Tsawwassen - Route 9


Trip: Route 9

Date: December 9th 2007

Objective of Trip: To ride the Queen of Tsawwassen for her assumed last placement


  The idea on this trip was to get on last ride on the Queen of Tsawwassen on what we thought was her last assignment before she was sold.  The plan was to be on the 10:10 out of Tsawwassen stopping at Galliano Island (Sturdies Bay), Mayne Island (Village Bay), and Pender Island (Otter Bay) along the way arriving at long harbor at long harbor on Saltspring Island at 1:10pm.  Then get on the Queen of Tsawwassen again at 3:30pm stopping at Mayne and Galliano Islands before crossing the straight back to Tsawwassen arriving at 6:00pm.

   This was my first forum trip and Ernie (Mill Bay) and I decided to carpool from the valley.  So we met up and drove out in my truck.  When we got to Tsawwassen we bought our tickets and walked around the terminal.  I realized I forgot my camera and knife in my truck and headed back.  When I returned I had lost Ernie and the Tsawwassen was coming into the berth so I boarded the ship and waited on the main car deck for Ernie to board.  While I was waiting the other members from the forum boarded. 

   When we went up to the upper stern deck to watch her leave the terminal.  This turned out to be a gong show.  As the ship backed out of the berth and started her turn there was a small fishing boat running around trying to pick up his nets and buoys as the ship ran them over.  We all laughed and pointed as he came very close to the ship in his panic.

   We made it to Sturdies Bay in no time and we all laughed at the sad state of the Queen of Tsawwassen's airchime which sounded like a donkey.

   On our way into Active Pass the Mayne Queen shot out of the pass and went into holding waiting for us to eave so she could complete her dangerous cargo cargo run.

   We then passed the Queen of Saanich on our way through Active Pass.

   As we wound our way through the islands, making our various ports of call we talked ferries and ate a lot of ferry food.  When we finally arrived at Long Harbor the ship enters a very narrow channel and just sneaks past an island in the center of it to reverse into the berth alongside the shore.  This procedure was tense enough just for us on deck, but it must have been intense for the bridge crew as the Queen of Tsawwassen still runs on telemotors.  As well as very little control of the ships speed the propellers are fixed pitch and in order to reverse the engine has to be stopped and started in the opposite direction by the engineering crew down below the waterline.  This can take up to 30 seconds were the ship drifts into the berth and the bridge crew cross their fingers hoping the engine will start.

   As we disembarked on of the crew member who knew one of the members of the group told us if we asked the chief steward, we could probably get a tour of the bridge.  We just had to wait until we entered Georgia Straight.  We sat around the terminal and chatted some more and then we got back on the Queen of Tsawwassen for the return leg of our trip. On the way out the ship uses a ton of bow thruster to turn itself around and cruise along the other side of the island before sailing out of the harbor.

   After our stop at Mayne Island we chased the Queen of Sannich through Active Pass.

   When the time came around to go up on the bridge it was dark and the bridge was in dark running so we didn't bother asking.  The ride over to Tsawwassen seemed to take forever and as we got our dinners Chris got the last bit of coke out of the coke machine for the night.  We all thought this was great as we thought it wouldn't be replenished again.  We were all amazed by the vibration created when the ship reverses.  It shakes so much that you have to hold onto your drink or else it will get tossed.

   When we arrived at Tsawwassen we watched her leave for the last time of the day and the we all headed off.