|WSF isn't the only one facing the problem of
And Alaska has far fewer vessels.
Aging fleet plagues ferry system fixes
The Malaspina back in 1968. Author's collection.
|Ellis # 1023
No date on this one, but it is possible to see the
stack of either the San Mateo or Shasta parked
next to Colman Dock. Most like it is the San Mateo
which did not get much use from Black Ball and
didn't really pick up work until Washington State
Ferries took over and used the vessel for relief
and extra service purposes.
Seattle doesn't look much like this anymore.
Several of the buildings are still in place, but many
more or not. This shot does have more in
common with the modern Seattle waterfront--at
least as of the fall of 2019 when the last of the
Alaskan Way Viaduct came down.
Ellis took several aerial shots of the downtown
sections of Seattle, almost always getting Colman
Dock in his frame. He managed to capture some
interesting vessels too; various cards have the
Quilcene, Bainbridge, Kalakala, Kehloken and a
few other vessels parked at the dock or back out.
Not sure who the freighter is at the left, but if you
have any ideas, feel free to email.
|P stands for Poor...
The Washington State Department of Transportation released its quarterly performance analysis, which includes the Washington State Ferries fleet. Four of the boats rated a "poor" level in
condition, including the Sealth. (No surprise the Elwha also rated a "Poor.")
"A vessel in Good condition has less than 10 percent of its systems overdue for preservation or renewal, a vessel in fair condition has between 10% and 20% of its systems overdue, and a
vessel in poor condition has more than 20% of its systems overdue."--this does not mean the overall condition of the vessel itself is poor. That method of assessment is coming later. (See
the entire table and the footnote below.)
In the case of the Elwha, which has spent the last 14 of 24 months out of service, it is no wonder that the proposed supplemental budget for 2020 calls for the ferry to be retired. Putting $33
million dollars into the ferry would be a complete waste of taxpayer money and would come at the expense of maintaining the other vessels in the fleet. The Office of Financial
Management has made the correct call in moving for retiring of the ferry.
If the legislature does put that money into the ferry, they'll have a hard time explaining why they didn't put it into the Hyak--which need ten million fewer dollars in repairs than the Elwha does
when the decision was made to retire it. The fact that the Elwha is a SOLAS boat doesn't cut it--the run survived with only one SOLAS boat for years, as recently as the mid-2000's.
Effort should be made to get the next Olympic Class underway as soon as possible, and put the Elwha out to pasture as it deserves and save the taxpayers that $33 million.
The Sealth working for the Chelan in the fall of 2019. Photo courtesy of Brandon Swan.
The construction continues...
Not at this Colman Dock--this one hasn't been around for decades. The new one is going to cause some changes to
the schedule though.
Ferry schedule changes at Colman Dock begin Jan. 4, 2020
An update on the Tourist #2...
Although the ferry never did work for Washington State Ferries, she did serve
Pierce County for decades.
Astoria Ferry project in 'hold-steady pattern'
Back when she was the Islander for Pierce County. Author's collection.
|I ran out of interior
Not surprisingly, I finally ran out of historic AND
contemporary photos of ferries to put on display each
month. Rather than do repeats again and again, I thought
I'd run a spotlight on my other passion, which happens to
have a nautical theme as well--slides, postcarda and
ephemera of ocean liners and cruise ships from the era of
steam right up until about 1992.
Why cut it off there?
Well, that's about the time cruise ships ceased to look like
ships, with proper bows and sterns and became something
like floating hotels on motorized barges. Even the latest
round of Cunard ships, while having spectacular interiors in
some instances, suffer from having exteriors that are
anything like the sweeping, beautiful lines of their
predecessors from the turn on the century on up into the
For January I'll start with Cunard's "Green Goddess", the
second Caronia and one of my favorite ships.
While I've never been a huge fan of Cunard's "cruising
green" which actually brings sea-sickness to my mind, the
Caronia pulled it off.
You can read about her history here.
** Standard disclaimer --may not be completely current due to
maintenance needs, etc.
Winter schedule runs from 4 January 2020 to 28 March
ANACORTES - SAN JUAN
SEALTH - SAMISH - YAKIMA/CHELAN
ANACORTES - SIDNEY
Suspended until Spring Schedule.
PORT TOWNSEND -
MUKILTEO - CLINTON
EDMONDS - KINGSTON
SEATTLE - WINSLOW
(AKA Bainbridge Island)
SEATTLE - BREMERTON
SOUTHWORTH -VASHON -
POINT DEFIANCE -
IN THE YARD
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