Thursday, July 3, 2014

Across the Water

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

All journeys have a real beginning which isn't necessarily where you started from. Though my recent travels to British Columbia required a drive to the Cincinnati airport, a flight to Minneapolis that met a connecting flight to Vancouver and renting a car to drive out of that city to the edge of the continent, our real journey began here, in a numbered line waiting to load onto one of the BC Ferries that took us across the water to Vancouver Island.

(click on image for an enlarged view) 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries operates a fleet of vessels that service the coastal region of British Columbia. On our trip we made 6 crossings of various lengths on boats of different character and capacities. Let me just say that i have always loved a ferry ride, whether it be a quick little river crossing on a cable ferry or a 2 hour journey on one of these big beasties. The act of crossing the waters holds so much symbolism in our dreams, myths, religions and poetic expressions that its power on the psyche cannot be denied.
Even on a small river ferry i can never sit in my car, no matter how short the trip, but on these larger sea worthy vessels no one stays in their vehicles for long. As soon as we were parked on one of the lower levels we made our way to the top deck.   

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

The air was cool, the breeze steady and it seemed as if heaven's basement was reaching downward to greet the sea. Given the comfort and amenities available below it was little wonder that we found almost no one else up top. But the eerie blue hue of pregnant skies cast a lovely and lonely spectral light on the deserted deck begging to be witnessed.   

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

The lower decks on this ferry feature comfortable lounge seating, TVs, a children's play area, a cafeteria and even a souvenir shop to pass the time and while staying out of the brisk ocean breezes. 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

This dapper gent in the herringbone porkpie was the only subject i approached for permission before photographing because i wanted to make a more intentional portrait of him. I think this guy was probably hip long before hipsters stole that term and drove its reputation into the ground. I do regret not getting his name and contact info because i think he might enjoy seeing this shot, but hey, i was on vacation after all.   

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

Reading is perhaps the most popular pastime on board whether it be on the latest "smart" device of a traditional book, newspaper or magazine.  


BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

I really enjoyed this family, with its bevy of blonde young boys, and shot a number of images of them, though i really like this one where they all seem to be giving the boat a little help with a final push into port. 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

Our next day's watery journey was to take us on two ferries, the first a quick float over to Quadra Island, then after a brief drive to the other side of the island, on to Cortes Island, where we were scheduled to attend a wedding the following day (yes, pictures for a future blog). 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

On these quicker trips with smaller ferries people do often hang out in or near their vehicles and upper decks provide an awesome bird's-eye vantage point. I later discovered that this woman (above) would be the legal official at the wedding on Cortes and that many of our fellow passengers would also be fellow guests. 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

Ferry staff prepare to dock on Quadra Island. These guys were all pretty friendly and really seemed to be enjoying their work, though it's probably not as much fun in nastier weather.

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

Turnout gear hangs on hooks near the crew galley, presumable for those afore mentioned instances of nasty weather.


BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

My eye is easily drawn to weathered and worn nautical gear. Salt and sea takes its toll even on the best maintained equipment. 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

We embark from Quadra for Cortes, one last crossing for the day. We had risen to a sunny morning that then gave way to clouds, then rain, then breaking skies, then drizzle and now the sky was a brilliant clear blue. Again i must state that i know of no other place where the phrase "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes" rings more true. 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

After two glorious days on Cortes Island we begin our journey back to the mainland. The trip would involve 3 ferries again to return, the first two on the same route we had already followed and the last and longest voyage of the day to Horseshoe Bay that would lead us unto the Sea to Sky Highway and more adventures up near Whistler. 
This handsome young seafaring man is one of our ferry friends who was attending a completely different wedding on Cortes Island on the very same day (quite a coincidence considering the size and population of the place) and had shared traveling expenses with two folks who were at our wedding.   

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

In the bowels of our final ferry to the mainland i found a quiet and contrasty beauty on the car deck.

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

A man watches from the bow on the car deck. I found him also in this same spot as we were coming into port and wondered if he spent the entire hour and forty-five minutes of the crossing standing watch.

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

In contrast to our first crossing we had a bright and warm sunny afternoon and the experience on the upper deck was completely different. Passengers filled the spaces, sunning, reading, doing yoga and making new fans with their musical skills. 

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

 I loved this woman's look and must admit i gently stalked her for photos. That is the thing about people on a ferry. You kinda have a a captive audience there, nobody can really go anywhere. It's a great opportunity to people watch and study human form and nature.

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

BC Ferries; Ferry; Vancouver; Vancouver Island; Straits of Georgia; Nautical
©David Sorcher 2014

As we approached Horseshoe Bay i found our lookout still on watch at the bow. The adventure moves away from the sea in a moment and in the next entry i will share some images from our travels by land. 

3 comments:

  1. I remember many ferry crossings, most between Prince Rupert and Queen Charlotte City. I remember a french couple with two small children, and the man said to me, over that island on the horizon, there is mystery, there will always be mystery there, and that is the root of my sadness. (

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  2. Love your blog as well as your photos, Dave. You're a good writer too. Great stuff! Pete S.

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