Like NewFlyer, I was up and running by 6:00am. It appeared to be a nice and clear morning, perfect for a Ferry trip. The trip to Horseshoe Bay went by quicker than I first thought, so I had some time to kill at the Bay for a while. So I bought a cinnamon bun and coffee from Blenz, and walked out to the Pier. I thought I would sit down at the bench on the pier and watch the Capilano leave. I wasn't even half finished my cinnamon bun and the Renaissance began to pull into the Bay. So my nice and comfortable breakfast was swollowed fast. I was hoping to see some sort of major damge from the side, but most of the damage right at the bow. The ONLY damage I was able to see from my point of view, was a dented railing on one of the pickle fork decks, in front of the bridge. That must have been quite the wake up call for the bridge crew. Scott will post his photos of the rest of the damage on another thread I'm sure.
Can you spot the Ferry geek?
At this point, we met up with Ernie at the pier, and we watched the Renaissance depart. So we all piled in my car and headed for our second stop, at the Lonsdale Quay to check up on the New West. I'll save these photos for another thread. We happened to find NewFlyer positioned on the pier, and we all of course did the secret handshake and said the password.
NewFlyer joined us for the ride to Tsawwassen (No Mikey, you don't owe me gas money. I didn't want any, seeming it wouldnt be fair as I was already going to Tsawwassen anyway). We made good time for getting to Tsawwassen, just in time to watch the Queen of Tsawwassen arrive.
Somebody is challenging another member for their title
Just minutes after the Tsawwassen touched the dock, the SoBC was making the final approach. We stood around waiting in the Berth 3 waiting room waiting to see Karl and Mirrlees walking down the ramp. I just happened to glace out the window once everyone had disembarked, and saw Karl and Mirrlees walking out of the Footpassenger ticket booth, and heading for Berth 2. So we chased them over there. We noticed that the rest of the group was beginning to form at the bow of the vessel, so that's where we stayed right up until we left.
Now we enter Active Pass.
Hard to Starboard!
Queen of Saanich
Queen of Vancouver
It's pretty safe to say that the trip from Tsawwassen was pretty uneventful. We all spent most of the time sitting on the lifejacket lockers at the bow, taking in the beautiful Gulf Island scenery.
At Pender Island, the one and only true Queen of Esquimalt boarded the Queen of Tsawwassen, which meant we now had 10 people together as a group. Throughout the sailing, we had some in depth conversation of almost everything there was to think of.
Eventually we rolled into Long Harbour in good time, but the docking caused some delays. It took about 3 trys to get the Tsawwassens into that dock. We had to remember that it was the crews first time actually docking the vessel for the first time in a while. It was entertaining to watch, nonetheless. We all disembarked of course, and found a trail to a small beach that was parallel to the berth. This is where we got photos of the ship, and a group photo of us all.
At around 3:45pm, we were off and heading for Mayne Island. For this part, alot of us spent some quality time in the cafeteria to take advantage of the old Ferry food menu. Before we knew it, we were side by side with the Mayne Queen at her namesake Island.
Believe it or not, we spend the part of the trip through Active Pass to Galiano on the Car deck. We were talking to a friend of mine from Flickr.com, who just happened to be working this afternoon. While we were going through the pass, we could hear the V-Class horns, and we knew they were passing each other right in front of us, yet none of us could see.
just before 5:00pm, we pulled into Sturdies Bay to find a lot full of cars waiting to board, with a pile of walk-ons. The Tsawwassen was already pretty fully loaded as it was, and they really had to deep throat this load. But it was a real challenge to load for the crew, as they couldnt have vehicles pointing the right way around, causing some interesting sights at Tsawwassen. We must have spent over half an hour at this stop, compared to at least 10 minutes at all of the other stops. We were limited to our entertainment at this point, but we managed.
Eventually we left the dock, and the Tsawwassen was crowded with lots of people. It was nice to see the sundeck benches actually being used for once.
We passed the Spirit of Vancouver Island as we left the Pass.
One of the Generators down below seemed to be acting up. It was puffing out black smoke intermittently every 5 minutes or so, and would last for a minute or two. It was a little disconcerning to see.
It was quite hazy looking out in the middle of the Strait. Some of us joked about the Queen of Cowichan sailing off into "The Mist", while refering to the story by Stephen King.
Eventually we pulled into Tsawwassen at about 6:25pm, about 25 mins late if I recall the schedule correctly. We spend the final 5 mins of the voyage in the forward lounge, and we of course had to joke about the beer goggle windows.
Here she is again, back at what was once her home port for one of the last times. But to distract us from that moment of history, we were entertained by the cars that had boarded at Studies Bay, that had to reverse off the vessel.
I took Scott and Mill Bay back to Horseshoe Bay, so Scott could catch the Renaissance back home, and Mill Bay can take his car back home to Chilliwack. Scott tried to wait on the pier with us to watch the Renaissance arrive, but she was running late and Scott was worried he wouldn't be able to buy his return ticket home if we waited any longer. Sure enough, she pulled around the point by 8:55pm for the 9:00pm sailing
To finish off another awesome day trip, I'll conclude this post with some nightime photos of the Renaissance.
Last Edit: May 4, 2008 23:09:49 GMT -8 by Ferryman
Thank you for that extremely valuable and helpful piece of information Mac, I'm sure that very message will be running through our head the next time we're out taking photos.
What I should have said was (and I will need to do this as well to allot of my photos) is "when you edit your photos, may I suggest straightening the horizon. It will make your photos look really good." Thanks Newflyer for pointing out my poor wording.
Alright, here's a video of something that most of the travelling public doesn't get to see. That is, unless they didn't stick their hear through the open hatch on the engine room.
I've posted a video to my youtube account, of the Queen of Tsawwassens engines. I filmed this during our Circlepac trip back in April, during the layover in Comox after the group of us amazingly recieved permission to have a look down there. I tried to get a good closeup of all the rocker gear doing the dance for all the engine fanatics. So turn your speakers up real loud, and listen to the beat!
Reminds me of the MV VASHON. She had exposed rocker arms and exactly the same beat. The VASHON's engine was an eight cylinder one with a flywheel clutch at each end. A huge handwheel disengaged the clutch at one end while at the same time engaged the other end.
Departing aboard the MV VASHON. The shore gate is lowered. The deckhands get the barriers installed. The captain rings the telegraph the other direction. The wrong way alarm constantly rings until the handwheel is turned and the clutches are set the other correct direction. Throttle is applied by orders on the telegraph. So fun to watch!
I've been aboard the MV QUEEN OF TSAWWASSEN once and saw the engines.
I took a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan Island and the classic vessel I rode had exposed rocker arms!
Long overdue: ... In short, as I said before, I had wagered with Chris on possibly driving across on the Tsawwassen to be able to go up island for a Queen of Esquimalt MD sailing which didn't work out as it happened, but as a result my trip started off meeting Chris and Scott at Horseshoe bay.
At least it did work out that I got to tag along with Chris and Scott to see the New West, which was cool, and to see the Renaissance as well.
As the rest of the trip has been described in most of its detail, I won't really describe too much except to say that I'm not competing with Graham, despite how it may appear in certain photos. The other part is that this trip wasn't so much Chris falling down stairs and such as it was me falling over everything.
I fell over Chris at least twice, smacked my head on a glass door at one of the Tsawwassen waiting rooms (which nobody saw luckily), slipped on seaweed covered rocks and scraped my hands on barnacles among other things, so I think I currently hold the ribbon for being accident prone now for group trips.
Aside from that, I got to see the Renaissance again at night and have some rather stirring images, and my driving skills were put to the test by heavy traffic on the Upper Levels going back with random brake lights appearing out of nowhere. And I also now have a bit of a grievance about lighted freeways because the steady pattern of lights zipping past me all the way from the Cassiar tunnel until 160th street was half-hypnotizing half-nauseating because I had a headache and my eyes were aching from it too.
So, anyway, as I said before, Neil thought I was maybe gone a little bit out on a limb with my fanaticism trying to chance catching the Queen of Esquimalt. I didn't catch her, but all around, I'm thinking Neil is right.
Last Edit: Jan 23, 2009 13:32:58 GMT -8 by Mill Bay