It has been anything but smooth sailing lately for Greater Victoria residents travelling off the Island.
Sailing cancellations have become a common occurrence for BC Ferries passengers over the summer, resulting in long lines and marathon waits up and down the B.C. coast.
Last Saturday (Aug. 20) saw four sailings cancelled between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay. Foot passengers at the Swartz Bay terminal were also informed that pay parking facilities were full on Saturday afternoon and they were advised to arrive by public transit or by taxi.
Mechanical issues, staff shortages and crew members falling ill have led to cancellations on almost every route over the summer. Crew availability and mechanical issues Wednesday (Aug. 24) resulted in cancellations of sailings between Horseshoe Bay on the mainland and Nanaimo’s Departure Bay as well as Langdale on the Sunshine Coast.
“We require a specific number of crew members on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our passengers,” according to a statement from BC Ferries. “The decision to cancel a sailing in these circumstances is made when we have exhausted all options to find replacement crew.”
But things are looking up for those forced to endure long waits. BC Ferries has tripled the number of terminals with Wi-Fi.
The terminals with newly added Wi-Fi include Nanaimo Harbour, Gabriola Island’s Descanso Bay, the Comox Valley’s Buckley Bay, Port Hardy’s Bear Cove, Salt Spring Island’s Long Harbour and Vesuvius Bay, Quadra Island’s Heriot Bay, Denman Island’s Gravelly Bay, Pender Island’s Otter Bay, Mayne Island’s Village Bay, Saturna Island’s Lyall Harbour, Galiano Island’s Sturdies Bay, Cortes Island’s Whaletown and Cormorant Island’s Alert Bay.
BC Ferries discontinued Wi-Fi on board vessels a year ago, saying that providing quality, reliable Wi-Fi access was cost-prohibitive.
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