Port Angeles-to-Victoria ferry Coho in drydock for 16 days starting Monday

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- The MV Coho will be out of service for 16 days after a 90-minute run across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Victoria to Port Angeles this morning.

The ferry, which carries cars, trucks, buses, RVs and walk-on passengers, celebrated its 50th birthday last month.

It will be in dry dock for annual maintenance from Monday through Feb. 9. The Coho returns to service on Feb. 10.

Victoria Express, which in some past years has provided winter passenger-only runs across the Strait, will not offer service this year, Terry Messenger, terminal manager, said Friday.

"At this time we do not plan on running while the Coho is in dry dock," she said.

Today, the Coho departs Port Angeles at 8:20 a.m. and leaves Victoria at 10:30 a.m.

This year's hiatus is a little longer than the usual two-week annual break.

This is because the Coho will be serviced by a different company than in the past, said Rian Anderson, Black Ball Ferry Line manager in Port Angeles.

The 341-foot ferry will be serviced at Dakota Creek Industries Shipyard in Anacortes instead of Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle, which handled the ferry's maintenance for many years, Anderson said.

The break will be "longer than usual because we're going to a new shipyard," he said. "The Coho is new for them and the whole outfit is new for us."

Anderson said he could not comment on why the company switched to a different shipyard.

Victoria Express will begin its 2010 sailing season on May 28, when it will begin its 20th anniversary of providing service between Port Angeles and Victoria, and between Victoria and Friday Harbor on the San Juan Island.

When the Coho returns in February, it will offer an 8:20 a.m. departure from Port Angeles and a 4 p.m. departure from Victoria on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11.

It will add another run each day from Feb. 12 through Feb. 15 for Presidents Day Weekend -- a 2 p.m. departure from Port Angeles and a 10:30 a.m. departure from Victoria.

From Feb. 16 through March 4, it will offer the additional sailings only on weekends, with weekday sailings only at 8:20 a.m. from Port Angeles and at 4 p.m. from Victoria.

For schedule and fares, see the Black Ball Ferry Line Web site at www.cohoferry.com.

For information on Victoria Express, see www.victoriaexpress.com/.

Last modified: January 24. 2010 1:02AM
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