Travellers in London and Paris weren’t the only ones held hostage by Mother Nature lately.
High winds forced the ferry that delivers folks back and forth between Vancouver Island and Powell River to tie up until it was safe to sail, thus stranding people trying to get home for Christmas.
It was a mess. I know because I’m a ferry worker, working just south of Powell River on another route, and we heard all about it.
The ferry terminal in Powell River was littered with cars and people bearing gifts with nowhere to go and stuck until further notice. Hundreds of people. Many waited all night and through the next day. Anger and anxiety cropped up. The boys in blue were called to maintain peace and good will.
Some finally took the long and winding road south to Vancouver, crossed over in more stable waters, and headed back up the Island, an island they could see just across the water when they were stuck in the parking lot, before they made the decision to go the long way around.
An hour and a half journey on one ferry became a twelve or fourteen hour ordeal involving three ferries – two to Vancouver and one more to Vancouver Island.
One fellow, flying from Edmonton to Comox with plans to ferry over to Powell River to visit his dad, found out after arriving that the boat wasn’t sailing and decided to grab a cab down to Nanaimo to get another sailing across to Vancouver. The taxi ride cost him $200.
Late Christmas Eve, after two days of waiting, the winds finally died down and the ferry started up. It even sailed an extra sailing at midnight to make sure everyone going home for Christmas actually got there.
There are a lot of people in different parts of the world, including the slightly isolated little town of Powell River, BC, who aren’t happy with that old broad Mother Nature right now.