What is a BC Ferries ship doing in Mexico?

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When John Chalmers learned BC Ferry’s Salish Heron was in port at Manzanillo, Mexico, he couldn’t help but drive 40 minutes to see it and take pictures for his blog.

When John Chalmers learned BC Ferries’ Salish Heron was in port in Manzanillo, Mexico, he couldn’t help but drive 40 minutes to see it and take pictures for his blog.

“When I heard there was a brand new ferry from British Columbia [in port]I just had to see it with my own eyes,” the Edmonton resident said Tuesday from Manzanillo, where he and his wife, Linda, vacation every winter.

The couple have a condominium about 40 minutes from Manzanillo.

The ferry, en route from Gdansk, Poland, to Victoria, was docked at the port where cruise ships dock in the city on Mexico’s west coast. “It looked beautiful to me,” Chalmers said.

The ship, which left Poland on December 22, resumed its journey on Monday after refueling with fuel, fresh water and provisions. Depending on the weather, it could be in Victoria on February 24.

When it arrives, it will have traveled more than 10,000 nautical miles.

Chalmers, who writes a blog about life in Mexico that is emailed to about 300 readers, said he was impressed that a ferry carrying cars had made such a long trip.

The Salish Heron is the fourth and final Salish Class vessel built for BC Ferries. Like the three others built before it, the ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean and transited through the Panama Canal before heading to its new home base in British Columbia.

All Salish-class ships were built by Remontowa Shipbuilding SA in Gdansk. The Salish Heron will serve the southern Gulf Islands, including routes between Swartz Bay and Pender, Saturna, Mayne and Galiano Islands, starting this summer.

The Salish-class ferries are powered by liquefied natural gas, with a hull design that creates a very small wake, while electric propulsion and structural design ensure a quiet ride, according to BC Ferries. Each Salish ferry is 351 feet long and can carry up to 138 vehicles and 600 passengers and crew.

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