Queen of Chilliwack - Discovery Coast
Trip: Route 40 Port Hardy to, Bella Bella, Shearwater, Klemtu, Ocean Falls, Bella Coola
Date: August 9th to 12th 2008
Objective of Trip: To ride the Queen of Chilliwack for 3 days straight.
I got up nice and early at like 5:00am, got in my truck, filled up my truck (77.08$) and drove to TSA. I was about 1/2 hour early for my 7:00am sailing on the SOBC(61.40$). This turned out to be a very boring route 1 crossing. The only interesting thing that happened is I got in trouble for fixing the flag on the stern mast. Our beloved Canadian flag was wrapped around the mast and caught on a bolt. So I reached over and let her breath. I then was ambushed by a deckhand and was told not to come back here anymore or he would turn me over to the Chief Steward.
Once on the Island I drove down the highway to the first exit and turned around to go back to the passenger terminal where the lovely Donella was waiting to be picked up after her trip out from Esquimalt on the city bus. After about 5 minutes in my truck she fell asleep. The plan was to know head over to Brentwood Bay and take the MV Mill Bay over to Mill Bay. I weaved through the roads not really knowing if I was going to the right way and eventually found the right signs and got to the "terminal" actually its a pier with a ramp on it, but it does have a small ticket booth.
When we got on the ship I was walking around looking at the cans and the "lounge". I noticed the rubbing strake is made of wood, which is cool.
We cruised over to Mill Bay and was pretty amazed at how close they bring her into the shore before swinging out into the berth. I loved the big round bumper they rotate the ship around to get the stern in.
After the Mill Bay adventure we headed for Nanaimo. Again Donella fell asleep and I was alone listening to music, ok I was singing along too. When we finally got there we headed for the Timmies by the greyhound bus depot, cause that's the only place I know how to find in Nanaimo. After a refreshing our stocks. I believe I got an iced cap and 6 donuts. Donella got some soup and a 10 pack of Timbits. I needed some good drawing pencils so we headed down 19A in search of an art store and ran into a Michaels right before the main highway. Apparently Donella loves Michaels and I had to drag her away from the store kicking and screaming. Ok maybe I exaggerated for effect there.
Back on the highway and up to Campbell River. Again Donella slept and I say along to the radio. Gas tank status : EMPTY. I filled her up(74.03$). Then back onto the highway and up the island to Woss. Same old same old Donella sleeps and Brett sings. At Woss I stopped to go potty, but changed my mind as soon as I entered the washroom. Again back on the Highway, again sleeping and singing. When we got to Port McNeil we went downtown to see if we could get a glance at the Tachek but she was on the other side of the channel and out of sight. We thought about going for a ride, but the schedule didn't allow us enough time to get to Port Hardy.
So on the way to Port Hardy we saw a black bear on the side of the road. It was just a little Cub and I pulled over so the city slicker Donella could get a few pictures. I was a little nervous because it was very young and there was no mother to be found. I wasn't getting to close cause I had no idea if or where the mother was, and if you know anything about the bush you'll know that mother will protect its cub at all costs. So Donella took some snaps and then we cruised up to Port Hardy.
When we got to Port Hardy I didn't go straight to the terminal I went downtown tot he Government Warf to get some pictures of the Wack from across the Bay. After taking a few Donella asked when the ship would be coming over. She didn't realize the terminal was on the other side of the Bay.
We then headed over to the Hardy Bay Park beside the terminal and got some shots from there.
And then over to the terminal. The attendant at the gate was really nice and gave us some coloring sheets and books and a couple of BCF crayon packages. We hid those in the truck and then walked down to the terminal building. After sitting for a while the terminal manager came out and lit a cardboard box with shredded paper in it on fire as a drill. Well the attendants all came running out with a fire extinguisher and a hose. Well they all failed, no one pulled the alarm. So the attendant gave them a good talking to while the box burned and then they put it out with a hose.
When it was finally time to board, they announced that there was a truck in the lot with no parking pass. So I booked it up to the gate and the attendant said she forgot to give us one when we paid for it, so we got that sorted out and we then showed our picture ID and boarded. Once on board we found us a couple of seats and dumped our gear off. We then toured the ship quickly and got us some grub (14.76$ for a hot dog, fries, and chili. ) I wanted a chilidog put the guy behind the counter, Ian said they didn't have any but he could give me a hot dog and a side of chili. We then wandered some more and I found a deckhand fishing off the stern of the ship. He said he caught a 4 pound Coho earlier that day and that they had to have another deck hand lower the stern ramp and pick it out of the water for him.
Then the funs started, the engineers were running around replacing burnt out light bulbs, which apparently has been happening a little to often for the crew liking. Some were easy fixes, but on required a climb up the forward mast. Don one of the masters had to go up and change it because of this small stature and limber arms. He was the master on the NIP on the first circlepac trip earlier this year. They had him in a full harness and hooked onto the mast. It was pretty cool.
Then as the deck crew prepared to leave I became friendly with a Hostler by the name of Carl. He was very interested in my project and offered to help get me on the bridge and other restricted places. So we left Bear Cove and then headed for the open ocean and the only open ocean part of the trip.
About 2 hours out of Bear Cove me passed the Northern Adventure in Queen Charlotte Straight on our way into Smith Sound. I still don't like the look of her.
Later that night we got a beer and chilled with a couple of crew members. We also meet Jeremy a guy who owns a grocery store in Port Hardy and trucks groceries up to Klemtu every 2 weeks. Then I hit the sack, but the great Donella partied on. Apparently she had a few and then got some cool dogwood stuff from an off duty crew member. The ship rocked pretty good as we crossed the straight. I woke up in the middle of the night and made my way up to the cafeteria for some water and realized I was in my underwear standing in the cafeteria with at least 2 crew staring at me. It was all good I had a midnight conversation with Carl and a nightshift engineer. We made a mistake that night. When we got on board we just dumped our stuff in nice window seats. It turns out only the central row of seats reclines all the way back. we were stuck in these lame chairs that only went back a tad little bit. Donella ended up just sleeping on the floor.