Monday, June 4, 2018

Thursday June 4, 1998 - Inside Passage

Leaving Port Hardy on the Queen of the North
Queen of the North ferry - cloudy and warm

[Yes, that Queen of the North]*

I got up early at 5 am to catch the ferry So far it is cloudy but we are hoping for clear weather for the long trip up the Inside Passage.

Later: sunny and warm

The weather did clear, but whenever we passed through open ocean it became cloudy and cool. In the channels it was warm and sunny. Beautiful.

Dagmar and Robert

Robert said that there were a lot of Germans on this boat but very few Canadians. Mostly German and American. Two forestry people did presentations on natural and cultural history, it was like a cruise with lots of deck chairs and people lying or sitting in the sun. But it was a bit cool for bathing suits, though some were in shorts. I wondered how many were going on to Haida Gwaii.

Robert said "bad people don't travel", meaning that all the people you meet travelling are nice. But he  did warn me about Germans, he said that he had lived most of his life in Germany and found them cool and unfriendly. When he was telling me this Dagmar was nodding her head vigorously in agreement. As near as I could make out Dagmar escaped Czechoslovakia after the Soviet invasion in 1968 after the "Prague Spring". She settled in West Germany and Robert was either an infant or born soon after her escape. She was a single mom. I wish I could have talked to her more.

I would encounter many German tourists during my time in the west of Canada, they love the wilderness and the native peoples. I won't say that Robert's warning was totally true but in general I did find German tourists taciturn and stand-offish.

Prudhomme Lake - cold and cloudy

The last part of the trip was windy, cold and cloudy. My face was burning and I felt exhausted so I ended up just watching a TV movie for the last two hours.

We arrived in Prince Rupert late, around 10 pm I think. Finding a place to stay so late at night after getting off the ferry was a bit hairy. Robert and Dagmar and I agreed to meet at the nearest campground after we left Prince Rupert, but the closest campground looked pretty awful with RVs lined up on the highway to get in. So we drove another 20 km down the road to a little provincial park, Prudhomme Lake, which was just fine. My jar of peanut butter had opened and spilled inside a plastic bag and I spent an extra ten minutes cleaning that up. I fed the dog and put away all my stuff before going to bed myself. I was exhausted. 

* [The Queen of the North sank on March 22, 2006 in the middle of the night due to "human factors". Two people died although their bodies were never found; the rest were rescued by fishing boats and rescue craft from Hartley Bay]

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