VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Thousands of people today cheered the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II on her second day of a four-day visit to British Columbia.
The royal yacht Britannia, which left Victoria late Tuesday, sailed majestically under Lion's Gate Bridge and into Vancouver's inner harbor swarming with 600 yachts, tugs, fishing boats and sailboats.
A fireboat spewing water from five cannons heralded the arrival of the queen and Prince Philip under grey skies that have accompanied the royal couple from California to British Columbia.
Thousands crowded along the harborfront and onto a downtown pier, painted red and blue for the royal visit.
On her first visit to Canada since 1971, rain and a brisk marked the queen's visit to Victoria but it did not deter thousands from lining up along the waterfront for her departure.
The royal yacht Britannia sailed out of Victoria harbor amid cheers and colorful bursts of fireworks. Earlier, the queen visited Beacon Hill where she had pressed a button and lit a huge bonfire that roared in the stiff sea wind.
The fire was to symbolically guide the Britannia safely out of Victoria.
With the queen, her husband Prince Philip, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and other guests watching from the Britannia, the Royal Marine Band performed the legendary Beat Retreat ceremony as the vessel prepared to get underway.
'Greensleeves,' 'Rule Britannia,' and the mandatory 'God Save the Queen,' were performed by the 25 marines in white hats, precision marching on the pier as they played.
Earlier in the evening, the queen and prince attended a concert at the University of Victoria. The queen was seen tapping her feet to the tune of 'Get me to the Church on Time.'
The university orchestra and choir also performed other selections from 'My Fair Lady,' and music written for her coronation in 1952, and the 1981 wedding of her son, Prince Charles.
The evening's events followed a hectic day that began with the Britannia making a grand entrance into Victoria harbor.
The queen was greeted by Gov. Gen. Edward Shreyer. Speeches of welcome were made by B.C. Premier William Bennett and Sen. Jack Austin.
An estimated 15,000 packed the grounds of the provincial Legislatureto attend the ceremony. The rain-soaked lawn was reduced to mud.
Boy Scouts gave the queen three rousing cheers at City Hall. A lions dance was performed for her at Chinatown in front of a colorful archway.
Following a lunch hosted by the Canadian government, the royal couple witnessed the dedication of a 600-pound bell to their grandson Prince William -- son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
'They are a wonderful example to the whole world,' said Mary Richardson, a Victoria matron who last saw the queen more than 30 years ago.
'I saw her when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, when she was Princess Elizabeth,' she said. 'She saw me stand up very pregnant and she smiled at me. And that was sort of special.'