New Ferries vessel Salish Orca wrapped in unmistakable decal


Salish Orca — due to be the next vessel in the B.C. Ferries fleet — has just been wrapped in a huge decal that befits it name.

Esquimalt First Nation artist Darlene Gait designed the decal, which depicts a pod of orcas. The decal was produced by Ampco Grafix of Coquitlam.

Such decals have the added benefit of protecting vessels’ coatings, said Mark Wilson, vice-president of engineering for B.C. Ferries. That has already been demonstrated by the wraps on the Coastal Class ferries, he said.

Gait said in a statement that she paints “because it is my way of sharing with everyone the love for my aboriginal people and the beautiful place I was born and raised in.”

Salish Orca, being built in Gdansk, Poland, will be the first of three ferries powered by liquefied natural gas to join the fleet. The other two ferries — Salish Eagle and Salish Raven — are the same size and are also being built in Poland.

The ferries are 105 metres long and can each carry 145 vehicles and 600 passengers; the three will cost a total of about $200 million.

Staff from B.C. Ferries will arrive in Poland this week to start sea trials on the Salish Orca, B.C. Ferries said.

Salish Orca is to arrive in B.C. by the end of the year after leaving Poland in early November. It will sail from Poland past the Canary Islands, then through the Panama Canal and up the west coast of North America. After crew training, it will serve on the Comox-Powell River route.

The Salish Eagle is due to arrive in March and the Salish Raven in May. Both will also be adorned with decals of First Nations artwork. They are to be used on Southern Gulf Islands routes.

John Marston of the Stz’uminus First Nation is doing the art for Salish Eagle, while the artist for Salish Raven is Thomas Cannell from the Musqueam First Nation.

To see a time-lapse video of the ship being wrapped in the decal, visit the B.C. Ferries Facebook page:

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