Ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy
The trip on the ferry down the Inside Passage to Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island is going to be a lengthy day on the water. We board the Northern Explorer in Prince Rupert at 6 am for a 6.45 am sail off and are due in Port Hardy at 10 pm, as it turns out we end up being an hour late and don’t get there till 11 pm. It takes another hour to disembark, collect luggage and get to the hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard. We have one stop along the way that takes about an hour.
We have had a pleasant day in Prince Rupert wandering around and also enjoyed some Pacific cod fish n chips at the Breakers Pub overlooking the marina area. Port Rupert is a container terminal and is a general export facility to China and Asia. It is actually closer to these markets than Vancouver and Seattle and therefore has a cost advantage.
As we set off it is a cloudy day and the coastal mountains are shrouded in a smoky haze, the islands seaward are clearer. The one dominant feature of the journey is the trees. They cover the steeply rising land on either side of the passage. We pass these trees at about 20 knots for around 400 km. It’s a lot of trees to pass by.
The passage is a waterway for fisherman as well and we see many and varied vessels. At our stop off at Klemtu, a little over half way down the passage, there is a resident whale performing as the vessel is docked.
We see more of these majestic creatures as we move further south. There are a number of red and white light house complexes marking key points along the route.
There is not a lot more to say. The time passes relatively quickly but after the sun sets around 8 pm things start to drag a bit as we start to count down the km to Port Hardy and bed, at the Pioneer Motel. As we are to find out the Pioneer Motel is aptly named.