November 19th is the last official full-time run for BC Ferries’ Mayne Queen, ending more than half a century of service for residents and visitors of the Southern Gulf Islands. It’s the kind of legacy that deserves a “victory lap” and in true rock star fashion the ship will perform an encore on Sunday, November 20th to its familiar ports of call so the Islanders can say thank you one last time.
The vessel first entered service 57 years ago in 1965 and for the vast majority of that time has served the same run through the Southern Gulf Islands. Insiders know it as Route 5, a tentacular connection between Vancouver Island, Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna islands. Crew are family, quick to jump a car that won’t start or return to work in emergency situations. Urban legend suggests the Mayne Queen may have even reversed course a time or two for a backpack – accidentally left behind by children rushing to school.