Queen of Chilliwack - Discovery
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.
The next morning we got into
Bella Bella around 7:30. This was highly boring as the
terminal isn't in Bella Bella its about 1 km south of the town.
I did have discussion with a woman from Shearwater which is about 20
minutes away. She was complaining that she had to wait around
in Bella Bella for an hour while the ship unloaded and then loaded
only to be on for another 20 minutes and then get off. Then I
got breakfast (12.26$).
We then chugged over to
Shearwater on the other side of the channel to one of the most rickety ass terminals I have ever
seen. It consists of a ramp that rests on a barge and that's
it. there are no hydraulics or lanes or anything. The
ship comes into the "berth" and lowers her door/ramps onto the barge and then crew hand
bomb two smaller ramps into position that lead from the barge onto
the ships main door/ramp. We were allowed to get off and walk
Donella went ashore but I stayed on the loading ramp
and drew diagrams of the ramp locks and mechanisms.
We then set sail again.
Our next destination was to be Klemtu. Klemtu is an extremely
desolate community nestled in a small channel of of the inside
passage. We took the opportunity to try some of Donella's new
Along the way the Chief Engineer found me and asked if I
was interested in seeing the engine room. Of course I was, so
we arranged to meet outside the Chief Stewards office at 11:10am.
So we waited around and I started drawing a picture of the forward
lounge which I wasn't to happy with.
FORWARD LOUNGE DRAWING
At about 11:05am we left for
the C.S.O. and were standing there waiting for the C.E. when Donella
started reading the sailing safety pamphlet. To our surprise
we had been doing everything that the pamphlet suggested passenger
should report to crew immediately. These things included
taking pictures, drawing diagrams, detailed note taking, and
heightened interest in ship operations. Check, check, check,
and check we were now terrorists. When the C.E. got there and
guided us down to the forward engine room I was pretty darn exited.
We entered directly into the forward engine compartment from the car
deck. to my surprise the two forward engines were not running
and the clutched disengaged to allow the shafts and propellers to
free-wheel. The ship is configured so as to have a central
shop and control room separated by a corridor that runs lengthwise
down the center of the ship between the two engine rooms.
There is then another compartment on either end of the engine rooms
that houses the RADs and then a ballast tank fills the rest of the
forward part of the ship.
We then made our way down the
hall to the Control Room. There the C.E. described the use of
many of the control switches and buttons including how the 220V
automatic generator system works with its 3 gensets.
We then took a peak at the
workshop. I was amazed at all the tools.
The C.E. then handed us over
to one of the other engineers whom showed us around the active or
aft engine room. We had to wear ear protections as it is quite
loud as you could imagine. The engineer described various
systems including her enclosed cooling system, the heating system,
the hot water system, firefighting systems, and the sewage system.
We then made the trek through
the freaky watertight door and into the aft RAD compartment.
The RADs are mounted to a separate piece of the hull that is
removable and sits in a can that protrudes up past the waterline so
that if something ever leaves the little can fills up and the rest
of the compartment is safe. It was really neat to see the RAD
in its mounted position. I had seen the 5th RAD at Deas before
but it was in parts al over the shop so it was a little confusing.
The engineer told me to climb up the ladder and look in the little
manhole that leads into the RAD cylinder. That was so cool,
you could see the servo motors turning the RAD. Another thing
that was interesting was that you had to walk down this catwalk in
the room and right beside the catwalk was the drive shaft. like if
you fell over or stumbled you'd fall on it. There was just a
small flimsy railing keeping you of of it.
We then made our way back
into the control room and chatted with the C.E. for a while.
Donella scored a Dogwood patch and then at about 12:00 the C.E.
finally kicked us out so he could get some lunch. We were down
there for almost an hour it was about time to get out and get some
We then got lunch (8.81$) and
then I went back to drawing pictures and diagrams for my model and
Donella went somewhere else. I figure she cornered a deckhand
somewhere and gave him the ride of his life, or maybe that's what I
was day dreaming about, cant remember.
I met a native guy who lived
in Bella Bella I believe and his girlfriend was in Klemtu. He
was interested in my drawings and was very nice. He said his
passion was music and even started singing, of course he was rapping
and I'm into country but he did keep a beat quite well. As we
talked the ship slithered into a very small channel parallel to the
inside passage. It was barely twice the width of the ship with
rocky shores and steep cliffs. We went outside to watch her
come into the berth were she just sailed past a Government Warf and
then reversed into another barge berth. This barge was
sophisticated and had a small hydraulic ramp and a generator to run
Again we were allowed to get
off and walk around. We got our passes and then I went onto
the barge and started sketching the ship again.
Jeremy left with his truck to
go unload at the store and Donella went ashore too to look around
the town as we were there for four hours. Soon residents of
Klemtu started coming aboard the ship and they got their own passes
and went up into he cafeteria for a nice hot lunch as the one time
a week that the ship comes into port is the only time there is a
restaurant in town. After while Donella came back and we were
sitting at the bow doors talking to the crew who was taking names
and handing out passes. Sean a deckhand started teaching me
how to splice rope.
And then the fun began. Donella
started looking thought the nametags until she found number 69.
She then proceeded to rearrange her breasts and shirt to allow for
maximum cleavage and gave me her camera and asked me to take some
pictures of her flaunting her number 69 tag. I was happy to.
I was also happy to take some close ups. Donella this is what
you get for giving a man your camera. The crew members seemed
to like this very much and Greg offered us coffee and ice-cream.
After our stay at Klemtu and
we were reloaded and ready to leave. Jeremy had had enough
time to do his business and get back onboard. We sailed back
out into the main passage and for the first time we were sailing
south. Soon after one of the Officers came down to the aft
lounge where we were sitting and invited us up onto the bridge.
We gladly went up with him and saw that Greg was at the wheel along
with Don as master and another deckhand whose name I cant recall.
We too a few snaps and then Donella got turn at the wheel. Or
the sticks. She although did not get to take control.
Then it was my turn to steer.
I assumed the position and was taught how to correct for course with
RADs. This is quite easy, but has to be done every 30-40
seconds as the ship doesn't track to well.
After a few minutes following
the 170* heading a course alteration was required. Don called
out "course alteration to the starboard to 175*." I was then
expected to turn the ship and get her following this new course.
Once there I had to make sure she wasn't still turning and then call
out "Steady 175*." They all told me to speak loudly and
clearly when doing so, so that the Black-Box microphones would pick
I was then taught how to
check the magnetic compass to verify that the digital readout was
correct. It was hard for me to get in the right position to
see the readout in the cylinder on the ceiling because I'm so tall,
but I got it eventually and the master wrote it down in the logs as
well as the speed. I had to call out the course and speed
multiple times during my time at the helm as well as make 12 course
During my time at the Helm
Donella was searching through drawers for stamps and other
knick-knacks including a ruler from the Queen of Sydney. She
found a Queen of Chilliwack stamp and I was awarded a night club
stamp on the hand. Then
it became photo shoot time and she posed as various people
took pictures and we all had a good time. My rotation at the
helm was over and the next guy had to take over for me. The We
tried out the Masters chair and the sat back and relaxed.
At this time Carl was on his
break and Donella and him started flirting again. After a
while this started to get kind of kinky. Then he took us out
into the bridge wing and showed us the outer control console.
After our great adventure on
the bridge we sat in a hallway chatting with Carl and another
deckhand. We talked about working on the Wack, her and the
QPR's future, and other general stuff. After a while the 2nd
guy had to go up and man the helm, but Carl stuck around.
Again Donella started flirting with Carl and I noticed Carl had a
little stiffy. Of course no-one said anything at the time.
Again it was Carl's turn at the Helm so he said "Its my turn to
drive so I better leave now or I'm going to get my shaft caught in
the spokes." We laughed and Carl was off.
It was then diner time and I
got myself some chicken fingers and fries (12.37$). It was
pretty good. We then cruised into the darkness and as we did
so I was franticly practicing my splicing. The rest of the
night was spent chatting with crew and walking the ship. Later
in the night as we cruised into Dean Channel a Humpback whale was
spotted off the bow of the ship. A bunch of people ran to the
bow to see only darkness.
At some point that night I
hit the sack. This time although I did have a chair in the
central row that reclined all the way back. This sleep was
much nicer than the first night.
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