Ferry Facts Update February 2017

Salish Orca Arrives in BC. On January 11, the first of the three new Salish Class ferries arrived in B.C. The Salish Orca (Orca) reached BC waters after a 50 day 10,440 nautical mile journey. After the Orca clears Canadian Customs and final inspections are complete, it will be officially handed over to BC Ferries. Over the next couple of months, all crews that will be working on the three Salish vessels will be trained and familiarized in the operation of this new state-of-the-art ship. Public open houses are planned in Powell River on March 11 and Comox on March 12. The Orca will start service on that route in the Spring of 2017. For the complete press release, go to the BC Ferries web site and click on the President’s message.

Opportunities To See The Salish Class Vessels Before They Go Into Service. Brian Hollingshead, chair of the Southern Gulf Islands (SGI) Ferry Advisory Committee, lobbied hard for the public open houses to be extended to the Gulf Islands. But due to the busy crew training and dock fitting plans prior to full operation on route 17, there will not be enough time for open house opportunities in the SGI.

However, BC Ferries has provided an opportunity for us to view the ship up close. The plan is for the Orca to test fit into each of the SGI berths in early February. We will be advised of the dates and times when the Orca will be in the terminals and people will be allowed to view the ship from as close to the ramp as safety allows. The ship will have its bow visors in the up position and at least one of its deck ramps open. To enhance the experience, a BC Ferries representative will be on hand to answer questions.

Open house sessions of about 2 hours duration in the SGI will be planned when either the Salish Raven or the Salish Eagle arrive. This should happen in the Spring. Visitors will be allowed to board and walk around the ferry. Although dates and times won’t be known until the next ferries arrive, BC Ferries will be issuing press releases announcing the dock fitting/viewing and open house opportunities.

Salish Eagle Construction Complete. At the time of writing this article, the Salish Eagle had been on sea trials for a couple of days off the coast of Gdansk. This means construction is complete and the systems on board are being tested.

As more information is available, it will be published in the MayneLiner, MayneNews and posted on the Mayne Island Info Facebook page.

The local Ferry Committee advises BC Ferries on fares and schedules. Mayne Island representatives are: David Maude (davemaude@hotmail.com), Diana King (diana@dianaking.ca) and Mike Sywulych 250 539 5274 (mikesywulych@gmail.com). Ferry Facts is submitted by Mike Sywulych.

For further information please contact Mike Sywulych mikesywulych@gmail.com.

posted February 2017

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