• Joanna

My Northern Adventure Vessel

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

“I’m on a boat… I’m a mutha f’in’ boat…”


… it’s a lie.


I’m actually on a ferry.

It’s more romantic to envision myself on a luxury yacht, but alas, this adventure has led me back to the infamous BC ferry system. I’m certainly supporting this prestigious organization this summer.


I caught the 6pm ferry out of Port Hardy, and am presently aboard the Northern Adventure vessel for a 22 hour journey to Prince Rupert.


Surprises and applause all around.

  • I was not late.

  • Nor did I miss it.

Two feats that I am undeniably proud of.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and for once, took the “be there 2 hours in advance” advice from the multitude of emails received from BC ferries, my printed documentation, my screen-shot confirmation, as well as from others that had previously done the trip.


I made my ferry.


The Northern Adventure is exactly everything that you would envision and expect a BC ferry to be. Cafeteria, seating areas, stairs to vehicle deck, sun deck, play area…


The only difference between this ferry and those that shuttle between narrower passages, is that here, there are passenger cabins.


I have a 4 berth ocean view room to myself for the low, low price of an additional $130.


My berth comes equipped with closet, desk, mirror, chair… and a bathroom consisting of the usual - sink, toilet and shower. Hair dryer and towels and complimentary soaps thrown in for authenticity.

The carpet has surely been repurposed from a 1970’s sunken living room and brought here to brighten up my dorm room accommodations.


I was worried that the room would not provide the much needed glasses for my travelling wine, but a quick search of the room managed to produce a couple White Spot branded, plastic glasses underneath my bedside table.


I can’t figure out if they are promotional, stolen or left over from a previous guest.


I may never know.


The hardship of being on this ferry, is remembering to mask up each time I leave my tiny ocean view abode.


Honestly… I forget.


I find myself strolling down the hallway or up the stairs to the sundeck… (*insert quick laugh for using the word ‘sundeck’) …casually breathing in and breathing out, as one does… a obvious complete disregard for the safety of all other passengers on board. I come to realization that staff are staring at me in the most awkwardly judgemental way and all other passengers are dodging my every move.

Suddenly it dawns on me…


MASK!


Shit…


Like a naughty little minion, I scurry back to my berth to grab it.


I hate 2020.


Quick rant…


This has to end. I can’t even imagine the repercussions of our mental health if COVID continues any longer.


I have read many articles and heard much discussion about how it is the responsibility of the customers to practice more patience and understanding when it comes to following the rules and regulations set out by each establishment.


I appreciate the strains put on the staff’s shoulders during difficult times…


I have been there and, when I’m not blubbering my way through our smoke drenched province, stuffing myself with food & pretending I’m on an exotic holiday, I AM there.


Each establishment interpreters the rules & regulations differently, and therefor opts to ‘stay safe’ in their OWN way. It can be very discombobulating for the consumer, who is expected to be familiar with each differing practice… let alone adhere to it without momentary confusion. Every move lately is a step out of the customary.


Sometimes staff need to be slightly more gracious in the delivery of their policing.


Not all. But yes, some.

There.

I said it.


There is a certain degree of breakdown lingering in all of us right now… and for me, it’s edging closer and closer to the surface. I am my own bubble right now. One word is certain to bring my own personal emotional catastrophe to front and centre.


Rant over.

I spent the night in Campbell River at a small motel right on the edge of the river last night.

There was not much time to take in the sights & sounds of the city, as I was in after dark and out well before 8am.


One nearby attraction did catch my eye though and I started off my day at Elks Falls.


Short walk.

Waterfall.

Suspension bridge.


Very much like Cascade Falls in Mission.

Even the bridge was similar - like integrated steel cut metal, fused together.

The surface feels slippery on the sole, like at any given time, one might lose their footing and shred the ass to pieces.


I survived.

I walked right to the middle… snapped a few necessary photos and got off the dangerous contraption.


The road up north was long and mostly uninteresting.

It was single lane, heavily wooded on both sides, and not a lot of interest attractions along the way.


I did try to stop in Woss for something to eat… being intrigued by a pub called The Lucky Logger, but as most things these days, it was boarded up. A quick drive down the road, I did manage to discover a cool old train engine.

Next stop: Telegraph Cove.

By far… my favourite stop of the day.


Quaint.

Colourful.

Historic.

Seaside.


A boardwalk winds its way through the historical homes along the shores of this former fishing & cannery village. Each colourful home illustrates their contribution to the history of the community with interesting information plaques.

Being hungry, disregarding a much needed diet and wanting to experience the seaside fare, I ate the obligatory fish and chips on the patio of the Killer Whale Cafe.


Delicious...


Anyway… back to my boat.

$695 for this 22 hour trip up to Prince Rupert.


No Wifi.

Gift store is closed.

As per all the COVID rules and safety precautions, chairs and tables are sanctioned off from the public. There are signs everywhere letting the passengers know that masks are mandatory.


Cafeteria has limited hours due to COVID and offers only grab-and-go, which doesn’t appeal to me. I envision getting a bag consisting of a spam sandwich, mushroom pesto pie garnished with cilantro, side of coleslaw and a glass of oaked chardonnay.


No thank you, sir.

Much to my dismay… there was no mix & mingler on the Lido deck when I boarded.

No concierge or bell hop to drag my luggage up from the bottom deck to the 6th floor.

No chocolate on my pillow.

No turndown service. No room service.

Not even an extra blanket, should I get chilly in the night....


No tip…


I did hear someone mention a movie… but I have yet to find the theatre.

It’s definitely not in my room… where, to be honest, I have spent the majority of my time so far.

I can be me and mask free in here.\

I should not complain. I did book it, thoroughly aware of the price, the regulations, the world as it is presently… and I am also fully aware of the rain situation in British Columbia.

Had I been set on sunshine, my best option would have been to book in August… although the rain was rampant then, as well.


While the travel industry has all but ground to a standstill, I have been given a unique insider perspective on ferrying up the Northern Passage.

I am experiencing this phenomenal adventure during the first chill of winter, the oncoming fall colours… in the rain, in the fog, in the smoke… all the while, sporting a lovely blue mask.


Top that.


Just sitting here hoping that no one is giving the ferry captain a blow job. I don’t really want to sink this evening.


Too cold.

There’s no band on board to play, as I descend in to the Arctic waters.


And for those of you that might be wondering why I would say such a crass thing.


Read all about it right here.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/officer-given-4-years-in-jail-over-fatal-b-c-ferry-sinking-1.1339515


https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/officer-given-4-years-in-jail-over-fatal-b-c-ferry-sinking-1.1339515


Peace out.


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