The ferry M/V Coho started working the waters of the Salish Sea in 1959, and since the early 1970’s has been dedicated to the auto ferry run between Port Angeles and Victoria.  Today it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of it’s first run.  Arguably, it is the most important part of the tourism industry in Port Angeles and the Olympic Peninsula, and it is also an important part of the Victoria waterfront.

While the boat is 50 years old, it’s owners and crew has been able to keep it in much better condition than similarly old Washington State Ferries craft.  This is not a hit at WSF crews, they do a fine job (though the state could probably fund them a bit better).  No, this is about one private company that has put a lot of effort and cash into keeping this fine ship going.  They believe that it will be possible to safely get another 20 years of use out of her.

While business has been down lately, like it has been in the rest of the economy, the Coho and its crew still do their part to get visitors across the Strait of Juan de Fuca safely.  It is thought that the ship fills as many as 25% of the hotel rooms in Port Angeles, as well as bringing people from Seattle and beyond into Victoria to visit.  While there are other options for getting to Vancouver Island, the Coho lets you go there with a bit of style, a bit of history, and avoiding some of the busier border crossings on the mainland.

I recommend that anyone with the least interest in this part of Cascadia set aside some time for a trip on the M/V Coho sometime soon.  It is a practical way to get there and it is an important piece of our history.  Consider it a cheap sea cruise.  I believe that you will not be disappointed.