Friday, February 9, 2007

The Queen of Esquompton

Sometimes I wish they would just build the freakin’ bridge!
I grew up on Vancouver Island, which means a 1.5 hour ferry trip to get to or from home. I remember so many times as a teenager, sneaking onboard with my friends to go see a show in Vancouver. Then, as now, I would always bring teabags and make my own tea. Everyone always loves a Ferry Boat mocha, which is a hot chocolate from the machine mixed with coffee. On this trip I tried a Ferry Chai Mocha using the chai spice tea bags and it was quite good. The snack bar lady even checked the package for me when I asked if the hot chocolate was dairy and it is NOT. Ever since all those Ontarians and Albertans started moving to BC taking the ferry has sucked even more than usual. Now, it’s not ucommon to arrive at the ferry half an hour before the one you want and find that it is already sold out and you’ll have to wait for the next one. Sometimes the next TWO ferries are sold out! At least in the summertime they run every hour from 7am til 9pm. There is not much worse than sitting in the parking lot for 3 hours, waiting for your ferry. A reservation costs $18 and requires a credit card. If you are a foot passenger there’s no problem, you never have to wait. When I was a kid it was normal to go to the cafeteria for fries but ever since The White Spot restaurant took over the food I try to avoid eating on board. The White Spot is a BC chain restaurant best known for causing several cases of botulism poisoning in the nineteen eighties. The clam chowder has really gone downhill too, it tastes like they just switched to the cheapest possible ingredients. It used to be good though! If you need to get fries during the voyage I recommend asking for them well done because otherwise they are big, fluffy potato strips and not crunchy.

The breakfasts are a complete rip-off at about $7 per plate with pre-scrambled eggs sitting in a steam tray waiting for you to order them. I wouldn’t mind the salads if they weren’t served in giant, plastic, disposable containers. I think you can get a Caesar on a real plate. Of course they serve Starbucks coffee too. Anyway, you are always better off bringing your own food and drinks. I usually try to get some Chinese dumplings to go before I leave for the ferry.
The ferry has changed so much since I was a kid, it really started when they put in the frozen yogurt bar and coin-op massage chairs. They also built newer, fancier ferries which are much bigger than the old ones. The new ones are all called “the Spirit of…Coquitlam ", for example and the old ones are called Queens. I always think it’s fun to ride on the old ones, especially the one that’s named after me, The Queen of Esquimalt


Blogger steve williams said...

hail to the Q of E!

March 7, 2007 12:29 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home