Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Discover Coast Ferry - Part I

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).

Once the ferry pulls away from the slip at 8 AM, the real relaxing ride starts, everyone stakes out their corner and breakfast and some pretty good tasting coffee are available.  Within an hour the milky muddy or glacial waters of North Bentinck Arm begin to give way to progressively greener water as you get further from the end of North Bentinck Arm.  It doesn't take long for the Captain or First Officer to announce the first significant marine mammal sighting which in this case was a school of Pacific White Sided Dolphins.  It would be hard to pay to get a much better view of them than on this ferry, because of their habit of loving to ride the bow waves, you happen to be standing 30 or 40' above them looking right down and watching their antics.  They ride the waves and provide a great show for 5 minutes for everyone crowded on that side and then disappear.  Grizzly

Discover Coast Ferry - Part II next posting.

No comments:

Post a Comment