In order for this story to make any sense I think I should start by laying out the characters.
Denon is one of my best friends and has been for several years. We grew up together in Red Deer, Alberta, and he's probably the one responsible for photography becoming a part of my life. Denon is extremely creative, has a very peculiar but keen sense of humour and is a voice of reason when things get out of hand.
Emmalee is my girlfriend and an amazing companion. She loves art and music and even though she'd disagree she is extremely talented in both. Of all the people I've travelled with Emmalee has been with me the most. She has a keen sense of wonder and somehow can make every trip fun and memorable. She is the reason I found myself in Vancouver the day this story took place.
Baeden VanderZalm. What a guy. I really don't know Braeden that well. We had met at an event in Canmore a few months earlier and decided to meet up next time I was in Vancouver. He is a talented musician, photographer and videographer. Confident, funny and always up for an adventure, we are pretty like-minded. This would be the second time we'd met.
Now that that's out of the way allow me to set the scene. I had been In Vancouver a few days. Mostly spending time with Emmalee and I was eager to get out of the city to shoot. I really wanted to get together with Denon as I don't see him as often as I once did so I sent him a text and he agreed to meet up with us.
Whenever I'm doing a hike I like to invite as many people as I can. It's a great way to get to know people. I remembered Braeden had expressed some interest in meeting up so I text him as well. Everything was set the night before, but come morning things went a little awry. For starters it was raining. Secondly I found out Braeden didn't actually live in Van, but in Coquitlam. Thirdly it was getting late and because of extenuating circumstances we weren't able to all get together until about 2pm. I had been hoping to be on the trail by about 9am. We also didn't know where we were going.
I had half a mind to call it off and just head up the Sea to Sky highway, but Braeden convinced me he had a plan so Denon, Emmalee and I piled into my car and headed to Coquitlam to meet him. We met in a parking lot at the mall. By this time the rain was coming down in sheets. I remember the windows kept fogging up from the BC humidity. Braeden hopped in the back and we were off. Only I didn't know where we were going. Braeden played out some options and we all decided on Cascade Falls, so I headed south down Lougheed Highway.
As we got out of the city things started clearing up and Braeden mentioned he had heard of some abandoned boat along the road. That definitely peaked my interest. I'd seen pictures of some shipwrecks in Oregon that looked pretty neat and I was eager to get some shots of my own.
The Lougheed Hiway runs parallel to the Fraser river. All along the road there are woodpiles and little orchards, farms and small docks. Our drive turned into a game of looking around every corner and past every clearing for an abandoned boat. No idea what size, no idea what kind of boat. I learned about half way into the search the Braeden had actually never been there nor did he know what it looked like or where exactly it was.
As it turns out knowing those things was of little consequence because when we saw the "boat" it was unmistakable. Renamed The Bad Adventure by the people who purchased the massive 989 passenger vessel, The Queen of Sidney was decommissioned fifteen years ago after forty years of service with BC Ferries. This ship is gigantic, massive. With the capacity to hold around 140 vehicles it made the Fraser river look like a kitchen sink. Braeden had come through in a big way.
I won't get into the details of how we got on board or what we saw there. For now the pictures and video will have to suffice. I will say that it was pretty incredible day, and an unforgettable experience. Especially given that we went to Cascade Falls afterward.