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The Victoria Express

Marc and I set out Saturday morning for Port Angeles Washington, all set to sail on the Coho to Victoria B.C. for the weekend. We get to the ferry dock and our hopes were dashed. There was a sign on the dock saying that the Coho was in dry dock for almost three months.

The sign did have a phone number on it which Marc called. The number was to The Victoria Express. They said she sails from Port Angeles to Victoria at 0830 and returns about 1700 or so.

We Ate at the Crabhouse which had good chowder. After that, we checked into the Best Western Olympic Lodge then poked around Port Angeles the rest of the afternoon -- Marc had his Mocca or whatever and I had about 4 or 5 straight shots of Espresso with half inch of chocolate. It woke us up and to took in a movie.

After the movie it was back to Best Western and the hot tub. I use 40 pounds of weights on a diving belt that I lay across my lap. It keeps me kinda stable. I'm still thinking of better ways to stabilize myself.

The next morning we got up about 6 and to the all-day, $7 a day parking lot by 0730. I pull up to the ticket counter and the lady's face turns a bit odd. Like, "huh-oh".

She calls someone in - he takes a look at my chair and says "we'll make it work. We'll get you aboard somehow." So we bought ticket and went to the dock where you'd think I was royalty or something.

The crew wanted us to board first so I went down the ramp to the floating dock where we met Capt. Gary and crew of The Victoria Express. They didn't say "oh man" they said "lets get yuh aboard."

And they did. I asked Marc to drop the batteries out of my Omega Trac which is the one bad design about this chair. After that, Marc carried me aboard and put me in a wheelchair they had. Then the crew and Marc lifted my chair aboard. That was a job. 300 pounds!

If their summer ramp was in place, I don't think I would have had the opportunity to see the caringness of this crew. They were awesome.

The trip took about an hour. Again, the crew was extremely polite, caring, and hospitable. When we arrived in Victoria, Capt. Gary let the passengers off first then pulled The Victoria Express up to a higher dock and rolled off as Gary kept the vessel still.

The interaction with the crew was the best part of the weekend. Victoria was fun but wet. The hot tub at the Grand Pacific is great. However, The Victoria Express made the weekend.

On the way back Capt. Gary had a different crew but they acted the same. The guys even knew my name before I came aboard.

The water was a bit choppy on Monday in Port Angeles. When we tied up, the floating dock was bucking a bit so Gary let the passengers off then he came down and suggested we go over to the fuel dock. I was like "go for it!"

Marc took the van while I basically got a free tour of the harbor. Gary asked a few more guys to come to the fuel dock to help offload me.

The whole staff is so awesome. I'd suggest everyone get to know Capt. Gary, Cody, John, and the rest.

Thanks Guys!

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