Once a week during the summer season the Discovery Coast BC Ferry, Queen of Chilliwack makes a 'direct' run between Bella Coola and Port Hardy. It's a bit of a long day but it's a pretty good adventure. It starts with marshaling in a lineup in what is the Bella Coola Consumers Co-op parking lot several kms away from the ferry at 6 AM because there is no room at the actual ferry slip to hold a lineup. Some friendly local people greet you and check your name off a master list and then you wait for everyone to gather. When everyone has arrived you are lead 'convoy' style down the highway along North Bentinck arm and form another lineup at the ferry slip, but you really just stop your car on the highway and pretty much block the traffic, although not much is happening around the dock at that time of day anyway. A slightly more official but still friendly BC Ferry person then checks on another list and takes your drivers licence or passport and enters your name into a 'device', probably checking for people who might think a BC Ferry is similar to the World Trade Towers. After a while loading commences and that takes about an hour once they wiggle all the large RV's into fairly tight quarters and deal with ramps that are too steep and need some blocks of wood to raise the RV slightly so the hitches on the 5th wheel don't hang up on the back of the truck (only a problem at low tide).
Discover Coast Ferry - Part II next posting.
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