Post by Low Light Mike on Mar 17, 2015 16:00:27 GMT -8
The MV Frances Barkley is currently in refit.
The original refit notice was for March 8-23. Some unexpected repairs came up, and she's out for 3 weeks longer.
from the webpage:
SERVICE INTERRUPTION NOTICE
Regular service to Bamfield and waypoints with the Frances Barkley will be suspended beginning Sunday March 8th, 2015 and ending on Friday April 17th, 2015. The service suspension is to allow for required maintenance of the ship.
A smaller vessel will be on the Bamfield route for the duration of the service interruption. Because space on the replacement vessel is extremely limited, we regret that day-trip passengers will not be accepted during this period. Local residents are advised to make a reservation for passage on the smaller vessel should travel be necessary during these two weeks. Regular handling of bulk freight shipments will also be suspended during this period. Only freight that can be hand loaded aboard the vessel, and in small quantities, will be accepted.
Normal sailing operations are expected to resume on Saturday April 18th, 2015.
I don't know which shipyard is doing the work, but I presume it is Point Hope in Esquimalt.
She is in fact at Point Hope in Victoria West, I believe. I had just been away for a month, but when I got back on March 16th she was there. Will keep my eye out for any interesting activity as I bike by her once or twice a week.
Post by Low Light Mike on Apr 10, 2015 15:35:49 GMT -8
Here's a 2013 article on a trip aboard MV Frances Barkley.
What I really like about it are the stories about the crew. The skipper, Ed Mcdonald, was previously with BC Ferries and was once a master on Queen of the North, and was also master of Queen of Chilliwack (he was the captain featured in the Knowledge Network vignettes about the Discovery Coast ferry)
The Frances Barkley return-to-service date has been pushed again.
Now it is no earlier than May 16th, with no definite date of return.
I'm worried for the company, re the double-whammy of refit costs and loss of revenue. I hope that they survive this.
I've been concerned about this possibility ever since the venerable Lady Rose was disposed of with no replacement. As good a ship as Frances Barkley is, she, like Lady Rose is no spring chicken and unforeseen issues tend to come up more often with a vessel of her age. Best of luck to them, and I hope they get their ship back in operation soon and have a successful summer season.
Post by Starsteward on Sept 24, 2015 7:58:33 GMT -8
Good to see the venerable 'Francis Barkley' back in service, although her hull looks like she's been through a battle or two. Must get a trip on her scheduled before she goes the way of the 'Lady Rose'
This is maybe the 5th time that I've done this Bamfield trip on MV Frances Barkley, and it's still fun and enjoyable. You meet interesting people, and the scenery of the working coast is always lovely.
Not every business operates where the owner personally sees off the trip, and then meets it again on its return, greeting each passenger personally. But that's how they do business at Lady Rose Marine Services. DSC00830 by Mike Bonkowski, on Flickr