Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Washington State Ferries in Friday Harbor

We have been in Friday Harbor for over a week now, and we have been enjoying it very much.

We like our spot on the breakwater, straight ahead on the marina webcam, and close to the open water where we can watch the seals hunting breakfast and the gulls diving for the leftover tidbits, and where we can easily watch the ferries arriving and departing.

We do not mind the ferry wash where we are located. Arriving ferries will give us a gentle rise and fall, but departing ones don't disturb us at all. Al says he likes the quiet rumble of the diesels as they pass - it reminds him of his days of rail road's enthusiasm.

We are learning to identify each one by sight, and have the ferry schedule open and available so we can check 'where that one is going now'. Al has done quite a bit of reading on the various ferries in the system and can tell you stories about many of them. (one great site here: www.evergreenfleet.com/current.html)

Evergreen State is perhaps our favorite, being the smallest, and the oldest, of the fleet. She now has a gold stripe as a crown to show she is 50 years or older. (Al says we should figure a way to add some gold to Viking Star, who reached that milestone this year!) Evergreen State is the inter-island ferry and there is no charge to walk-on traffic. Al read that the bicycle surcharge has been removed also for the inter-island routes. I am not clear if that is a permanent change, or seasonal.

Gold Stripe of  honor

Evergreen State

As she turns, you can see 'clean through' and check out the load!

At first glance Sealth looks like Evergreen State, but she is bigger--longer and taller.  

Sealth


Here are the 'Big Boys', Elwha and Yakima. These two we have NOT yet learned to tell apart, except that Elwha tends to smoke a bit upon throttling up.

Elwha
Yakima

The other day both Elwha and Evergreen State were at dock. However, the second ramp can only accommodate pedestrian traffic, so the smaller ferries off-load who they can there, and then move over to the vehicle ramp after the larger ferry leaves.

Elwha on left, Evergreen State on right. Yes, that is a tanker truck going onto Elwha.

Evergreen State moving to the main dock, Elwha departing around Brown Island in the background.

Evergreen State comes in at night.


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