Northern Adventure delayed a week

  • Nov. 23, 2007 8:00 a.m.

The Queen of Prince Rupert will have to keep on sailing for an extra week before going south for its refit, because the Northern Adventure isn’t yet ready to fill in. BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the Northern Adventure’s return to service has been delayed for one week while it waits for two parts for its bow thruster to arrive from Europe. The newer ship had been scheduled to take over both northern routes for the winter on Nov. 21, but now it will start Nov. 28, with its first appearance at the Skidegate terminal scheduled for Nov. 29, Ms Marshall said. The Northern Adventure has had lots of work done during its latest refit, she said, including cabin floor replacements, emergency lighting, plumbing, and generators. A third radar system was added to the ship for redundancy, and the refit crew has reconditioned the gyroscope on one of the ship’s stabilizers. Ms Marshall said the gyroscope controls the ship’s “stability response”. The Northern Adventure, which is only a few years old, meets a higher stability standard than the 41-year-old QPR, Ms Marshall added. Some passengers have complained of a rolling motion on the Northern Adventure, and Ms Marshall said that what they are noticing is a different response to ocean conditions. “It reacts quicker to waves,” she said. “The ship may roll in more wave conditions.” Meanwhile, the QPR got caught in the tail end of a very rough storm last week, and when it arrived in Prince Rupert the off-duty crew left the ship, but Ms Marshall said this was simply so that they could get some much-needed sleep. “They had been up all night,” she said. “They needed to get a proper sleep.” BC Ferries also received some complaints from customers about an earlier rough sailing, between Prince Rupert and Skidegate the night of Nov. 4. Marine superintendent Steve Poole talked to the northern Ferry Advisory Committee last week about the process Ferries staff go through before deciding whether to sail or stay tied up, Ms Marshall said. In this case, staff had checked and double-checked the marine forecast, but the forecast proved wrong and the ship encountered severe weather conditions in Hecate Strait, which led to some passenger discomfort.

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