Down memory lane


(The Bowen Island Undercurrent, August 4th 1995, p1: with permission)

The Lady Alexandra in Snug Cove

Steaming into Snug Cove is the Lady Alexandra, one of the best loved ships ever to call at Bowen Island. Built in 1923 at Montrose, Scotland, by William McLaren's Coaster Construction Company, she arrived at Bowen Island with a ballast of Scottish sand which was deposited at Bowen Bay. Note the larghe cargo door in the side of the Lady Alex. The Union had insisted on an immense forehold and 'tween deck space, hoping to pack salmon south after the excursion season. This was tried only once and the vessel proved unsuitable for exposed waters. The extra passenger capacity and faster speed that were needlessly sacrificed could have dramatically improved her profit in the peak cruising months. However, the "Lady Alex" became the best-known excursion ship north of San Francisco. She was 225 feet long, with a hardwood floor extending the 40-foot breadth of the ship. Her six staterooms were always booked up. The dining room, seating 86, could easily be converted into a ballroom, and was, for this is the ship which made all those Moonlight Cruises. Licensed for 1,400, she more often carried closer to 2,000 people on happy summer excursions to Bowen Island. In 1953, the Lady Alex was sold. Renamed Princess Louise II, she became a floating restaurant in Coal Harbour. Later she was bought by Americans and towed to California where, in March of 1980, she was scuttled after listing in a severe storm at Redondo Beach.

--Photo and article courtesy Bowen Island Historians

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