white wine broth. I mopped up every last bite with the homemade crusty bread that was served alongside.

B.C. Dungeness Crab Linguini ( $27 ) 有極多去殼鮮蟹腳,番茄、橄欖油加紫蘇這仲夏之味鐵三角,使寬條麵醒胃非常,完全沒有吃 pasta 的膩滯感,最妙是汁醬帶極輕極微的辣,助汝開胃醒神。

酒醉飯飽,非常滿足,有如斯精采的海鮮餐,我笑問波比,這獨木舟又怎會還盛載憂鬱呢?踏著星月歸去,與海有緣的列治文一天遊劃上了圓滿句號。

As for the BC Dungeness Crab Linguini– it was aromatic and satisfying. There was a generous helping of crab legs, tossed together with tomato, olive oil and basil which enhanced the taste of the pasta.

With all the good seafood and wine, we finished our long day in Richmond by the sea, satisfied and content. Now, back to the wharf to stretch the legs and work off the dinner!

Vancouver Whale Watch
#210-12240 Second Ave.,
Richmond
604-274-9565
www.vancouverwhalewatch.com

Pajo’s Fish and Chips
At the Wharf in Steveston
604-272-1588
www.pajos.com

Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
12138 Fourth Ave.,
Richmond
604-664-9009
www.parkscanada.gc.ca

London Heritage Farm
6511 Dyke Road,
Richmond
604-271-5220
www.londonheritagefarm.ca

Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant
#140-3866 Bayview Street,
Richmond
604-275-7811
www.bluecanoerestaurant.com

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