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How We Got Around Before BC Ferries

Ross Van Winckel, 14 September 2017

ferry at dock in Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island
Accession Number a presentation to the Historical Society at Central Hall
Date September 14, 2017
Media digital recording Audio mp3 √
ID duration

64 min




Speaker 1 0:02
That's me. I came to Saltspring in 1974, a gentleman by the name of Steve Nelson hired me to beat on outboards for living where John Cornell's metal shop was that was the location of Nelson Murray. I spent a couple of years there. Kind of got tired of, they dropped the outboard off tomorrow. And they wanted it back yesterday because they had people coming in. And you rebuilt this just last month and it blew up again. And well, I didn't quite rebuild that I changed the sparkplug. Anyway, the upshot of that was Jim Napper was chief engineer on the ferries. And I did some work for him. And he said, well, we need bright young gentlemen like you on the ferries. Okay, you should become an oiler. And I didn't have to deal with the general public. So I made the move. And this is of course is a long way around and getting to the fact that I went to work for BC Ferries I got interested in somewhat in the history of BC Ferries. And that after I retired precipitated my talk, USA last April BB where I did a presentation basically on BC Ferries and Saltspring Island. Originally, I wanted to try and do it all in one. And as I did some research, it was just too big a topic to do and 45 minutes to an hour. So I broke it up. So this is kind of the first half coming second. Of course, what do I put we first had first nations. They had canoes, mostly dugouts I'm given to understand because again, all this happened when I was in Ottawa growing up. This this little slide here is some work through the Historical Society. And they've been pushing to find the old First Nations Portage route across all spring. And in the upper left hand corner, that's the end of booth canal or booth inlet. And that's the rough trace. And it came out underneath the great between the two parts of Africa the men's downtown, his new development, where the was the fancy store Frank. Work where Worldstar used to be. And that creek that was a big site mall or whatever. That was the other end of this Portage. Now, of course, the land has changed dramatically over the years, people have moved the ditch. There's obviously a head land because the water flowed in. Got the technical tools and everything. Somewhere in here as a head land, and water flowed that way and then the water flowed that way. We've heard rumors that the the actual quarter roid lug carry road was maybe two or 300 feet and the rest of the time was mostly floating in a creek. We're not too certain because of course it's a long time ago. The next thing of course had happened. The Spanish did some exploration of the coast. Captain George Vancouver came over and did some exploration up the coast. In the end, the Hudson's Bay Company bought the Northwest fur trading company and they wound up establishing the post down on the Columbia River just in just in a bit. There. I don't have a picture of their first local boat because they actually had boats that ran or ships that ran from England to the Columbia River. And then they had a boat called the cadboro I believe sloop rig and it actually ran up and down the coast and collected all the spares or whatever did all the trading back down to the fort. And then it got on loaded on the big boat and back they went there this I like to think of as representing the first hybrid vehicle because it actually was rigged as a as a sail ship and the paddle wheels were carried as part of its cargo. I'm gonna get outta here they still kind of had the option of with a lot of work switching between sail power and paddle power. This is the same ship beaver had arrived. If tear around 1835 1836 had a fairly long career on the coast with Hudson's Bay Company, eventually, it was replaced by a vessel called the otter. And I don't have a picture of it. And that one, it. It was then sold off and wound up being a bit of a crater a bit of a tug, working out of Vancouver. Around 1885 8090 We should have written the beach down. It collided with shoreline, Brockton point and basically it was abandoned there. And it was washed in

Speaker 1 5:49
the Prospect Point. Yeah, I know, sidewalks rock, that was what I was trying to think of. It eventually washed out, some of the machinery was recovered. There was no real interest in Vancouver. So a lot of it went down, I believe, to a museum in Tacoma, or in Seattle, there is some of the machinery from the original beavers down there. From that point,

Unknown Speaker 6:20
we went forward to

Speaker 1 6:25
the settling on Saltspring Island, which was basically a boat called the fidelity there, which belong to the where to go here. The Vancouver coal company, and it dropped. No, that's okay. I just couldn't find my spot here. It dropped the settlers in studious around 1859. And it did continue to stop in the Soviet and act as a shipping point. And it turned 65 And I just discovered this reason it isn't mentioned much. After taking 68 and 60 to 73. It was something that was run into and something and a few minor points here. One of the early settlers was banks who settled in the west now Fernwood. And he was very, very quick off the mark to start agitating by written word letters, downs Victoria, that he needed better transportation service. And his first one of his first letters, he noticed that there was a mail packet already running from Victoria to Nanaimo that went by. So GSE created his stores, the post office, then he could handle now, of course, the transfer was done by canoe or lighter or rowboat or whatever, because there was no dock at the service. Another thing he agitated for was to have the, again, this is I'm talking 1859 1860 was to have the fidelity here, come into the Vesuvius area, pick people up, and then take them around the Vesuvius, pardon me, Fernwood area, and then take them around the sewers. Because of course, it was an awful trial, to walk over panel rich, get around St Metrix to get to the service. You know, it was that was a really big deal. Whereas the bulk could just whip her out. Unfortunately, Vancouver coal company was more interested in moving coal. They really weren't and running around the islands so that didn't go anywhere.

Speaker 1 8:58
I've lost my note here. I'm sorry about this. I'm a little bit behind here in prep. The government 1865. Lesson nestled called the Sir James Douglas, one of the early screw driven boats, and it freighted provided mail services settlers from the provincial government. At the same time, there was steamer called the Emily Harris, which was doing the same thing in about the same period of time, but of course, they were in competition. So even now, you still have that kind of fight back and forth between subsidized services and thank you, private enterprise.

Unknown Speaker 9:58
As we move forward Word

Speaker 1 10:07
in 1881, there was a vessel called the AMA. And that again was built for the, what became known as the East Coast run, basically the east coast of Vancouver Island. And it again, stopped in it all away for us. Now at this point, we have settlers in Serbia. We have settlers at Fernwood. We do have settlers in Ganges. And I believe there were some settlers. Yes, there were settlers of Burgoyne and Fulford and basically, the ship would go by, wave a flag, fire a gun, paddle out in a canoe or roll a boat out to meet them, and do your transferring. Now, I will apologize but I have not been able to accurately nail down when the various wars were constructed. But we did wind up worth it. Musgrave, which we figure was put in by the plum, slim brothers. Ken berry brothers. Rocco built a wharf at Beaver point. There's obviously a wharf was built in Ganges. There was one built at the soleus. The one that Burgoyne was put in at some point. And of course, the one at Fernwood, the Fernwood one, of course, accidentally because it's very, very shallow. So it was quite a long dock to actually get out to give enough water at low tide, so a ship could command and unload

Speaker 1 12:01
I have a note ruckle sometimes, we assume shortly after 1877 actually got his worth built. And Pembury supposedly was about the same time I don't know whether epsilon Witten court built the wharf as Vesuvius bay or not, but he did establish the store and the house. The original structure actually burned down in 1975. Tom about them. I refer to these people because they were here I wasn't or I just got here. So the new I know the new building at Vesuvius, the outer shell was built as a as a replica of the original Betancourt building. The inside, of course, was dramatically changed.

Speaker 1 13:01
We have the ENN railroad built circa 1886. And they had a marine section. And they started with

Speaker 1 13:19
where's my note? Where's my note? They started with the Joan. And they also very quickly acquired the city of Nanaimo. Where's my other boat, there's a third vessel here. I'm sorry, I've lost track of it in my notes. I will find it in a minute. Basically, the Joan ran from Victoria, to Nanaimo and Komatsu. When it made the first run up the coast, it went the Ganges side of Saltspring Island. When it came back two or three days later, it ran down the Vesuvius site. The next week, it made the trip. It went up the Silvia site and came down the Ganges site. The dnn was eventually purchased by CPR. And they decided very quickly, that the job was a faster boat than the city of Nanaimo, which is doing the runs from Nanaimo to Vancouver. They switch the boats. So this is where we get the city of Nanaimo now doing serving, among other places serving Saltspring Island, instead of Joan, and some people on Saltspring in the early days, did not pronounce it as the Joan. They pronounced it as the JOANNE I don't know why. But it is mentioned in several reference books that there will always was that double pronunciation of the name We had a ferry company called the Pioneer line. And one of the ships that use their boats or vessels was the Wilson G hunt. And it also ran the Victoria Nanaimo CoolMax run, starting in about 1881 to vote 1884 And this was a paddlewheeler. Now, do I have that one? That was the mod maybe I don't I'm sorry the

Speaker 1 15:52
mod was used on the run, how do I go backwards

Speaker 1 16:01
that should be the mod that was briefly used on again this East Coast run, which again, makes it about the Cayman Saltspring side Wheeler. And then we had that should be the Amelia coming into Vesuvius.

Speaker 1 16:27
Do and the Pioneer line had the Wilson G hunt, the East Coast male line, wound up having the other vessels that were running up and down. Hudson's Bay Company pioneer line and the east coast line became amalgamated. And this is the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, which is at that point has nothing to do with Canadian Pacific Railway. And they did an awful lot of work on ships going up north up to Alaska, the Klondike gold rushes, all this kind of stuff. They basically through these three or four other boats, they still maintained our Saltspring Island connections to the outside. Up to 1991, the Canadian Pacific Railway. Now they've decided they really want to get into coastal shipping. They're already running their Empress line between India pardon me, the Orient, and Vancouver. And this brought about what we've known heard of us the Princess Leia, and they took over the CTN and eventually by started in 1901 by 1903, became the BC coastal service of became Pacific Railway. And in 1905, as I said, seafair also acquired dnn, which brought the Joan and the city of Nanaimo land. 1901 very early on troupe was appointed as the new manager of the coastal fleet. He'd originally spent his early days on the inland paddle wheelers that CPR were running up in the aero lakes, the lakes area, and he was the one that switched the Joan and the city of Nanaimo. He was. He was quite instrumental in putting the princess fleet in a profit making mode. There was a lot of ships, there was a demand for transportation service. There wasn't necessarily big money in Canadian Pacific navigation was they did make a note that the XE did tend to pay their shareholders interest or earnings on their share interest in the company. But if you look at some of their books, every second or third year, they seem to be owing the bank more and more money on the capital accounts, the acquisition of new ferries and things like that their operations were doing that to that. So they were cash poor. And this was quite common. Captain Moore was an early paddlewheeler man. He was always going broke. He always managed to get financing, but he was always going broke. So where are we After

Speaker 1 20:07
I'm embarrassed because I think a ship called the ester and it actually preceded the Jones on the East Coast service Nigeria has lost track of my little note on a pardon me, the Isabel I'm very sorry the Isabel and then the Joan. Did the dnn runs her boat? Are we here? Look at some pictures here. That's the Amelia Harrison Jones or the Joanne now we have a number of shots here of the Joanne it's a very popular vote for pictures. Here it is approaching where am I approaching the Silvius this I don't know where it is. I'm assuming it's Saltspring Island that'd be Fulford harbour Tom. So now, again the job. No, that's

Speaker 1 21:23
okay. I actually thought it was a joke, but however, now we come. We're gonna take a little side trip on our famous Iroquois. Here cloth was an interesting little boat. It's almost as kind of hard to call it the ship and away steam power. And it basically ran from 1901 out of Sydney, ran the Gulf Islands. Did Yeoman's service it was kind of scary at times because it appears to be excruciatingly top heavy. And you read the report rolled over and sank off of Sydney in the storm. And there is some Sorry, I'm running out of words here. There is some thought that improper loading ie too much weight on the upper freight deck and not enough down below. And the fact that it was a storm has something to do with it rolling over there was loss of life. And it was quite tragic. When it left, there is immediate agitation. And the city of Nanaimo had been brought back to run the Gulf Islands, basically out of Victoria did run out

Speaker 1 23:03
we have Malcolm and Purvis brothers, and they formed the store Ganges and they ran two boats called the Nomad and the Ganges I believe one was 4010 Bird 6510 Bird now, I found no reference to them being used as a ferry. They were used as store freight boats. But they now Malcolm and Purvis acted as I don't want to say agents. Basically they would, they would buy lumber. And then they would sell it so that people on Saltspring actually got cash up front. And there was a little note in Mr. Khan's books. And this way, a lot of the store bills got paid to actually have an entry there. Reed Betancourt had a couple of boats called the vector and the will iMac. And again, I don't know if they were strictly used to his store, which was at the bottom again, G cell or whether in fact, they were actually used in say a water taxi sensor a small fridge sense for them. Yeah, Reid was the customs officer as well. Yeah. We have John Hepburn. I think most of you people are well aware of Duncan and Emily Hepburn. This would be I believe Duncan's grandfather. He created a three pontoon barge. It had some shafting it had some propellers and he figured out a way of belt driving his Cadillac car, his Chevrolet car and his gasoline tractor, one to each propeller. So he could maybe take a vehicle from Saltspring Fulford over to Sydney, from Duncan himself, we're not sure whether he actually had a successful transits and made a couple of bucks. Or whether they went halfway down the harbor and say, well, it was a good idea on paper. It didn't actually work out. But Duncan assured me that it actually was tried. Our next major one, of course, is CPR. But the motor vessel daily or the steam vessel daily, renamed it the island princess and it went into service in 1918. And this kind of was one of the main bolts that service Saltspring and the Gulf Islands. In the end, bigger boats came along. And in 1929, man son of the newspaper in Victoria and the courier bus line, got together with a couple of people and I believe your be your uncle. Gavin was one of the original shareholders and that created the motor vessel site Peck and of course the site effected Yeoman service from foolproof harbor to Swartz Bay, just over from the currents workspace ferry terminal. And it went back and forth and back and forth for decades. Small cruise in those days I've read that unlike current record current system the captain apparently did not have to stay on the bridge. The captain was the one that came down and made sure the money went in the right box didn't wound up getting in somebody's side pockets nowadays the captain does not leave the wheelhouse he's always there. The engineer is always down in the basement he doesn't get up top and these are of course they're all mandated by the Canada shipping act

Unknown Speaker 27:26
I missing something here where are we

Speaker 1 27:34
everybody who grew up here of course would also remember the Princess Mary and I have temporarily lost my note here

Speaker 1 27:55
now there's the Eric Chua. That one I believe is the island princess or the what became the site back here we have the Euro quad Fulford you can get a better size I put this picture of the Iroquois and you can see the load hanging out one side little bit too and I'm not sure but I think this is the Iroquois low tide and Ganges we're back on the dome

Speaker 1 28:35
this boat called the otter it showed up occasionally, because our next slide shows the otter tied up in it the Ganges wharf I don't think it shows Yes, there it shows the otter on LifeRing. This one, again is our city of Nanaimo. Now you can see that the city of Nanaimo, Nanaimo, you can remember that it is quite similar to the job. And it was not originally built for the ENN railway. It was actually built for the Rogers in Vancouver. Now, I don't know if this is Sugar Company Rogers or not. But well, they they couldn't pay the mortgage. And Dunsmuir it actually lent them the money to build the ship. So Dunsmuir foreclose on the mortgage and that's how it wound up being another roster of the ens coastal division. Where are we here? The princess Adelaide I'm assuming this is Ganges taking soldiers away in the First World War. I don't know if the Adelaide was a common vessel at the time

Speaker 1 30:07
And you can, you can see the black smoke. One of the interesting things as a marine engineer, although I did not do any steam time, I was strictly a motor engineer. But normally, the master would be quite perturbed, because black smoke is inefficient combustion, and it's wasting the coal. And it's definitely affecting the profits of the company.

Speaker 1 30:37
Hello again, I think that's the island princess. And finally, this is what we're looking for. This is the Princess Mary. Princess Mary was designed by troop to actually service spring and the Gulf Islands. Now it could also go beyond that. But that that was his it was going to be the local shuffle boat. Yes, it could run up to Nanaimo. Yes, it could run up to Komatsu could release. And it. It was on the coast until 1952 When it was finally taken off the run. Just to show that there wasn't only passenger services and freight services. I don't know what ship it is. I don't know Frank, do you remember? We pulled this out of the archives. And that's at the cushion Cove lumber mill, loading lumber. And of course, there were there were tramp freighters, tramp steamers that would come in and do this doesn't normally impact us per se. Because you wouldn't catch a ride on that boat. Normally, quite often, they weren't even licensed to legally carry prep passengers. There were certain things 1922 I always concentrate on this one. I'm sorry, but this is a most historic vessel. This is the motor Princess troop, again, designed it. It was built in 91 or 93 days. And the Korea that is to really to first the first diesel powered vessel on the coast. And the first roll on roll off automotive ferry on the coast. It was somewhat of an experiment we have what's called the general arrangement gives you some ideal you'll notice that cars were up and down which except for the brand new ferry at long harbor. We've been doing that for a while. The upper card deck and the lower car deck. It had Macintosh and Seymour diesels I know it's boring to you but Macintosh and Seymour became the Alko Locomotive Diesel division. That was where their designs came from was the old Macintosh and Seymour. Here's an inside shot car coming out for DEC okay

Speaker 1 33:45
when the boat was converted it it most of you people would if you've been here long enough you would remember it as the bender queen. It would relieve a Fulford and it still had the wooden card deck. And I swear that when I walked at some of those planks went back to 1922 were kind of sin, and they were kind of gappy. We had copious sheets of six mil plastic draped over the switchboard because the deck leaked it got kinda you got a lightning show if you weren't careful when it was raining out I'm sort of ahead of myself. Just a joke shot one CPR fairy pushing the other CPR fairy the Highland princess is being nudged into beaver point. Beaver point doc. They had some problem with the steam engine. I forgot to mention to know what was seen there Frank. When Madson your uncle, when they put the Each site peck on the run they took the island princess. They cut it down. They took the wooden house where sauce they kept the wooden Hall. They took the steam engine out and they put a Fairbanks Morse diesel in it. How many cylinders seven cylinder and it was a two stroke diesel. And it had basically a big piston at the front of the engine, which created the the above atmospheric three pounds of bog atmospheric air pressure to pour fresh air into the cylinders. And they made a number of similar engines. Ted actually I believe you worked on that engine a number of times they early in your career did you not

Speaker 1 35:52
fight back by putting the house works on it and putting the steel between the passenger deck and the car deck predated the problems in 1949 there was a terrible accident in Toronto Harbor. And I was a woodland fairy, and it caught fire. Passengers in the passenger deck literally as the wood burned away they literally fell into the fire in the engine room. Immediately Transport Canada mandated that you had to have a fireproof support structure between the main hall which we would think of as starting at the car deck between that Main Hall and the upper house works so that the people could get off in the lifeboats before everything fell out from underneath them. And that is what precipitated the Moto Princess being taken off the run as far as CPR was concerned in 1949 We're back to our Cytec Fulford and I believe that the little boat in the corner little one out there I believe that's one of Bob Patterson's boats that he had this one puzzles me. I believe it's in the series. I think the outer ship is the charmer and I'm not sure what the other one is. I wasn't able to read it. And for some reason they're tied up together at the Ganges wars Inauguration Day 1930 psi pack sports Bay a slightly later view. This is the road leading up to the dock. I'm not sure I've read that. Robbie reads. Father Robin Reed's father actually built that road with whatever heavy machinery he had. That was on Saltspring with the highways department and they took it over there and he actually had something to do with building that road.

Speaker 1 38:20
Patricia at some point, the Patricia came in to Ganges I don't know the circumstances behind it. That's a better view of it there. Now Frank, which one is this? That's the Nora and wartime garb. And the Nora was put on the run and

Speaker 1 38:49
lost it in here. Somewhere around 1953 1954. Princess Mary went off the run 1952 There was a scramble. The Elaine came in. I don't think that's it. The Elaine was put on the run. There was a fuss because the only dots at the Elaine could go into report Washington on Pender and Ganges on Saltspring. So the other outer islands there was all sorts of letters to the editor. Christ is the government

Speaker 1 39:34
there's an order coming in that one is the that's the lane. You guys said better eyes than I have. out of the mess in the early 50s with Princess Mary going on coming off the run to get introduced to the lady rose as well. Old Sparky new Eliana I understand Tom, two cars at a time

Speaker 1 40:15
and they were hoisted up the cargo booms and I believe they're loaded crossways just behind the wheelhouse. Again, it wasn't here another picture of the lane and Ganges. Here's a rather decent picture of the lady rose in all their glory

Speaker 1 40:43
I don't think it's on the run. It was a couple of years ago. I don't I don't know for sure if it's even still there. I haven't been out to check it out. It did Yeoman's service out there. A little minor blurb. At the time, I believe in 1934 Lady Rose was commissioned was ordered by union steamship in Vancouver. it at the time was the smallest diesel powered shipped across the Atlantic under its own power. And that was a big deal in 1934. It had a massive engine in it. I was on board in 19 90.0 Shipyard. And the engine bears here, here and a few massive plates steel crosspieces. And the little caterpillar six cylinder 353 diesel engine replaced the great big national diesel. What's in it? And I think it was one and a half times the horsepower of the original engine change. Yes. And engineers who get smarter eventually. This one didn't come up to well, I don't know if you can see it. That's the GA Yes. Pearson 19 C 1954. They started planning it. Yeah, that's when it went on the run. I was they would have what a year before they would have argued about it. Yeah, and it again was purchased by Gulf Island ferries 1955 Inc. Because I did miss out. In 1951. Man, Madson got out of the ferry business. And this is when Gulf Island ferries became locally owned. headed up by Nam having another blonde moment. Gavin mullet and there were a number of other shareholders involved in it. And there is the other boat. Its mark the tender Queen when it was run by Gulf Island Ferry, so it was still called the motor princess but you can see the dramatic change. The haul is the same. It's the same wooden hull. They did take the Macintosh and Seymour's out. I presume your uncle Gavin because of the wonderful service that Fairbanks gave them on the side Peck. He went with stellar seven cylinder or surplus Fairbanks diesels with a massive what they call a Joe's reverse gear. It was a mechanical gear. I was not heavy enough to manually push down on the Johnson bar. To put it in reverse it had a power cylinder to make it work but you needed to be about 285 pounds clump. If he had to go back to using the Armstrong system to put it in reverse. The original engines were what was called blast injection. The fuel was pushed into the cylinder by air at 1000 pounds per square inch. Massive amounts of engine power did nothing but compressed air to 1000 pounds per square inch. So in the German Mr. Bosch came out with his direct injection, which meant the pump that pushed the fuel in actually could push it in at three or 4000 pounds per square inch pressure. Got rid of all that blast injection equipment. When I sailed on the Pender queen is an oiler the old high pressure Air bottles were still installed outside. They were about this big in diameter. I was given them to stand inside here about that big in diameter. And they stood about that by and they were they were still there they ballast who knew the fuel tanks? He had actually ran on a bunker fuel, probably bunker see? The bill just always stunk. Because once he was converted in 1955 they dropped the fuel tanks into the built. They didn't pump them up and it's soaked into the woods now with a Nike 55 And I sailed on it in 1975 7677 and it still stung matter how much you tried to clean it. It was still there. When the DS Island tunnel was finished, the Delta Princess became a redundant ferry. I presume Gavin mode was quite successful and purloining it from Ministry of highways or the Department of Highways and it replaced the site Peck as the Fulford ferry. I'm assuming a boat 1958 1959 I don't actually have a tie down date. You people would know it as the Salt Spring queen. After BC Ferries took over that's the end of the pictures. A couple more points. CPR service to the Gulf Islands. Since the 1920s is the Princess Mary, the Moto Princess Leia Lane, the Nora, the princess of Alberni somehow wound up over here temporarily. The early the first princess Patricia and the Princess Royal and the 30s and the charmer actually spent some time around 1910 And there's another one called the Queen City and it apparently did some fairly work that Southern Gulf Islands and North

Speaker 1 47:28
questions corrections and I have no problem with corrections Yes.

Speaker 1 47:47
That was BC Ferries and BC the first the Sydney in this Lawson They were the first variants to sail out of what we now know so awesome ferry terminal. Before that, the motor Princess it started doing Bellingham to Sydney it was put up basically it was run off that run by Puget Sound. Yes, Puget Sound navigation. So it started running from Steve Austin to Sydney. Yeah, yep. Yeah, the lady. The lady Rose was all over the place. It's quite interesting to see how you know, the chips moved around. I forgot to mention terribly sorry. Night team. 5556 is when the lady rose went on. Under Sparky news, I believe he called the cover company Coast fairies. He ordered the island princess. And it was delivered in 1958. And he did receive somewhat of a subsidy. But I don't think it was very large. And he ran it and I'm again presuming from CSUN and he ran it to the Gulf Islands including Saltspring until ferry stick over in 1961. The queen of the islands came on the run in 1962. Sparky do then took the island princess, and he pioneered the ferry run from Sayward up to Alert Bay and son Tula to the other end of the highway in which then you went back on the road and you could drive up to port Hardy, Holmberg, Dallas farm all those places. And he ran that basically as a private outfit until 1969 and he finally sold out to BC Ferries. The island princess was renamed the North Island Princess Princess Cruises came to BC Ferries and bought the name they wanted they wanted to call her cruise ship the island Princess so they see fairies for a suitable amount of money. They actually let it go. Not germane. The island princess was quartered and turned into a catamaran they basically cut her lengthwise on the centerline. They cut her a sword ships pull the pieces this way, and that way, filled in the sides, creating the catamaran put in some extra pieces. And the North Island Princess went from about a 30 car ferry to about a 4550 car ferry. It's still running. I know there have been some issues with the steelwork. And that goes back when I was still working with BC Ferries. They were a little bit just like the blue bridge in Victoria. BC Ferries was a little bit shy on the paint department. It was basically rusting out from the inside. So what they're doing with it, they're talking about a couple of new minor ferries and I believe it's one of the ones that is to be replaced very quickly. But again, it does have its his career results when Yes, ma'am.

Speaker 1 51:20
It varies. They normally talk in terms of three to four times a week if you're lucky. But that isn't necessarily at every port. Like Salt Spring light sees seven different boats a week. But it might be Monday and Thursday here Tuesday and Friday here. You know it did vary. And it's it's I find it hard. I don't have the time. Basically, I have to go to the museum and Victoria. Do a Gillian Watson and sit down and read newspapers for weeks. Because that's really to get the detail. I do apologize for instance, I know. Susan's uncle, ran water taxis that have Galliano for years to supplement the ferries. There was a ferry Alastor ran a water taxi had a Fulford they talked about taking a boat from there and going I think going around the deep cold but I'm not sure they might have actually gone to Sydney and got the old Sydney Victorian Sydney railway and it disappeared that railway disappeared in 1920 you know so they talk about Escalon Bedich Bittencourt into Silvius having some sort of water taxi service to but again i i I know that something was there. I could not tie down anything really to when who what they did the size of boat so I sort of left it out remember princess I remember the 40 weekends I think it was I think was Sunday Yep. So do excursions for Vancouver?

Unknown Speaker 53:20
Yes we do in the winter princesses coming because you're gonna hear the engine or an energy miles away see bustle

Unknown Speaker 53:43
I think that's the only way it actually served Saltspring

Speaker 1 53:47
prior prior to the Gulf I think they're a bit hate my my reference books are a bit hazy, but it seems that it it would be there was a problem with the Mary it would be pressed into service temper, you know, but um, again, Tom, I all corrections gratefully accepted. I wasn't here. I was growing up in Ottawa, and all I can do is go by somebody else's printed word.

Speaker 2 54:16
1930 census Meredith comes through here. On his way from Prince Prince, Rupert.

Speaker 1 54:27
Okay, it would come it would go as far as our area in Victoria. Okay, back here on Tuesday. Yep. I forgot that. I'm sorry about that because well, if it actually had those times saw me it had been replaced. They built a boat about twice the size of the mokwena for the West Coast. So that made it a spare vessel. And I'm sorry again. I I did run across it and I've forgotten to mention that I'm well prepared

Unknown Speaker 55:08
to become incorporated was in 1961

Speaker 1 55:11
BC Ferries bought Gulf Island ferries 1955 Inc. in 1961 60s 1960,

Unknown Speaker 55:19
when they started

Speaker 1 55:22
they actually started in earlier than that, because don't forget the the the company had to be there before they could order the boats. And it took about a year to build the Sydney and the so awesome. So the I can never keep it straight. I know it was June of 1960 were the first sailings which which boat the truckers

Speaker 2 55:48
truckers going to send the trucks over the Africa with a driver these trucks in the middle of the parking lot to hear fairly good driver driver back

Speaker 1 56:03
Oh, okay. Actually it's quite funny. BC Ferries has a what they call a drop trailer service. That's kind of funny. I shouldn't laugh. Everybody else CPR, whatever. There's two tractors. There's 140 trailers and runner, clunk little airlift on the fifth wheel. They don't bring the landing gear up, backwards down the dock at 2530 miles an hour into the spot on the ferry conch, unhook the brakes, run, pick up the next one back at down the dock. BC Ferries who to way builds these fancy little moving trucks. They're not for the highway use. They're just to move trailers around in freight terminals and ferry carts and whatever. When BC Ferries got into the drop trailer business, they ordered the next four years of production of Uwais trucks. They sold maybe three years and they wanted 12 Because they don't drop the trailers, they sent the tractor and the trailer on the ferry. So for the amount of money to get the fancy little cutaways and like 12 Single Axle conventional tractors and use them because they didn't use any of these special equipment. So you'll see the drivers they'll stand in front of the boat at Swartz Bay, the big one coming in, they walk on board, drive the 434 or five trailers off and then they go midway through the load and it drives us three or four or five back on and they squawk off. So the truck and trailer without a driver goes from one to the other.

Speaker 2 57:59
You didn't mention soft bringing up the service that I used to come over on.

Unknown Speaker 58:11
Board 50

Speaker 1 58:12
Again, I'm remiss I'm sorry, it was a George S Pearson came up from the States. You want me to do Frank I was just talking with Mr. Tiny because there was some discussion between Captain mod and his uncle, Gavin mullet, a bow feather that was going to make money or Kill the Company. And it turned out that it actually did make money. And it was it was a very good idea to bring it in. But there was quite a lot of friction over that in the beginning. It was replaced by the BC Ferries replaced it with the Vesuvius queen I believe in 1966 when it actually happened. The Bolin queen was built for the Bowen Island run. And it replaced the motor vessel Lloyd Jones. The motor vessel Lloyd Jones was built in Victoria was cut up into sections shipped up to West Kelowna, welded back together on the beach, and it became the last ferry at Kelowna before they built the bridge. At that point in time, they moved over two inches. Cut the hall again, brought it back down to the coast, took it over to allied shipbuilding, welded it back together again. And it actually became the original Bolin queen. And then in 19 6566 Purpose Built Bowling Green went on the run now the motor vessel Lloyd Jones slash bowling queen, its surplus and it was much bigger than the Georges Pearson Because it personally carried about 12 or 16 cars every Friday so anyway, that came over to the two of us and then it spent time a number of years there. I know the interchange the Saltspring Queen and the Vesuvius queen and everybody got upset because the Saltspring queen had a bigger car deck. And it of course used to be the ferry from number five Road in Ladner over to or from station over to Ladner. And bigger boat great, one or two more cars great. And then the naval architects got into it and Transport Canada got into it and they realized that the Salt Spring Queen could only legally support a 25 ton load and the Vesuvius Queen because it had two more watertight compartments could actually support a 60 ton load. So the Salt Spring Clean went away in the Vesuvius came back and then it was eventually replaced by the house on Queen when it became Bextra vessel. Questions corrections and corrections I don't mind at all sir

Speaker 1 1:01:45
Oh, did you make it? I didn't make it because I was busy working on this Yep, yeah. My second engineer George gounder is the managing director of Fiji ferries Inc. Good on him. Yes, black I understand. Great, okay.

Speaker 1 1:02:25
I'm gonna get my I'm gonna get up NCIS head slap from Jeff's rope. But why BC Ferries ever got rid of the Queen's and the Nymo to spend $100 million on this other fine vessel that we have. I went I was senior chief on the queen in Nanaimo. When I retired, I put four years of Senior Chief on it. So basically, I was the asset conservator for that four years. And that hall is almost immaculate in perfect shape. It might tenure, we did change three small, thin plates. It didn't amount to four feet by six feet in total plate area, as far as the whole was concerned, but the machinery is fine. Those merlis engines, they're asking, they're asking them to produce about 2000 horsepower peach. That particular block, as of 1990 was producing over 11,000 horsepower, that same basic engine, they're going to last forever and ever and ever.

Unknown Speaker 1:03:43
Thank you very much for being a multiplicative audience.

Speaker 3 1:03:50
As a non native, I had no idea about the various different vessels that have been in service here for so long. I just wanted to mention that next month, we are taking a trip

Speaker 3 1:04:12
we will be breaking his book with him as well. So it's going to be a story about the gold rush. So it's something I think you'll find quite entertaining and informative. So look for the bright

Speaker 3 1:04:31
and in November, we will be meeting at the library there will be a McFly exhibition put on jointly by the library, the Japanese I forgotten the rest of the name that society and Historical Society and there will be a presentation in November about that as well. So that meeting will be in the library. Bye