Vancouver Shipyards Ltd.
has been the main ferry between Vancouver Island (Buckley Bay) and Denman Island for over 25 years. This ferry joined the fleet in 1985 when the coastal division of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways was transferred to BC Ferries.
She usually makes 17 round trips per day, although during times of high traffic, she sometime abandons the schedule and shuttles across Baynes Sound. The
is a very plain vessel. There are no amenities on board other than some seating on both sides of the vessel, washrooms, and a vending machine.
Built in 1977 for British Columbia's Ministry of Transportation and Highways coastal fleet, the
was initially placed on the busy Nanaimo Harbour to Gabriola Island run, replacing the 30-car
. After 5 years on the route, even the
was found to be too small so she was replaced by the 70-car ferry
in June 1982. For the latter part of that year and most of 1983, she was loaned to BC Ferries for operations on a variety of routes. The
served for two months between Horseshoe Bay and Bowen Island, for three months between Swartz Bay and Fulford Harbour, and for the summer months between Swartz Bay and the Gulf Islands. When she returned to the Ministry, she was permanently placed on the Buckley Bay to Denman Island run.
In early 2008, the
is undergoing a major mid-life upgrade that will include refurbished passenger accommodations, a rebuilt bridge, new generators, and brand new engines.
Origin of Name
- Named after the Kwinitsa River, a Native word meaning "place of the beaver" (Clapp, 78).
For Further Reading
Ministry of Transportation and Highways: Inland and Coastal Ferries.
Victoria: Province of British Columbia, 1981. Also 1978 and 1991 editions.