Tag Archives: ship

Anderson Island Ferry

My lockdown interest in different ferry operations continues unabated.  Since I was down at Nisqually checking out the wildlife refuge, I figured I was close to Steilacoom which is the home of a ferry service provided by Pierce County.  This one operates across to Anderson Island – a location where some friends of ours have a place.  It occasionally stops at a smaller island too but that is not a frequent service.

There were two ferries tied up at the dock when I got there.  One was the Christine Anderson and it was the one in use.  The other was called Steilacoom II and I wonder whether that is an older ferry that is kept in reserve.  Not long after I arrived, the ferry departed.  I hadn’t positioned well to catch it but it turned immediately and headed south so was soon visible away from the other dock vessels.  I got myself some lunch while I waited for it to return.  The sun was out and the conditions were lovely as it made its way back to Steilacoom.  However, a big cloud bank rolled in at just the wrong time and, as it got close to its destination, it was suddenly in shade that did not make for good photos.  The Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the background was still bathed in good light though.  One more ferry to add to the tally!

Ferry Videos in Blustery Conditions

I have posted a couple of times with ferries at Guemes Island and Lummi Island.  While I mainly was shooting stills at these locations, I did get some video too.  When the boats are being tossed about, I figured that video was a better way of conveying what the conditions were like.  Below are a couple of videos I edited of the two ferries.

Woods Hole Boat Close to Completion

Since I was already in Anacortes, I headed down to the shipyard to see if anything interesting was going on.  On my last visit, a ship from Woods Hole was there and got covered in this post.  The same ship is still there but now it is nearing completion.  The painting is mostly complete (aside from a while in the side of the hull which still needs to be closed up).  The propulsion units (not sure whether they are called thrusters or propellers) have been installed.

It looks like it is going to be finished off before too long.  I did see it from a different angle, albeit a more obscured by foreground clutter angle so you can get an impression of the size of the ship.  When I showed the pictures to Nancy, she commented on how cool it would be to see them move the ship back to the water.  This is definitely true although I doubt I will get the chance.

Lummi Island Ferry

Having made a return trip to Anacortes to check out the dilapidated ship hills on the shore, I decided to add to my ferry collection.  Just beyond Bellingham is an Indian Reservation called the Lummi Nation.  Just off the coast is Lummi Island and there is a little car ferry that connects the island to the Nation.  The ferry is called the Whatcom Chief and it is operated by the county.  It isn’t a big ferry – it looks to hold about 16 cars – but the crossing is not long and they apparently will run extra services to clear a backlog of vehicles if needed beyond the scheduled services.

It was just as windy up at Lummi as it had been in Anacortes but it lacked the sun that I had experienced down there.  Rain showers were blowing through periodically and it was a lot less enjoyable to be outside!  However, I’d come all that way so I wasn’t going to miss out on the shots.  As I mentioned, the ferry is not large and, with the wind whipping up some waves, it was bouncing around as it made the crossing.  I guess you want to hose the salt water off your car after a crossing on a day like this since the spray was going across the boat as it pitched and rolled.

There were more cars waiting to make the crossing than there was space for so they squeezed as many as they could onboard and then headed back again.  Hopefully they came right back for the remainders but I had got what I needed, had a decent drive home ahead of me and wanted to warm up so it was back in the car for me.

Second Go At Old Ship Hulls

In this previous post, I had some shots of a ship hull in Anacortes that had become part of a harbor wall.  When I showed this to a colleague of mine, he looked at Google Maps and thought there might be one or two more hulls making up the harbor.  Once I saw what he was looking at, I could see what he was thinking.  I also couldn’t work out why I didn’t go down to take a closer look when I had been there.  A return journey seemed in order.

First I checked out the original hull and the one that is in the best condition.  It looked more impressive when down on its level.  I didn’t see any sign of a name which was a shame.  Then I went to see what the other areas were.  Sure enough, behind the first hull is a second one.  This one is much more broken down but the timbers are still there making up another part of the harbor wall.  I then realized that a third hull was part of the harbor which we hadn’t seen from Google.  That is because it is a barge hull and so square which meant it wasn’t conspicuous from the aerial photos.

The last hull was located within a shipyard and, since I didn’t have permission to enter their premises, I didn’t go closer to check it out.  A look from the access road above it did seem to confirm that it was indeed another hull.  I guess whoever created the harbor figured the easiest way to do so was to sink a few derelict hulls and then build up the land around them (or let nature do that for you).  I imagine that has been done elsewhere.  Not quite the D-Day Mulberries but something similar.

Fauntleroy Terminal

Continuing my lockdown hobby of checking out ferry services, I took a trip to West Seattle to see the terminal for Washington State Ferries at Fauntleroy.  The service here goes to Vashon Island and Southworth – trips that I have yet to make but I would like to go cycling on Vashon at some point so I might get to use it then.  I chose a pretty unpleasant day to make my trip there.  Winter doesn’t provide reliable weather but the weekend is the only free time so you get what you are given.

The terminal is right next to Lincoln Park.  I walked through the park to the water and strolled along the shore.  A ferry was heading out at this time and, since the schedule was quite infrequent at that time of day, that was all I got to see move.  I walked along the water and back to the road heading down to the terminal itself.  It is not much of a terminal to be honest.  Some holding lanes for the cars and not a lot else.  Compared to the new Mukilteo terminal it is very low key.  There is a little public park and beach just below the terminal which I briefly checked out but the increasing intensity of the rain meant I didn’t stay around too long!

Guemes Island Ferry

Since aviation photography has been limited over the last year, I am finding myself photographing passenger ferries a lot.  Having photographed some, I now am finding out about different ferry operations in the area and checking them out too.  Anacortes is well known for the Washington State Ferries terminal that serves the San Juan Islands and Victoria (when the border is open) but it also has another ferry service.  Just across the water from Anacortes is Guemes Island.  The only way to get there is via a ferry.

The crossing is not a long one and you can see across to the other terminal with ease.  The ferry is a basic boat with a car deck for vehicles and a small structure for the operators.  I assume there is some shelter for foot passengers too but I didn’t spot it immediately.  With such a short crossing, there are no special facilities.

As you come down the hill, you look along the loading ramp and straight at the other terminal.  I saw a bunch of cars lined up to cross.  It didn’t appear that they would all get on so I guess they shuttle back and further pretty regularly.  It appeared to be half hourly.  As they made the crossing, the boat seemed to roll quite a bit.  It didn’t look like the smoothest of crossings.  I guess the boat is designed to be sufficient for the sheltered waters but I wouldn’t like to be on it in rough weather.  Then again, the crossing is short so you could suck it up if it was rolling about.  Maybe I will take a trip across some time and explore the island.

It’s Not an Island – It’s a Wreck

On the road from Anacortes to the ferry terminal, you have the water off to your right.  As I glanced over, I realized that, what I thought was a spur of the land, was actually the wreck of a ship.  The prow of the hull was the thing that first caught my attention so, when I came back, I stopped off to take a closer look.

The ship is a decent size – it reminded me of the old clipper hulls.  It is a wooden hull and the shape of the bow is clearly very dated.  It has been there so long that there are trees and plants that are well established on it.  That was why I almost missed it.  It just looks like part of the land.  You could easily miss that it was a ship as I had done every time that I previously came this way.  Now it is just part of the harbor wall. More to come on this.

QE2 Sails to the Falklands – A Crappy 110 Shot

My negative scanning exploits have been covered a fair bit on this blog.  Up to now, this has been focused on my 35mm films.  However, when I was a kid, I had a 110 film camera.  This was not what you would consider the pinnacle of photographic technology.  It was a small, plastic camera with a lens that I doubt was up to much.  110 film came in a cartridge and was tiny so you were making an image on a small frame with a dodgy lens and nothing much you could control.

I didn’t know what I was doing so we were destined for great results!  I didn’t understand how much light would be available so would take shots indoors without a flash and be shocked that nothing came out or that it was very blurry.  The viewfinder was offset so you had parallax issues which became apparent when you tried to photograph something up close.  All in all, not great.  However, for general shots, it would give you a result.  Not a good result but a result.

I dug out some of these 110 negatives to see what I could find.  Some of the shots, while not of any quality, are historically significant.  In 1982, we were living in a flat on the waterfront in Cowes.  We had a lovely view across the Solent.  We could see from directly north off to the east.  Part of the building obscured our view to the west but our bathroom had a small window that looked across the roof and could give a less obscured view to the west.  It was from here I photographed the QE2 as she sailed for the Falklands.

She had been requisitioned for the war and went into Southampton to be modified.  The rear decks were cut back and the swimming pools plated over to make helicopter landing pads.  All the nice stuff was taken out and she sailed with 5 Brigade aboard heading for an uncertain future.  She came out Southampton Water, negotiated around Brambles Bank and then came past us and on her way.  At one point a pair of Sea Kings flew over the top.

Canberra’s departure and return were bigger events for us when they happened and I remember them both vividly.  QE2 came back on a school day and I could see her coming up the Solent from the tower building in the center of the school but it was a distant return.  Canberra came back at the weekend and was part of an amazing flotilla as everyone seemed to be out to greet her.  I have no shots of that!

Ferries in the Mist

The misty mornings at Orcas were not only pretty atmospheric to wake up to but they also could make for interesting shots of the ferries.  As the banks of fog rolled in and out, the boats could disappear and reappear.  As they backed out and spun around, they could be right on the edge of disappearing.  Since we were facing south, the whole scene was backlit which made it look even more interesting.