For the most part, wind turbines appear to us in magazine articles or on television documentaries perhaps. But very few people have seen a wind turbine up close. And, until now, almost nobody on the planet has been able to say they’ve been inside one – let alone that they’ve been to the top of one.
The Eye of the Wind is a large wind turbine – so large that you are able to ascend the 20-storey high tower via an elevator contained within its supporting shaft. You exit into a 36-person viewPOD™ atop the tower, suspended directly below the hub of the massive 125-foot (38-metre) long blades. The viewPOD is encased in glass, including a segment of the floor. The closest corresponding experience would be flying in the clear Plexiglas nose bubble of a jet helicopter – except this bubble is approximately 30 times larger.
The views from The Eye of the Wind are of the jaw-dropping variety. All of Vancouver and its busy harbor, the Coastal Mountains (including the twin peaks known as The Lions) and a vast, green wilderness spread out before you.
On a clear day you can see southeast to snow-capped Mount Baker and Mount Rainier and, to the north their sister mountain, Mount Garibaldi. All three are part of the still-volcanic Cascade Range. To the west and the southwest lie Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands and the Olympic Mountains.
The view – 360 degrees of it – is spectacular. From here, sunrises and sunsets are more spectacular, as are the mists that seasonally enshroud the city and the silver-gray storms that blow in off the Pacific. Just being here is like walking on the wind.