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The inaugural sailings for a passenger ferry between downtown Vancouver and Nanaimo, B.C., were cancelled Monday because of unseasonably high winds and an overnight power outage.

Hullo CEO Alastair Caddick said the company had to make the “very unfortunate decision” to cancel sailings scheduled for the morning.

The company later cancelled all Monday sailings, as well as sailings for Tuesday, with hopes to resume on Wednesday.

Caddick said passengers are understandably disappointed, but the company had to “adopt a deliberately conservative approach while we get our sea legs in these kind of conditions.”

“We are equally if not more disappointed and we empathize with those people that had booked to sail with us today and unfortunately we couldn’t sail given those circumstances,” Caddick said in an interview Monday.

A power outage in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island Sunday night cut power to 3,000 customers for about an hour, BC Hydro said Monday.

Hullo said the outage caused a loss of power to the company’s berth and vessels, affecting the assessments of its systems and the safety and reliability of its operations.

Caddick said the company is still confident in its vessels, and it plans to continue to build up its abilities to handle conditions on the route through the summer and fall as it prepares for rougher winter weather.

The company’s first four sailings were cancelled, including the 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. departures from Nanaimo and the 8 a.m. and noon trips from Vancouver.

A revised temporary launch schedule in place through Aug. 30th has sailings departing Nanaimo daily at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and departing Vancouver 12 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Caddick said the boats have a capacity of 350 passengers, but they didn’t sell to capacity for the first sailings, likening it to the “soft opening” of a restaurant.

He said passengers affected by the cancellations will be refunded, and those he spoke to were disappointed but understood the situation.

Caddick said the foot-passenger ferry service is “much needed.”

“I think there’s a patience for making sure when we do launch, we launch right,” he said. “The weather’s going to get better for us and when it does, our commitment to ensuring a safe, comfortable, fast voyage for our guests is unwavering and we can’t wait to launch.”

Hullo plans to operate two catamarans for foot passengers only between Nanaimo and the mainland, giving competition to BC Ferries, which does not drop passengers directly into Vancouver.

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