|Not really a surprise!
Coronavirus pandemic leads to more delays for Alaska ferry’s
|Ellis # 629
"Mt St Helens and Spirit Lake WN"
SPIRIT LAKE GONE read the headline on May 19,
1980 after the catastrophic eruption the day before.
In truth, the lake was there, but had been shoved
some 800 feet up the surrounding hills when the land
slide--the largest in recorded history--slammed into
the lake. When it sloshed back into the basin, it took
everything with it--tree, dirt, boulders, animals. So
choked with debris and heated so hot that it still
steamed the next morning, it looked as if the lake had
But it hadn't, and forty years after the eruption, it
looks much like its old self.
As the landscape has recovered, so has the lake,
once so desolate nothing could live in it. Now home to
plants, animals and even rainbow trout (no one is
quite sure how the fish got there) Spirit Lake is clear
and blue, reflecting the much changed profile again.
The log raft, which covered as much as 75% of the
lake, now only covers about 20% as the logs saturate
and fall to the bottom, roots down, creating a "ghost
forest" at the bottom of the lake.
|Follow the hull number!
One of the things I uncovered while researching Crossing Puget Sound was that a lot of accepted fates of old ferries was well...incorrect. It don't blame the researchers, as sources on
some of these old ferries is limited, particularly at the time the other books came out. Some of the sources, in particular The H.W. McCurdy Maritime History of the Pacific Northwest, are
regarded as "the" source when it comes to the old ferries. And to a point, I agree.
But...it's not infallible.
Now, I'd already determined the fates of the Washington and Lincoln weren't complete. I then discovered that the Airline was around for about twenty odd years longer than it was
reported. I was able to figure this out because Google has put Merchent Vessels of the United States online and was able to follow the hull numbers. This document, published from the
1880's until the early 1980's covered any vessel that had to be registered with the Coast Guard. This allowed me to follow the Quilcene and other to their eventual end--which was longer
than any source previously replied.
The Seattle, however surprised me.
Listed as scrapped in 1939, I had no reason not to question it. I have a press photo of the boat being scrapped, after all. So imagine my surprise when someone contacted me about an old
Washington State ferry hull on the beach in Ugashik, Alaska. After trading emails, it was discovered that the "Win Ra" cannery was listed as hull 206030--former S.S. Seattle, former H.B.
Not entirely scrapped in 1939, the hull was turned into a barge and used by Black Ball until 1946. They sold it, it was turned into a floating cannery and towed to Alaska, where it was finally
destroyed by fire in 1968. It drifted down the beach, ran aground, and there she sits today--111 years old.
What remains of the old steamer, considered (rightly so) an eyesore and environmental hazard, is scheduled to be scrapped this summer-- a full 81 years after the initial report of her being
It looks like something took a bite out of the Spirit of Vancouver after she made a hard landing. It was expected to
take about ten days to repair the big vessel.
BC Ferries vessel damaged after ‘hard landing’ at Tsawwassen
Photo courtesy of Nancy Edwards/Global News.
|Make no mistake, they're front line
The ferry system on April 3 began recognizing people on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic
response with three prolonged blasts of the ship’s whistle on all vessels that are underway at 8 p.
m. nightly--but make no mistake, ferry workers are front line people too, ensuring that goods and
supplies and those other front line workers can get to where they need to be.
Ferries also making a ‘joyful noise’ nightly to honor
COVID-19 front-line workers
The world keeps on spinning, no matter what happens in the news. A lovely sunrise over the M/V Kitsap. Photo
courtesy of Brandon Moser.
|Canberra, last of the great
Built in 1961, some consider P&O's Canberra the greatest of the line's ships that ever worked
the route to Australia. She was sleek and ultra modern, representing the new look of
steamships right at the end of the era of trans-oceanic liners.
She worked the run from her inception until 1972, hanging on long after air travel became the
way to travel internationally.
The ship made a successful transition to cruising, and even made an appearance in the
James Bond film Diamonds are Forever.
1982 the vessel was used as a troop transport along with the Queen Elizabeth 2 in the
Falklands war. After her service, she was extensively refit and placed back into cruise
service, finishing her career in 1997.
The photo at left was taken in Hawaii in 1983.
More of her history can be found here.
** The never-ending winter schedule, extended now until Summer 2020.
Winter schedule runs from 4 January 2020 to 20 June
ANACORTES - SAN JUAN
YAKIMA - SAMISH - CHELAN
ANACORTES - SIDNEY
Suspended until Summer Schedule.
PORT TOWNSEND -
MUKILTEO - CLINTON
EDMONDS - KINGSTON
SEATTLE - WINSLOW
(AKA Bainbridge Island)
SEATTLE - BREMERTON
SOUTHWORTH -VASHON -
POINT DEFIANCE -
IN THE YARD
Previous Day Room
Less prone to bounce around...
Anyone who ever rode the Kulshan in rough weather
probably has a slightly different recollection.
I know I do!