The first direct sailing from Bella Coola to Port Hardy departed early Monday morning on June 3 and will continue through an extended season that ends on October 10 (Michael Wigle photo)

Community celebrates arrival of Northern Sea Wolf

BC Ferries hosted a jam-packed Open House to welcome the ship into service

The Northern Sea Wolf received a warm reception from the local community on Sunday as BC Ferries hosted a jam-packed Open House to welcome the ship into service.

Locals steadily filed in and filled the car deck of the new vessel to witness the opening ceremonies conducted by representatives of BC Ferries, the Nuxalk Nation, the CCRD and tourism officials.

“Like all of you, we’re very thrilled to bring the vessel into service,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries Vice President of Strategy and Communication. “

Nuxalk Hereditary Chief Noel Pootlass was joined by several other Staltamc (hereditary chiefs) to conduct a welcome on behalf of the Nuxalk Nation, saying it was “awesome day” to see the ferry in Nuxalk territory once again.

“It’s really important because we don’t have a great amount of jobs in our community,” said Pootlass. “This brings a lot of help to our whole Valley and I want to thank everyone for coming here today.”

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who had been very busy in the Valley with various other announcements, was enthusiastic in welcoming the new route to the Central Coast.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome the Northern Sea Wolf ferry to the Central Coast,” said Rice. “The arrival of this important ship and service is wonderful news for the people, small businesses, and tourism operators who depend on this popular route.”

The ship was due to sail in 2018 but extensive renovations led to the cancellation of that summer service, much to the outrage of tourism operators and tourists alike.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to BC Ferries who I know worked under tremendous pressure and tight deadlines,” said Rice. “I also would like to recognize Ernest Hall, who rallied for this ferry tirelessly before he passed away two years ago. I wish he could be here today to see this ship. This is truly a great day for people on the coast and across the region.”

The new vessel is set to hold 35 vehicles and 150 passengers and crew, and sailings are already filling up.

“Space is still available for vehicle bookings on all but two sailings, with five other sailings booked to the level of at least 90 percent full,” said Darin Guenette, Manager, BC Ferries Public Affairs. “Thus, for people who are still considering travel on this route, we would encourage them to contact the booking team for travel planning assistance.”

Nuxalk artist Danika Naccarella, whose art is featured on the inside of the ship, was also on hand to celebrate the day. The vessel has been completely modernized with a brand new galley, bridge, electrical generators, emergency generator, HVAC system, washrooms, elevator, chair lifts, cafeteria and passenger accommodation area. Guenette said that “it will be a worthy addition to the Northern fleet for at least another 20 years.”

The name Northern Sea Wolf was selected after lengthy consultation and input from local Central Coast First Nations.

“The name was selected in honour of a First Nations legend in which the Sea Wolf is a manifestation of the orca,” said Wilson. “The Sea Wolf symbolizes family, loyalty and the protection of those traveling their waters.”

The first direct sailing from Bella Coola to Port Hardy departed early Monday morning on June 3 and will continue through an extended season that ends on October 10.

 

Dignitaries participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on board before the public proceeded upstairs (Michael Wigle photo)

Just Posted

Police name second suspect, lay kidnapping and attempted murder charges in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incidents

Drynock is considered dangerous, do not approach him and call the local RCMP detachment immediately

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Links probable between homicide, missing persons investigation in Williams Lake

Rich ‘Savage’ Duncan the victim of Aug. 6 homicide

Heiltsuk challenges feds decision to award $67M contract to east coast towing company

Heiltsuk Horizon challenges decision to award emergency ship towing contract to Irving company

Jim Pattison takeover offer ‘non-binding,’ Canfor cautions investors

B.C. billionaire already big shareholder in forest industry

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

Most Read