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Thread: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

  1. #1
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    Default Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Blowing like stink yesterday on Puget Sound. The Port Townsend-Keystone run crosses Admiralty Inlet. Keystone Harbor is narrow and shallow

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    Exclamation Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Looks a lot like Lake Erie on a bad day.....wow!
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Not nearly as bad as the Blue Bridge ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton. Can someone bring that up again?

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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    We had 56+ knots from the south at 4 p.m. yesterday. I was surprised to see the ferries running.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    That is a significant amount of leeway in a short distance. Must have been a bit of buttock-clenching on the bridge. Also, even though the waves aren't huge by other standards, that is a lot of wave action for an open-ended flat-deck ferry - if any amount of water gets on deck, the stability of the vessel goes away in a big hurry. Smashing and crashing through monstrous seas? No. Scary and potentially dangerous? Yes.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    james mcmullet type conditions right there
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    Not nearly as bad as the Blue Bridge ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton. Can someone bring that up again?
    Is this the one?

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Fair bit of windage on a ferry like that...
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    We had 56+ knots from the south at 4 p.m. yesterday. I was surprised to see the ferries running.
    BC Ferries cancelled several crossings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay

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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Wow, that skip was thankful for the light load, he must've had those engines screaming in the early part of that video!
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    There's a ton of current right there along the east side of Admiralty Inlet. I don't know what time that video was taken, but it looks like the ebb and the south wind were aligned right there. I imagine it was even peppier there when they were opposed.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    A few of the trips from the city of Vancouver to Vancouver Island were scrubbed yesterday due to high winds. These are quite big ferries, too, like this:


    Last edited by JimD; 11-15-2017 at 12:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    My first thought is the Captain made a poor decision to sail in those conditions.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    I am not sure the captain makes that call. Our ferry runs are rarely if ever cancelled for weather. Extreme low tide can cancel the Port Townsend Keystone run.
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    Blowing like stink yesterday on Puget Sound. The Port Townsend-Keystone run crosses Admiralty Inlet. Keystone Harbor is narrow and shallow

    https://www.facebook.com/KOMONews/vi...0940926974233/
    I remember living on Vashon Island in Puget Sound many years ago. There was a big storm from the North that morning, and the ferry slip faced directly into the oncoming seas. There is a lot of fetch there. As I walked out the dock to board my ferry, without shifting my eyes I was alternately looking at the pilothouse and the car deck - the boat was pitching that much. I decided curled up in front of my fireplace at home with a cup of hot cocoa was the better place to be. Good decision, because they stopped running the ferries on that route later in the day, and I would have been unable to get home until the next day.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    I am not sure the captain makes that call. Our ferry runs are rarely if ever cancelled for weather. Extreme low tide can cancel the Port Townsend Keystone run.
    Really? I've never heard of the captain of a boat or an aircraft not having the final say on deciding if it is safe to go.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve McMahon View Post
    Really? I've never heard of the captain of a boat or an aircraft not having the final say on deciding if it is safe to go.
    You're probably right
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    On a ferry run the captain is indeed the final arbiter of the go/no-go question, but he usually makes that decision in consultation with the ferry management team. If he is the only dissenting voice among the management on-hand to make the decision, he can get away with it once every decade or so. More often than that and I would expect that he would be looking for a new job.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Yikes

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    On a ferry run the captain is indeed the final arbiter of the go/no-go question, but he usually makes that decision in consultation with the ferry management team. If he is the only dissenting voice among the management on-hand to make the decision, he can get away with it once every decade or so. More often than that and I would expect that he would be looking for a new job.
    I expect you are right.
    On one of our trips across the strait our Captain decided to go, and the Captain of another boat decided not to. I overheard some of the crews making jokes about it at the start of the trip. They weren't joking about it so much later on in the trip as we pitched and rolled up and down the coast of Newfoundland waiting for the wind to slack off enough to dock. 22 hours instead of 8 to make that crossing.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Yes, and the captain got to complain about being late while the crew got to deal with angry and seasick passengers, clean up the spilled beverages and puke, and worry about whether the tie-down chains on the vehicles were adequate.

    I once got to see the aftermath of an old Toyota Landcruiser - obviously rigged for some serious moose-hunting, being kitted out with heavy bush bars on all corners and overloaded as hell - that broke free of its chains during a rough crossing to the Granite Planet. It survived almost unscathed, but five or six of the newer shiny sedans surrounding it were reduced to rubble.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Yes, and the captain got to complain about being late while the crew got to deal with angry and seasick passengers, clean up the spilled beverages and puke, and worry about whether the tie-down chains on the vehicles were adequate.

    I once got to see the aftermath of an old Toyota Landcruiser - obviously rigged for some serious moose-hunting, being kitted out with heavy bush bars on all corners and overloaded as hell - that broke free of its chains during a rough crossing to the Granite Planet. It survived almost unscathed, but five or six of the newer shiny sedans surrounding it were reduced to rubble.
    Shades of Farley Mowat's truck in A Boat Who Wouldn't Float
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Yes, and the captain got to complain about being late while the crew got to deal with angry and seasick passengers, clean up the spilled beverages and puke, and worry about whether the tie-down chains on the vehicles were adequate.

    I once got to see the aftermath of an old Toyota Landcruiser - obviously rigged for some serious moose-hunting, being kitted out with heavy bush bars on all corners and overloaded as hell - that broke free of its chains during a rough crossing to the Granite Planet. It survived almost unscathed, but five or six of the newer shiny sedans surrounding it were reduced to rubble.
    Actually the dog owners, myself included, started to threaten mutiny around hour 12 unless we were allowed to go below and let our dogs out of the vehicles. It took a while, but the Captain eventually allowed us all to go down and tend to our dogs with a crew escort.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobcat View Post
    Shades of Farley Mowat's truck in A Boat Who Wouldn't Float
    I was thinking exactly the same thing.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    I thought the same thing when I saw it, having re-read The Boat Who Wouldn't Float only shortly before. However, I think the one in Farley's story was an older J40 model and was pulling a trailer; the one I saw was one of the newer models, all by its lonesome. Possibly Marine Atlantic bears a grudge against Landcruisers?

    Steve - that lack of access is why we put our dog up in the kennels aft of the wheelhouse. Bella wasn't too happy with the motion of the ship, but she was pleased to be able to get out (on leash, of course) and pee in the scuppers.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Sometimes the Ferryboat Captains earn their Pay

    Been on a wild crossing once, Hamburg Harwich in winter in the 1990s, 930 mbar atmospheric pressure. Strange feeling when the underbody of the ferry falls back into the water, you sack a bit deeper into your bunk and you feel the whole ship shudder and vibrate for a few moments. And then again. And then again. And then again ... . I did wonder if the ferry might take shelter in the Ems, but they pulled through, albeit slowly, building up - was it 6 hours delay? on the trip.

    Our ferry was ok, but another ferry lost part of the bow bulwalk that same night.

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