Northwest Yachting October 2019

Page 62

G R E E N

GIANTS F E R R I E S : A B O AT E R ' S P E R S P E C T I V E

An essential part of PNW transport, boaters and commuters both coexist with a robust ferry system. BY G REG VAN B ELLE 62 NORTHWEST YACHTING || OCTOBER 2019

We were just entering Thatcher W Pass on our way to Friday Harbor one glorious summer day. Two Washington State ferries were in view off our bow at the same time, each cutting a clean wake through the unusually calm water. It was a postcard moment, and I obliged it by grabbing my camera. As I watched the scene through the viewfinder, a horn blast startled me back to reality. Four more quick blasts of the horn put

me into a mild panic. I turned around to see a third ferry, coming up behind us. We were in its channel. I stupidly waved my hand as if the captain could see–or would care–that I acknowledged his presence. I made a turn to port to make room for him to pass. Tourists huddled on the rail to get a glimpse of the stupid boater who didn’t know better than to get in the way of a giant ferry. Again, I waved because I