Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Ferry Ride On The Plover in Blaine's Drayton Harbor

Today we treated a couple of our grandkids and their mother to a trip across Drayton Harbor on the oldest passenger ferry in Washington State, the Plover.

The vessel was built in 1944 and shuttled workers between Blaine and the Alaska Packers Association (APA) salmon cannery, at one point in the late 19th century the largest salmon cannery in the world. There's little left of the cannery but the Drayton Harbor Maritime Society has established a museum and restored the Plover, which now carries passengers hourly on summer Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

A genuine wooden boat, it's only 32 feet long and less than 10 ft wide, but weighs over 11 tons. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Best of all, as you cruise across Drayton Harbor, 23 minutes from Semiahmoo to Blaine and 11 minutes on the return trip, you know you're on a genuine working boat.

It was the first real boat ride for Riley and Blane and they enjoyed every minute of it.

As we traveled from Semiahmoo Spit over to the marina at Blaine Harbor we got a good look at a lot of loafing seals, as well as some seal pups.

We also sailed by a colony of cormorants standing guard over their elaborate nests.

One of the highlights for Riley was being invited to steer the boat, after which the captain presented her with an Honorary Captain certificate, not bad for one's very first boat ride.

After landing at Blaine, we walked up to our friendly Chada Thai Restaurant, enjoying a great lunch before walking back to the marina and catching the ferry back to Semiahmoo Spit and our car. Between the sea air and the fistfuls of rice he'd eaten at lunch, Blane was by now ready for a power nap. Yes, it's Blane in Blaine.

Almost before we knew it, we steamed by the landmark water tower, a relic of the cannery that looms over Semiahmoo Resort.

This was Kathy's and Brian's first cruise on the Plover as well and we can hardly wait to treat our other grandchildren to this great little ferry ride.

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