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To take my mind of the gloom of late fall, how about a show & tell about ferry travel?

 

Living on a (largish) island necessitates a ferry trip anytime I head off for a trip. Mostly I take the MV Coho from Victoria, BC to Port Angeles, Washington. That route is more convenient when I head to America, but the journey via BC Ferries to mainland BC at Tsawassen is more scenic.

 

The Coho is the smallest of the ferries I travel on; 340 feet long and carries 110 cars & 1,000 passengers & crew. BC Ferries' Spirit & Coastal class vessels are over 500 feet in length, and carry up to 350 cars and 1,600-2,000 passengers & crew.

 

 

MV Coho leaving Victoria harbour:

 

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Looking northwest to Vancouver from the retired Queen of Saanich:

 

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nearing Tsawassen ferry terminal aboard Spirit of BC, with the Coastal Celebration and Queen of New Westminster (sister to Queen of Saanich) docked in the background:

 

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looking back towards Vancouver as we enter Active Pass between Galiano Island on the left(north) and Mayne Island to the right:

 

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A somewhat shorter 8km ferry ride to Magnetic Island off Townsville. I had an argument with the loader because he was pissed off that I didn’t park where he told me too next to the railing (I was worried that the wind would whip up the salt water as the waves hit the side of the ferry, as it turned out I needn’t have worried no spray at all) He kept going on about balancing the ferry and he was the boss ect ect, he actually threatened to refuse me return passage.

The ferry isn’t that small, there was a passenger who I think weighed more than my bike who was walking around quite freely without capsizing the boat.0A2EF25E-806E-49C9-B32F-3391F2976A86.jpeg.9d664f6505591270845ee5e1f2b313a6.jpeg6669A877-5482-48C0-83DF-88764410336E.thumb.jpeg.8b78ca8fed7c0a0d6afb7dc93f6a27da.jpeg

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Although I too live on an island, it is a decent size at 113,000 square km (thanks Google). My ferry journeys have been limited to a harbour crossing to Waiheke Island with my scooter (and wife). Waiheke is in one of Auckland's harbours (the Waitemata) and full of vineyards, holiday homes and rich pricks (apologies to anyone here who lives there). You get there on what can only be described as a landing craft, with a lowering bow door that grinds up onto a ramp at each end. The Vespa was a blast two-up on dirt roads!

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Other short crossings have been in the Bay of Islands at Opua; a very short hop that avoids a tortuous coastal road, actually a fabulous ride on a bike if you have the time/energy. The ferry is as small as it looks but the journey is only 10 minutes.

 

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Not too far from there is the Hokianga Harbour, and there is another small ferry crossing from Rawene to Kohukohu. This one also cuts out a very windy coastal road. I crossed this one on a big day return trip to Cape Reinga; it was nice to take a short break. 

 

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The biggest ferry crossing here is between the two main islands of New Zealand, between the imaginatively-named North Island and (wait for it) the equally creative South Island. Not far as the crow flies, but 3-odd hours in a large ferry that also hauls freight trucks and railway wagons. Getting on this ferry is very exciting for a northerner like me, as the South Island is a bit larger, much emptier, and geographically wild, which means mountains and rivers unlike the North, and epic, epic riding. They insist that you tie the bike down well, the crossing over the Cook Strait can be very wild indeed. In 1969 a similar-sized ferry ran aground and capsized in a storm with significant loss of life...

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Love to hear about your trips on the ferry, but that looks too cold for me! I want 85F and humid every day. 

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Speaking of ferries... I used to take one to S.F. for work... about 60-minutes. Much better than 2.5-hr commute by car.

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The only large car ferry I've been on was the one from South Baymouth to Tobermory, Ontario.  I was doing my tour around Lake Huron and decided to take the ferry instead of riding around Georgian Bay.  Between getting to the terminal early to assure I'd have a spot, waiting for the ferry, the 2-hour trip, and disembarking, I probably didn't save that much time.  But it was nice to relax on the boat, get some rest during a long day of riding, and get a hot meal onboard.  This boat had a full kitchen and even a gift shop.  The day was overcast and the trip across the water was cool and misty.  Really neat experience.  I included a few photos below.

 

This was the first time I ever had to tie my VFR down, and all they had was some twine rope.  I was a little worried but it was fine.  The water was fairly calm and the boat was very steady.  But after that episode I bought a set of decent tie-downs in case I ever need to take a ferry like that again on a tour.

 

Two other car ferries I've been on (sorry, no photos):

  • There's a small ferry that crosses the Ohio River between Fly, OH, and Sistersville, WV.  It fits several cars.  I've been on it once or twice.  It's a very short ride, is pretty cheap, and does save some time traveling further to one of the bridges that cross the river.  But mostly it's just kind of cool to be sitting on or standing next to your motorcycle on a floating platform in the middle of a large river.  I almost took the ferry just for the fun of it during my last SE Ohio ride, but decided to skip it.  Maybe next spring.
  • Kanadian Ken and I took a very small ferry from Ontario to NY state during a tour around Lake Ontario.   It was tiny.  I can't remember where it was exactly, but it was on the NE side of the lake and saved us a bunch of time vs. riding east to the next bridge to cross over.  It's a very short ride.  When you get to the other side, as soon as you roll off the boat you're basically at the border patrol shack.  What made this crossing more memorable for me was how much of a prick the US Border was, the first and last time that's happened to me.

ferry.jpg

ferry deck.jpg

ferry bow.jpg

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Lots of great replies & photos. The map below shows the routes I use, with Vancouver and Seattle also highlighted to get your bearings.

 

Terry: at 31,000 sq km, Vancouver Island is about one quarter the area

 

BC Ferries have wooden blocks to prop your bike - but no tie-downs, at least on the routes I use.

Black Ball Ferry's MV Coho offers rope to tie your bike up - weird, I know.

 

Both routes are around 25 mi/44 km and 90 minute voyages, though only the Coho is an international trip. They both cost about the same: US$38 / Cdn$49.

 

The Coho sails for 2 to 4 round trips per day, while BC Ferries run 2 vessels totalling 16 round trips per day.

 

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Lake Champlain, leaving Burlington VT. My riding buddy Markus is the hat and sunglasses in front of my 6th gen, and his FJR (I think, he changed bikes frequently). The blue bike in front is some v-twin, can't quite make out the brand...

 

Bike Trip 9.07 056.jpg

 

P.S. I have taken the Peel Ferry on my VFR a half dozen times. Double points to anyone on VFRD who can identify where the hell it is. (it is in the lower 48)

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Some really great content ^^^.

 

I seem to be at one of the "we don't give a rip about the virus" employers, so it's been back to the office  . . . we do have a great view of the a.m. sunrises tho. Here are two taken recently,  15 to 20 mins apart. Mt Hood in view, looking East.20211117_065859.thumb.jpg.c9abec648c9042bdc1696a874049d7eb.jpg

 

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Ferry to S.F. was U$18,50 one-way. I got monthly pass for U$335. Ends up about same as commuting

 

- $6 bridge toll across Bay Bridge or Golden Gate Bridge

- $5 bridge toll back to North Bay

- $10 petrol/car-maintenace

 

Ferry is more relaxing, has food, and has nice views along way. 

 

Richmond-San Rafael bridge

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Bay Bridge to Oakland

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Two Brothers islands

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I lived in Bremerton, WA, across Puget Sound from Seattle for a couple years.  Lived as close to the ferry terminal as I could so I could pretend like I lived in Seattle.  Hated the "not really being in the city" part but yeah, the amenities onboard aren't bad:

 

 

 

 

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Here was my other ride through Puget Sound:

 

 

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1 hour ago, ShipFixer said:

 

Here was my other ride through Puget Sound:

 

 

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looks like you could unload lots of vehicles very quickly with that system...

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19 hours ago, ShipFixer said:

I lived in Bremerton, WA, across Puget Sound from Seattle for a couple years.  Lived as close to the ferry terminal as I could so I could pretend like I lived in Seattle.  Hated the "not really being in the city" part but yeah, the amenities onboard aren't bad:

 

 

 

 

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Here was my other ride through Puget Sound:

 

 

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I lived in Seattle and later in Pouslbo for a while.  Loved Pouslbo, but don't miss Seattle for a second. It has unfortunately gone downhill badly in recent years.  The scenery around Puget Sound is beautiful.  The sight of a carrier transiting is indeed impressive . . . 

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3 hours ago, ShipFixer said:

I lived in Bremerton, WA, across Puget Sound from Seattle for a couple years. 

Here was my other ride through Puget Sound:

 

IMG_20170901_202511.jpg

 

 

Bremerton, you say. In March '93 I took my new-to-me '91 VFR750 on its maiden voyage and stopped by the Navy yard in Bremerton. Seems like a million years ago...

 

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15 hours ago, Lorne said:

 

 

Bremerton, you say. In March '93 I took my new-to-me '91 VFR750 on its maiden voyage and stopped by the Navy yard in Bremerton. Seems like a million years ago...

 

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That was a great stop  to see the two battleships side by side - such an impressive sight.  Sad we'll never see that again.  Was the closer of the two the Missouri,  or was it gone then?   The bow doesn't look quite right to be BB63, but clearly the New Jersey is in the background. 

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Another pic of my VFR taken definitely shows an aircraft carrier. This pic from the Library of Congress shows the Hornet, CVS-12 beside a battleship. Sure looks like it could be the one in my photo.

 

Definitely impressive vessels when you are that close to them.

 

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2 hours ago, VifferJ said:

My nephew over yesterday for Thanksgiving, he looks ready right. 🙂

 

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I seem to remember this little guy from other photos . . . reminds me of my avatar!   :wheel:

 

 

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2 hours ago, Cogswell said:


I seem to remember this little guy from other photos . . . reminds me of my avatar!   :wheel:

 

 

 

Good memory, yep he's getting bigger each year, he couldn't keep his hands on the grips and feet touching the pegs just a couple years ago.  

 

1e8826b2-a862-4e87-92f6-2a37a7d06371-ori

 

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On 11/25/2021 at 3:28 PM, Terry said:

looks like you could unload lots of vehicles very quickly with that system...

Fact!

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9 hours ago, Lorne said:

Another pic of my VFR taken definitely shows an aircraft carrier. This pic from the Library of Congress shows the Hornet, CVS-12 beside a battleship. Sure looks like it could be the one in my photo.

 

Definitely impressive vessels when you are that close to them.

 

 

 

 

Definitely ex-HORNET.  ex-KITTY HAWK was in that berth the last few years.  We pulled a few parts off of KHAWK before she was hauled to Brownsville.

 

I lived there during my motorcycle hiatus, but sure wish I'd had a VFR on the peninsula!

 

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On 11/25/2021 at 5:32 PM, Cogswell said:

I lived in Seattle and later in Pouslbo for a while.  Loved Pouslbo, but don't miss Seattle for a second. It has unfortunately gone downhill badly in recent years.  The scenery around Puget Sound is beautiful.  The sight of a carrier transiting is indeed impressive . . . 

Well...I wasn't there for the riots or looting...

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