There was no official word from B.C. Ferries when this story broke on 16 August 2017 in the Fiji Sun, which shows
the Queen of Nanaimo is supposed to join the Groundar Shipping Fleet. Nothing official as come out of B.C. Ferries
One wonders how the Nanaimo, designed for sheltered, inland waters, will fare on the wide-open Pacific.
Photo courtesy of Brandon Swan.
Lomaiviti Princess 5 Arrives In November
|Ellis # 3866
The vessel in the photo is the Leschi shown
her in the profile she would basically retain
while working for Washington State Ferries.
Once a steam side wheeler, by the time the
ferry joined the new state-run operation, she
had long been converted to a
propeller-driven diesel ferry.
Put out of work by the first of the floating
bridges across the lake, the Leschi was
never a mainline ferry for WSF, working back
up and weekends at Mukilteo, Fauntleroy and
The survey of the fleet done by Washington
State Ferries in 1962 noted: "Because of the
shallow draft of the original hull, it was
necessary to add a steel appendage to the
bottom of the original hull. This appendage
contains the foundation and base of the main
diesel engine. Because of this appendage
and the low freeboard of the vessel, it is not
considered prudent to operate this vessel in
inclement weather, thus reducing its
usefulness to the System."
Amazingly, the ferry sailed with WSF until
|Up for sale?
The mighty Evergreen State was due to head to the seas of
Grenada this summer, but instead the ferry remains moored in
Tacoma. It appears that very little has been done to Washington
State Ferries former first ferry, and the rumor is now that the vessel
may be up for sale again soon.
Meanwhile, the Klahowya, the Evergreen State's near sister, has
been decommissioned and is slowly being readied for eventual sale.
The other ferry sold, the much smaller Hiyu has been undergoing
renovations into a floating entertainment venue, and should soon be
ready for service in that capacity as well.
For those keeping record, of the retired WSF car ferries dating
back to when the state first took over, few have had a successful
retirement. The Enetai, in now an entertainment venue and the
headquarters for Hornblower Yachts moored at Pier 3 in San
Francisco, under her original name, Santa Rosa; the Kulshan
remains in service at Martha's Vineyard as the Governor, and the
Rhododendron is in Canada used as shellfish processor, but is up
for sale again.
Photo courtesy of Matt Masuoka
|The Trusty Tusty (or, more recently dubbed "Rusty Tusty") returns
After needed repairs canceled 70% of her sailings for the summer, the Tustumena finally returned to service in
Photo by the author.
M/V Tustumena back on the water
And now she's back...
WIth the Samish out, the Yakima made a welcome return in the second week of August.
But the problem isn't solved, and despite the continued breakdowns of the Super Class, which are only going to get
worse, the San Juan Island reported: "According to Vezina, state legislature does not want another ferry to be built
until there is a long-range plan. The plan is due in January 2019. The design and construction of a new vessel can only
begin once the plan is approved. That means, it’s likely a new ferry will not be completed until the mid-2020s."
How much of a long-range plan do you need when you have four fifty-year old boats that have been operating obsolete
machinery since the 1970's, and have been suffering from constant breakdowns for the last several years? Here's a
long-range plan-- built new boats to replace them.
Badger your state representatives folks--this debacle is their doing since they never replaced funding for the ferries
after they passed the reduced car tab fees nearly twenty years ago.
Photo courtesy of Brandon Swan
The scoop on broken Washington State Ferries
|The last holdover
Thankfully, no the interior of the Sealth no longer
looks like this. In fact, her refurbishment done
several years back is one of the more striking in the
fleet, with bright blues and greens used in the floor
tile and the upholstery.
But before that... the tired, sea-sick green tile, the
uncomfortable chairs with the rock-hard cushioning,
the low bench seats upholstered in vinyl the color of
beige granny Oxfords. Thankfully by the time this
photo was taken, the burlap sack style wallpaper on
the bulkheads had gone the way of the woolly
Today, the Sealth is set apart from her sisters
having never gotten the second car deck. This has
made her very useful for hauling over-height
With the arrival of the Suquamish next year, the
Sealth will take over for the Tillikum in the San Juan
Islands as the inter-island ferry.
Photo courtesy of Brandon Moser.
** Standard disclaimer --may not be completely current
due to maintenance needs, etc.
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