The morning started early. I think C was in the shower by 4. Eventually we all started to crawl out of bed and I grabbed a quick shower cause there was time. While the girls primped and flattened, I packed the truck and generally made antsy noises.
At exactly 5:15 we pulled out and headed for the ferry. Somewhere along they way Boingy Bunny settled in for a snuggle with the Chalkbag bunny, and they are still going at it.
After being asked for our ID about fifty bazillion times we finally pulled into the ferry though a bow door that lifted vertically.
The Northern Expedition is a recent addition to the fleet. It was built in Germany late 2008 to replace the ferry that sank a few years back. It traveled from Germany via the Panama Canal in spring 2009 and was in service by May.
I’d gotten a cabin in case we wanted to rest (which Leslie is doing right now) and it was fitted out with bathroom, shower, tv and more.
The sail started out with a sunny dawn breaking though clouds in the east. The ferry hustles along as Leslie and I explored the ship. Eventually we ate breakfast at 7 and as we finished up the ship backed out and into Port Hardy’s harbour.
Another roam around the ship decided us on the aft sundeck on deck 6 as our home and we met up with Carmen and camped ourselves in the morning sun. Eventually it clouded over but it was pleasant while it lasted.
By noon we’d spotted an orca, a few far off whales and the girls saw a humpback dive right in front of them. The ship reversed course for a scheduled man-overboard drill that had a slightly comical twist to it when the rescue boat failed to start a bobbed pathetically along side. Eventually though they got it going and the dummy was saved after all.
Right after that the bridge announced humpbacks breaching about 3 miles ahead off the starboard bow. We could see the splashes with the naked eye and as we got closer, the binoculars provided an excellent show. It was mostly a big cow splashing around with her fins and her calf exuberantly breaching alongside. This went on for 5 or 10 minutes and the captain even slowed the ship to a crawl. A few more whales provides a glimpse or two, but it was primarily mother and daughter show.
When we resumed it was BBQ smokies on the sundeck and a bit of a relax.
The afternoon brought clouds and misty fog making for a very coastal experience. Eventually the mist drove us inside to a cup of hot chocolate and/or tea. After tea: nap!
While we were napping the mist turned to rain. We wandered and explored for a bit trying to decide on dinner. Eventually we hit the gift shop for some exercise in commercialism then decided the buffet’s $29 price tag was too steep. It’s only 6:29 and we’ve likely got another 4 hours.
The last four passes quietly with occasional staring out the window, solitude and meandering. We pulled into Prince Rupert at exactly 10:30 and were quickly unloaded and on our way. Separate rooms tonight as I guess we are all tired of each others company 🙂