Post by Koastal Karl on Sept 22, 2003 10:20:57 GMT -8
I was just wondering if anyone has any information on the Inland Ferries?? The ones which operate in the Interior. I have seen photos of the Kooteney Bay Ferry, but you dont hear much about the other ferries. The Kooteney Bay route has a new ferry, sort of like the Skeena Queen, and it looks like a nice little crossing. Has anyone been on any of the Inland Ferries before?
Other than Frank Clapp's books, published by the BC Gov't I think... in 1981, 1991, and one in the 70's.. I don't know where there's much information on the inland ferries. The books I'm referring to are mostly history... and you won't get the info on the Kootenay ferry I don't think. I've rarely been on any of them, just once a long long time ago I went across BC on the southern route, but I was just a kid:)
Hi Karl, I read your post and I am able to answer some of your questions, I am a deckhand on the Kootenay Lake Ferries, I have been with this operation for the past nine years. Ask me any question you would like to know about our operation.
Post by Koastal Karl on May 3, 2004 22:06:40 GMT -8
Yeah, I have heard about the inland ferries but I have never been on them before. I am hoping to take a few trips on a few routes this summer and make a trip out of it as I live in Victoria. Definately the two routes I would like to take are the Kootney Bay to Balfour route and the Galena Bay to Shelter Bay ferry. Do you know where I can get more photos of the Kootney Bay and Galena Bay ferries?? I have seen a few photos from sites.
Post by BrianWilliams on Jul 10, 2004 18:08:54 GMT -8
My experience is quite limited in recent years. We enjoyed the Kootenay Lake crossing in Oct 2002 on MV Balfour; the Nakusp trip a few years before; and the Big Bar reaction ferry in 1994.
Reaction ferries, for those that have not seen one, are an ancient idea. The ferry is an unpowered barge attached to an overhead cable on pulleys, like a clothesline. In a powerful river like the Fraser, all the propulsion comes from the current. The ferry has a swivelling centreboard that pushes it across. Angled one way, you speed west-to-east. Reverse the angle, and the barge rips across the opposite way. Brilliant.
For safety, large anchors are stowed at the four corners of the craft. If that overhead line ever failed, our bodies might be fished out of the ocean weeks later.
The anchors give us hope that we'll merely die of exposure on an isolated rock in the Fraser Canyon.
Only kidding. Reaction ferries are a treat to ride. And we should appreciate the skill of their operators. These guys have to know the river in all her states.
Post by Koastal Karl on Aug 14, 2004 17:46:17 GMT -8
I was away for a week on vacation and I managed to get in two trips on two of the Inland Ferries. The Kooteney Bay Ferry, on the Osprey 2000 and also the Needles Ferry. What would you consider the Needles Ferry to be?? Is that a reaction ferry?? as I noticed there is a cable that goes across the lake. We were wondering about that cable and other boats going through but I guess the cable is low enough in the middle of the crossing that boats could cross over, or is there alot of boat traffic in that area???
Another thing I would like to know is do the ferry workers on all those ferries, do they get paid, like the Kooteney Bay ferry?? I dont get how they can run a ferry like that for free. The only thing you have to pay for is food in the Coffee shop if you want anything to eat. And when I was on that ship there was just young girls running the coffee shop. Would have to be local people. And maintenance for the ships and everything, would cost alot.
Post by The Ferry Man on Aug 17, 2004 16:51:32 GMT -8
By the sounds of what you said about the cable was that it might be the cable from the cable ferry that used to cross through there a long time ago but im not positive cause i think they would of takin it down
The Needles Ferry is not a reaction ferry, since it generates its own power, the cables are there for guidance so the vessel does not get taken away by the current and yes the cable is low enough in the water so other boats do not catch it.
I work on the Kootenay Lake Ferries and yes we do get paid ( union wages too! ) We have been privatized since of April 2004 before then we were with the Ministry of Transportation, Marine Branch, now we are with Western Pacific Marine ( Vancouver ), they have a web page @ www.boatcruises.com. The operation is paid everytime you fuel your car, truck, motorcycle etc at any gas station in the province through PST, we get a portion of the PST to run the vessels. The coffee bar is under private owners, nothing to do with Western Pacific Marine or the BC Gov't, they have a lease with the vessels operators. Hopefully this answers your questions, too bad you didn't tell me that you were up here otherwise I could have given you a tour of the bridge and engine room!
Post by Koastal Karl on Sept 2, 2004 21:05:09 GMT -8
Oh really, that would of been cool to get a tour of the engine room and bridge. Yeah, we actually dident know we were going to take the ferries until the last minute cause we dident know which way we were going to go but we decided to head up that way from Cranbrook to Castlegar via the ferries. Were you working on August 11th? A Wednesday??? The 2pm sailing that day we were on from Kootenay Bay to Balfour. The Osprey is a nice ship. Sort of like are BC Ferries Skeena Queen, but smaller. How many vehicles and passengers does the Osprey carry??? Is she based in Kootenay Bay or out of Balfour??? It was kind of neat coming into Balfour, sort of like coming down a little waterway. The crossing sure dident seem like it was 35 to 40 minutes, it seemed shorter than that but I guess with loading and unloading it would take a bit of time. A neat experience. Be neat one day to take the Shelter to Galena Bay ferry and also check out the MV Balfour.
Actually I was off on Aug 11th ;D. The Osprey 2000 was modeled after the MV Skeena Queen, at full capacity we can carry 80 vehicles and 250 passengers, both vessels ( MV Osprey & MV Balfour ) are based out of Balfour B.C. Well let me tell you that you are right about the 2pm sailing out of Kootenay Bay that it was a shorter crossing because its the dayshift crew's last run for the day and they want to get home asap! LoL! Well if you ever wander up to the West Kootenays give me shout and if I am on the ferry I can give you a tour of the vessel!
Post by Koastal Karl on Sept 15, 2004 18:55:08 GMT -8
Do they ever have to cancel ferry sailings due to bad weather, like high winds on the lake ect??? Or can that ship handle it? I bet it is a pretty trip when there is snow all around. Have you been on the Balfour??? I am wondering what that ship is like? I know there is no food service and she is smaller. And do where do they do refits on those ships?? I will definately have to remember to let you know if I get up there again sometime.
i have a book about all the inland ferries. when i get the chance, ill scan the pages into my computer and host them up. then you can read about all the ships, Albion, Needles...stuff like that. I dont know if you know this, but when there was talk of prvitizing BC Ferries, there were 3 or 4 companies in BC that were looking to snap up the routes. and one of the projects actually involved taking a replica of the Osprey, and using her in different sizes, on different routes. because the basic model can be sliced, and diced when the ship gets too small for the run
Hey Karl, Sometimes they have to cancel a trip because of rough weather but that is very rare, and its usually up to the shift Captain to make that decision. Yes I have worked on the M.V. Balfour lots of times, its small holds about 30 vehicles and 150 passengers max top speed is 10 knots, its propelled by three diesel engines ( two outboards and one centre main ). Yes we do refits on both vessels, in Balfour, both deck and engine room refits, as a matter of fact the Osprey 2000 is scheduled for a week long refit later in October, so the M.V. Balfour will be the primary vessel for that week ( the locals and logging truck drivers are not going to be thrilled about that, because of its small vehicle capacity ) but its gotta be done! There is a Gov't drydock located just west of the Balfour ferry terminal in Proctor, it can only accomodate the M.V. Balfour and not the Osprey because its too small to lift the bigger vessel.
Basically, anything you could tell me, really. Hours of operation, capacities, the likelihood of service being cancelled by the present government. Finding detailed info on the highways vessels on Kootenay Lake is bad enough; finding info on the rest of the interior fleet is next to impossible.
I know it's increadibly greedy of me, but if you know anything about the MV Galena too, it'd make my day.
And if you had photos you'd be willing to share, well, let me just say that you'd ascend to the rank of deity in my books ;D
Well the Harrop ferry runs 24/7 365 days a year on demand system and crossing time is 5 minutes, this service cannot be cancelled by the Provincial Gov't because its the only way in and out of Proctor, there is no other means to get by car to that community. The Provincial Gov't no longer runs most of the inland ferries now, it has been contracted out to Western Pacific Marine of Vancouver, the vessels are still 100% owned by the B.C. Gov't. Here is the official webpage of the Ministry of Transportation, Marine Branch webpage, complete with all 15 fresh water routes and schedules www.th.gov.bc.ca/mot_org/marine/marinehome.htm Btw what kind of pics are you wanting of? I am working afternoons starting this Sunday ( Oct 3 2004 ) for the next 6 days and I can snap some photos of the Osprey 2000 inside and out and also take some of the M.V. Balfour for you too! Let me know! ;D
Post by Koastal Karl on Oct 3, 2004 8:22:54 GMT -8
Yeah, actually I wouldent mind seeing some more photo's too of the Osprey and the Balfour. I took a few when I was on her this summer but I never got any of the interior of her. Could you get any interior shots of the Balfour??? I dont want to be greedy ;D .but there really isent alot of information and photos of those inland ferries, I dont know why cause there really neat ferries the ones I have been on. Thanks again if you can get some photos!