A year after the Tacoma went into service, her near sister Wenatchee
followed suit.  The two new boats pushed the Jumbos Walla Walla
and
Spokane up to Kingston, where the added capacity was greatly
appreciated.

The main differences between the two sisters were in the execution of
their passenger cabin.  Slight  variations in floor tile patterns
upholstery color marked the subtle difference between the two.  The
most notable difference was in the collection of Native American
artwork on display on the ferry.  Reflecting the artistry of the tribes
East of the Cascades, the  
Wenatchee has displays of  fine  examples
of basketry and other arts,  differing from the coastal tribes stylized
woodworking and contemporary painting.  In addition,  the cabin was
fitted out with  historic photos of the Wenatchee area and copies of
historic labeling for Washington's most famous crop: apples.

Unlike  the
Tacoma, the Wenatchee has had one notable mishap.  
During a particularly  summer low tide,  the ferry  struck an uncharted
rock in Eagle Harbor, damaging her hull and propeller.  It was
determined that the low tide coupled with the phenomenon of
"squatting" in which the  ferry rides lower   down in the water  at full
speed was the cause of the mishap. Under normal tides the vessel
never would have encountered the rock.   As a result of the accident,
the Mark II's now slow down during the record minus tides that occur
in June and July each year.

Aside from this one notable incident, the ferry has had a relatively
uneventful life over her first decade.  Hollywood, however, had other
plans. (see below)

At the start of her tenth year in service the
Wenatchee went in for a
much need paint job and various other minor upgrades.  She is now
back at home on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route.

WENATCHEE
Official Number: D1061309  Call Sign: WCY3378 Length: 460' 2''  Beam: 90'   Draft: 17' 3''    Auto Deck Clearance: 16'   Horsepower: 13,200     Speed in Knots: 18
Max Passengers: 2500   Max Vehicles: 202 City Built: Seattle, WA   Year Built/Re-built: 1998
Name Translation: From the Yakima word wenatchi for "river flowing from canyon." When Lewis and Clark traveled through the Columbia River valley in 1803-1805, they mentioned the
word Wenatchee in their journal, hearing of the river and the tribe living along its banks. A city, lake, river, and national forest are also named after the tribe.

The Olympic Mountains making a perfect backdrop, the Wenatchee arrives in Seattle in May 2013.  Photo by Guy de Gouville.
The uppermost deck of the Mark II's has a small room for additional passenger capacity.  Often
referred to by commuters as the "reading room" or "library" you'll often find the room filled with people,
but very quiet as they are either reading, writing, or napping. Photo by the author.
Ferry accident Hollywood style.
For an episode of Grey's Anatomy the Wenatchee was chosen for a highly melodramatic and very unlikely situation involving an accident between a ferry and
a freighter.  Aside from the ridiculous premise of putting the burning end of the ferry into the dock, the show had things on fire which couldn't possibly  burn
and damage completely inconsistent with the type of accident they were describing. The images shown were inconsistent with the storyline, portions of Colman
Dock appeared and disappeared as needs dictated, impractical modifications were made to the ferry, and the scenario itself was all but unthinkable.
Crew members were notably absent from the episode, the state still gun-shy about the depiction of WSF staff after the completely unfair treatment they
received at the hands of the television show
Emergency! decades earlier.
  While it made for good television, locals and ferry fans howled with laughter and the inaccurate modifications and the  reappearing/disappearing fence
around Colman Dock so needed to knock a main character into the water that otherwise wouldn't have been able to happen.  That is, however, why they call it
"artistic license." Photos courtesy of ABC.