Romance On The BC FerriesMonday, June 23, 2008
Except for the problems of collisions and sinkings I would think that being a captain of a BC Ferry would be just about the same as captain of a barge. I would not think it to be romantic. Some many years ago writer Ben Metcalf and I went back and forth all day on the Queen of Coquitlam without ever getting off. It would be many years later before I would get off in Nanaimo and visit the town. At the time the Queen of Coquitlam was state of the art and her claims to fame were identical bridges fore and aft. The captain confessed to us that they were so identical that sometimes he had to think, to exactly know where he was.
I dislike ferries because when I take them it is usually for a photo assignment where I cannot possibly lose a sailing. The stress consumes me so I go early and I end up waiting in my car for at least an hour.
I like ferries because they hold me captive and I am able to read for the duration of one hour and a half in tranquility.
I dislike ferries because I always run into someone I know and I have to put my book away.
But I love ferries because they make my photographs of my daughters (and now my granddaughters) look so romantic. The man who knew and knows about this is artist Jim McKenzie who lives on Mayne Island. In 1986 when Rosemary and I had more loose and spare change in our pockets we commissioned McKenzie for one of his then signature paintings which had as the location a BC Ferry usually sailing through Active Pass as in this reproduction of his painting here. That's Ale (now 39) on the left and Hilary (36, Rebecca and Lauren's mother). The original is on our dining room wall and there is not a day that I don't look at it and smile.
Today I picked up the slides I took over the weekend during our "holiday" in Parksville. These are two pictures of Rebecca in our trip back on board the Queen of Oak Bay.
I do hope McKenzie still finds the time to get the inspiration that I get on board BC Ferries, Sunshine Breakfast, be damned!
And that's Ale when she was 14 on the Bowen Island ferry.