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

“It’s something you’re called to do”: Cullen reflects on time as MP

For Nathan Cullen, it’s not goodbye, it’s farewell.

Local artist Sesyaz Saunders’ art on display at YVR

Saunders worked with renowned artist Robert Davidson on a large panel

Mother dog, 9 puppies dumped in sealed box at Puntzi Lake landfill: SPCA

Puppies will be available for adoption at seven weeks old

B.C. government provides $100,000 to CCCTA for emergency preparedness

The marketing organizations will use this funding to create a common set of communications tools

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read