The MV Lady Rose made her final voyage down the Alberni Inlet on Sunday, March 27. And for probably the first time in her history, she was late leaving the dock.
Dozens of people crowded the Lady Rose Marine Services wharf as well as the walkways around Harbour Quay to watch the famed passenger vessel leave Port Alberni. She is headed to her final destination of Tofino, where new owner Jamie Bray will turn her into a floating restaurant in front of his business, Jamie’s Whaling Station.
On Sunday, however, she travelled to the government dock in Ucluelet for an open house as part of the last day of Whale Fest. Then Bray planned to take her to 52 Steps dock and wait for milder weather for the short hop along the West Coast to Tofino.
Bray invited 20 friends to make the journey aboard the Lady Rose, including Rory Vincent, who skippered whalewatching boats for Bray at one time. “I’m here for the nostalgia,” said Vincent, recalling many times he toured around on the Lady Rose.
Everyone on the dock had a memory of the Lady Rose, who delivered passengers up and down the Inlet to Bamfield and Ucluelet for nearly 50 years. She was taken out of service nearly three years ago.
Marilyn Gibson stopped for a photo before heading to church. “My son, James Gibson, worked on the Lady Rose from 1995-2001 as a deckhand. It was a major part of our lives,” she said.
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