We had looked forward to sailing the inside passage for some time. We had booked onto the car ferry leaving Port Hardy (Vancouver Island) sailing to Prince Rupert (mainland). It is a journey of some 20 plus hours.
The trip sails between the mainland and the many islands just off the coast – effectively a network of passages where the land on both sides is narrow and protected from the weather. It is spectacularly beautiful.
Being a long trip we booked a cabin but many people just sleep in the aisles. The leg we sailed was just over 500km. We had to arrive 2 hours before sailing so it was a while waiting in the que to drive on. The ship takes around 130 vehicles and it took a few hours to get us all loaded on. Once we got ourselves settled in we went outside to watch the sail-away. Luckily we had good weather and it was amazing seeing the snow-capped mountains.
Not long after leaving we managed to spot a pod of Orcas (killer whales). So special….it is another of the things we had hoped to see in Canada. Sunset is after 9pm with it still light until after 10pm. We stayed up hoping to see the full moon rising which was due at 10:30pm. With the high mountains though, the time we would see the moon was effectively much later – so off to bed we went after 11pm.
After a few hours sleep, we woke up around 4am (dawn was breaking) and went outside to watch the scenery. The moon was still out creating an interesting sight amongst the light mist. It was cold outside – not surprising given we are just south of the Alaskan border.
All to soon we docked and it was time to leave. Getting off was much quicker and luckily we were able to check in early to our hotel room in Prince Rupert. The room had a fantastic view and we spent many hours sitting in the bay window looking at the coming and goings in the inside passage that passed in front of the hotel.