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.


DAY 2:

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 around. 


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 clothing out.

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.


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 fresh air.

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 it.

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 it up. 

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 alterations.


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.