A BC Ferry that once took passengers from Victoria to Vancouver and back again now sits derelict and according to one photographer, it looks like it’s straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie.
Seattle photographer Kevin Henry made the trek from south of the border to the Fraser River in B.C., where the once-bustling Queen of Sidney, in service from 1960 to 2000, is now moored.
“I came up specifically for the ferry. I try to make it up to B.C. pretty often. I think it’s a fascinating place, and it’s interesting to be anywhere slightly different than home,” Henry told CHEK News.
“I’m trying to do a series on ferries in the Pacific Northwest, and when I found out about this one, I thought it’d be a good addition. Everything, all over — the BC Ferries system, the Puget Sound system, all of it.”
Equipped with a drone camera, Henry captured images of the former ferry from all angles, exposing its shattered windows and peeling paint and posting the results to Imgur on Friday, when the gallery quickly surpassed 100,000 views.
After seeing it in person, Henry describes the vessel as something seen in the TV series The Last of Us, a recently-released drama focused on post-outbreak America.
“I had it on my mind after watching an episode. If I’m being honest, it was probably more of a click-bait title to be relevant, but it does look like everything in the show after about 20 years,” he said with a laugh.
“From where we live, that’s kind of the normal. Everything’s covered in moss, and if you leave something out there for a year, it looks like it’s been there for a thousand years.”
The vessel is found on the Mainland outside Silverdale, not far from Mission, and, alongside the Queen of Tsawwassen, was one of two Sidney-class ferries based on Black Ball Transport’s MV Coho, according to Henry.
He says the vessel, which measures 102-metres-long, is “surprisingly well documented,” having been retired and then sold for $100,000 in 2002, when it was renamed Bad Aventure.
“The name suits the vessel’s current state and the company it keeps. Sandwiched between the ex-Queen of Sidney and the shore, another former ferry, the San Mateo, sits partially submerged at an uncomfortable angle,” Henry wrote in his post.
It floats in boat cemetery-like waters surrounded by sunken cranes and barges, with logs floated down the Fraser, he says.
Film crews have also taken a liking to the eerie atmosphere, with popular productions including Supernatural and The X Files, to name a few, having shot scenes both inside and outside of the vessel, states MovieMaps.org.
“It was amazing to see it in this state,” said Henry.
“Anytime you see the Pacific Northwest reclaim a machine or building, it’s beautiful in its own way. I try not to be too judgemental about what people do with their personal property. It’s a shame that it’s in the state that it’s in, I guess, is what a lot of people will say.”
The District of Mission has attempted to get rid of the vessel, says Henry, who, after doing some research, found that it not only poses a hazard but “a pollution problem,” adding: “The local district has tried to collect on liens against it. It can’t be scrapped until the liens are paid. It’s a whole issue.”
More recently, BC Ferries’ MV Powell River Queen, built in 1965, was listed for sale on IronPlanet with the highest bid at $82,000.
That follows the introduction of two new hybrid-electric ships on the Campbell River to Quadra Island route, with Deborah Marshall, spokesperson for BC Ferries, saying that in the past, the company has sold its vessels to logging operators or other transportation companies.
The B.C. government has information about salvaging abandoned vessels on its website.
(Photos courtesy: Kevin Henry/Atomic Aerials)