She is one of the newest ferries in the Washington State Ferry system, launched just over a year ago. Based on a design from back east but built locally, her class has earned the nick-name Eileen (I-Lean) due to the unusual non-symmetrical design resulting in a built in 1 degree list. Loading takes care of that.
We would not normally see this ferry here in the islands, but last Friday Yakima had some unexpected issues and was suddenly taken out of service. Evergreen State (one of the oldest ferries in the service) was shifted over to cover for Yakima and Chetzemoka was moved up to take Evergreen's inter-island route.
For those who are interested, here is the 'official' Washington State site: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/vesselwatch/VesselDetail.aspx?vessel_id=65
And here is a great site with even more info!: http://www.evergreenfleet.com/Chetzemoka--2010.html
We have been anxious to take a ride on Chetzemoka, and on Tuesday, Al's regular work phone call closed up just in time for us to throw some snacks in the backpack and hotfoot it to the ferry dock. The attendants asked as we boarded "Orcas? Shaw? Lopez?" and we said "Inter-island! We want to take a tour!" Their reply -- "You aren't the only ones!"
|Actual bike racks, instead of a rope at the wall.|
|The obligatory puzzle. Though Al does not like the smaller tables!|
|We have a literal front row seat as we pull out of Friday Harbor.|
|Turtleback Mountain on Orcas Island is peeking over Shaw.|
|Pulling up to Orcas Landing|
|Into the sun at Shaw!|
|Orcas on the left, Mt. Baker through Obstruction Pass, Eagle Cliff on Cypress Island is behind Obstruction Island, Blakely Island on the right.|
|Ferry Landing at Lopez Island|
|It's not too windy here, at the moment...|
|Yes, we knew it would be the sunset cruise. Mmmmm, romantic.|
|Back home to Friday Harbor.|