BC Ferries recently announced that annual operational readiness drills scheduled to take place on Salish Orca will result in cancelled sailings between Westview Terminal (Powell River) and Little River Terminal (Comox) on three Sundays in November.
Ferry cancellations are “old hat” for qathet region residents, especially of late, and usually just for those choosing to travel to or from Vancouver Island.
Malaspina Sky, which covers the route between sḵelhp (Saltery Bay) and Earls Cove, also has its scheduled drill days, but bad weather does not prevent that ship from traversing a protected route, and the vessel is more reliable than the newer Salish Orca and Salish Eagle.
The Salish-class vessels are interchangeable. In addition to weather-related cancellations, each has its fair share of unexpected technical issues that cancel or delay sailings, much more often than the old Queen of Burnaby, which plowed through coastal waters for decades, and seemed better equipped to handle adverse weather.
Perhaps Salish Orca and Salish Eagle could handle wind storms, seemingly increasing in frequency year by year, but maybe BC Ferries won't let them try, and who wants to bounce around for an hour and 15 minutes, unless the travel is urgent or absolutely necessary?
The 3:25 pm sailing from Little River to Westview, and the 5:15 pm return are cancelled for November 13, 20 and 27. Those dates are now set and can be planned around.
Fingers crossed that Mother Nature won’t further complicate the schedule for people travelling for medical reasons, sports or pleasure.
Does anyone travel for pleasure these days?