Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Queen of the North

Spent a while this afternoon struggling to stay awake long enough to make some headway in the indexing of the local paper, my volunteer gig for the public library. Hardly anything worth waking up for in the news of October 22. But there was an article from Associated Press (not part of the indexing assignment) saying that the Canadian Transportation Safety Board has discovered, in investigating the sinking of the Queen of the North, that BC Ferries employees may be smoking pot on board ship. Not, they hasten to say, that they have determined that pot-smoking caused the accident that sank the Queen. There has not —yet: the investigation was reopened, and the TSB and BC Ferries are not getting along — been an official explanation of just what caused human error that sent her steaming full-speed into Gil Island; just that, yes, it was fault of the crew and not a mechanical failure...

W. and I traveled on the Queen of the North from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy in April of (I think) 1995. When she went down in March of 2006 I couldn't stop thinking about her, sitting there on the bottom of Wright Sound in the Inside Passage, sitting there under 1400 feet of cold dark water, the Queen of the North on the bottom of the sea, "resting in silt on the keel and the silt covers the hull up to what's called the rubbing strake" in the forever night.

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