Where we’ve trodden

Summarizing our 2015 adventures on S/V Calliste and M/C Fordie on Google map. M/C … a nautical acronym I created for “Motor Car”.

1st we took Calliste up to Cortes Island, then we return to PT and drove up with Fordie to enjoy summer cruising with support vehicle! How cool that is!

So we’ve done the 2 most logical routes, prices for the ferries are for 1 standard size vehicle and 2 adults.

1) Port Townsend -> Port Angeles -> MV Coho (1.5hrs ferry, US$81) -> Victoria -> Campbell River -> ferry (10 mins, C$95.50 includes next ferry) -> Quadra Island -> ferry (40 mins) -> Cortes Island

2) Port Townsend -> ferry (25 mins, US$14) -> Coupeville -> US / Canada Border -> Tsawassen -> MV Coastal Inspiration (2hrs ferry, C$89) -> Nanaimo -> Campbell River -> ferry (10 mins, C$95.50 includes next ferry) -> Quadra Island -> ferry (40 mins) -> Cortes Island

The time that we did route 2, 2nd Dec, I got off work at 1500hrs, packed the car and got on the 1715hrs PT to Coupeville ferry, off to a great start. Did a Walmart dinner stop at Bellingham, spent 5 mins at the Canada Border, arrive Tsawassen 2125hrs. Snoozed in car while waiting… till 2230hrs, ferry scheduled for 2215hrs but was running late. At this late hour, there are only few cars and some freight trucks, so the on board lounges were quite empty… I like the amount of space between the passengers.

Unloaded at Duke Point, Nanaimo 0055hrs. Drive at a comfy speed of 100kmh to Campbell River, arriving at 0300hrs. Parked at 24hrs Macdonald’s and checked into internet. Wifi available from car if parked close in. Enjoy the posh facilities at this very nicely reno’ed Macdonald’s, and breakfast at 0630hrs. Shop at Save on Foods 0800hrs, get groceries for the whole week here, cos very limited selection is avail on Cortes.

On the Campbell River -> Quadra ferry 0930hrs. At this time of day, most traffic is coming off the islands, so us going in reverse of the traffic means …. no queue and not crowded in. We like that.

Was the 2nd car in queue for the Quadra -> Cortes ferry at 0950hrs…. but we could see the waves were breaking out there, not a good sign. 1005hrs ferry cancelled due to bad weather. We hang around, explored Heriot Bay Inn, and was notified that 1205hrs was cancelled… Walked to TruValues grocery store and ate lunch at the deli…. back to car and was informed that 1500hrs also not running. … Not much else to see in Heriot Bay while its raining… Read and sleep in car mostly. Finally got on the 1655hrs. Arrived at Calliste 1830hrs.

7 Dec 0715hrs, we decided to leave 1 day earlier than planned… as the weather forecast predicted another horrible day on the 8th. Made it to the infamous Cortes -> Quadra ferry lineup at 0745hrs. If we made it on the 0750hrs, that would be nice, if not the 0950hrs would be fine too. Just our bad luck, the 0750hrs and 0950hrs ferry is cancelled due to mechanical faults! We were lucky to make it on the 1150hrs, cos its winter and less people stay in Cortes during this time. And we were lucky to make it on the 1st connecting ferry to Campbell River too. Unloaded at 1315hrs, we have only 2hrs to get gas and drive 160km to Duke Point. Drove at the uncomfy speed of 118kmh, made it to Duke Point at 1508hrs. Cars were already being loaded as we were at the ticket booth. Phew, we are in and got the winter sailing discount for selected timings 🙂 . So this trip is only C$62 instead of C$89.

1745hrs arrive Tsawassen. Spent 15 mins at US Border. Got full load of gas in Bellingham at the amazing US$209/gallon. 2030hrs arrive at Coupeville ferry terminal… so quiet, only few cars in line for the 2115hrs. Back in cabin 2200hrs.

My personal preference is using the 2nd route, especially in winter. MV Coho is a old touristy small vehicle ferry that is not as comfortable as the newer MV Coastal Inspiration, and it doesn’t run frequently because it is not the main highway between 2 major cities. In North America, vehicle ferries are considered as part of highway and actually have a highway number assigned to it. That is so foreign to me… Oh, sidetracked… because I have had to wait for the next run of the MV Coho, which is about 4hrs or sometimes overnight, I prefer using the ferry that has bigger capacity and less potential of being totally full, despite this route being slightly more expensive. And despite the many cancelled Quadra -> Cortes ferry, coming and going, it still worked out okay for us…




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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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