There is a nice road behind the university in Nanaimo that offers a few good views of downtown and the waters beyond. I opted to go up there at 6:30 one morning in order to catch the sunrise, but it turned out to be the cloudiest, foggiest, day of my entire stay. Ah well.
I managed to go up there on a clear afternoon though. Got a couple wide shots of the city, and a few of the ferry coming in from Vancouver.
To get a close view, I used my 70-200mm f4 lens. I was shooting at 1/320 with an aperfure of f7.1, and ISO 100. One of the perks of a rare sunny day on the island.