Tag Archives: washington

New Mukilteo Terminal

Washington State Ferries have opened their first new terminal in 40 years.  Calling it a new terminal is a bit deceptive – it is a replacement for an existing terminal – but it is definitely a new place for the ferries to come in.  It is the new Mukilteo terminal and it is located about a third of a mile from the previous terminal.  That one was right at the end of Mukilteo Speedway next to the lighthouse.  The new location is east along the shore near the old Air Force tank farm location.

The construction has been underway for a while and the switch over happened on December 29, 2020.  The ferries didn’t run for much of that day as they moved some key equipment across from the old location.  Additionally, the crews took the opportunity to get practice with berthing in the new facility.  The transition was done ahead of the holiday to make sure that the surge in traffic over New Year wasn’t affected.

I took a walk along the shore on two days later to see what it all looked like.  The weather was hardly delightful but it was December in the Pacific Northwest so no great shock there.  Additionally, not everything was complete.  The main facilities are open but they have yet to install the passenger footbridge.  That will go in around February/March time.  For now, passenger walk across the road access (not while cars are there, of course!).

That also means some of the construction equipment is still in place.  A large floating crane is still there and will be, I assume, until the footbridge is completed.  They are also tidying up some of the other elements but they should be done pretty soon.

There is a new toll plaza on the entrance to the holding lots.  I didn’t go up to take a look at that but I did get some photos from a distance.  The demand for service was really high on this day with everyone heading home for their New Year celebrations.  Despite the large holding lanes, it was full and traffic was waiting beyond the plaza and up the hill.

The main building is a really elegant structure.  Lots of wood construction and styled on a native long house, it contains an information center, a ticket office and some other facilities.  There is lots of native art decorating it both inside and out including a cool boat hanging from the roof.  The building is elevated over the road access.  The ramp for loading comes straight in to the shore and leads directly under the building.  It means you have a nice elevated view of the boats as the come and go.

There is a waterfront trail that runs from up near the lighthouse to a park further to the east so you can walk along the shore to see the facilities and watch the boats.  Near the terminal, there are many information boards giving some history of the region and these are quite educational.  On a sunnier day, I can imagine there will be plenty of people enjoying this part of the shoreline and checking out the ferry traffic.

P-8 Tries to Trick Me

The afternoon lighting was looking good and, when I saw a P-8 was up, I was tempted to get some shots.  When I saw the Dornier was also coming in, it helped make up my mind.  Even better, it spared me from a fruitless trip.  The P-8 was out of Boeing Field and was scheduled to make approaches at Everett before returning to base.  I would have been tempted to shoot it up there but, with the 328Jet in the mix, I figured Boeing Field was it.

As it turned out, the flight plan for Everett was a distraction.  I watched the jet heading back up from Oregon and it looked like it was coming direct to Boeing Field.  That was indeed the case.  No approach to Everett.  If I had been up there, I would have been pretty annoyed.  As it was, I got the arrival, even if the conditions were nowhere near as nice as they had been when I first headed out.  This one was a US Navy example.

Rock Texture on the Shore

Some of the rocks along the shore in Larrabee State Park had worn in to interesting shapes under the relentless pressure of the sea.  The coastal rocks are all shaped by the wave action but I thought these looked a little different to normal.  I wonder whether the rocks are a softer type than I am more familiar with because the curves and cracks seemed to be a lot smoother than is usual.  Some of the rocks also had pitting in them, presumably from the eddies in the water flowing across them gradually eroding deeper into the surface of the rock.

Metal Silos

Driving through Bellingham, we took a turn passed a building called the Granary.  It took us in to an area that looks like it is planned for some significant redevelopment but for which, not much has yet started.  In the center of the area was a line of silos of some type.  The metal looked like it had been refinished and the textures of the construction really caught the eye in the soft fall light.  It would have been rude not to take a few shots.  There was also a wooden silo of some sort that looked like it had been refinished but I didn’t get any shots of that for reasons that escape me now!

San Juan Ferry and Barge

The Washington State Ferries service is the main way of getting between the San Juan Islands but it isn’t the only one.  On a previous trip to the islands, I had posted about an operator of a small ferry.  That post is here.  The operator is San Juan Ferry and Barge.  The boat in the original post is the Henry Island but they have a second, similar boat.  This is the Nordland II.

The Nordland II came past us while we were staying in Orcas a couple of times.  It had a truck with what looked like propane on board.  I imagine moving from place to place with a hazardous cargo is easier when you charter the boat yourself.  The front ramp means they can load and unload at any number of launching ramps around the islands which makes them super flexible.

They are based at Friday Harbor and, while we were walking around the waterfront, I saw them in the marina.  The Nordland II was making a trip out so I got a shot as they pulled out (along with a friendly wave from the crew!).  The Henry Island was still moored up so I grabbed some shots of it while I could.

Sunlight Through the Mist

Moran State Park was a damp and shady place for a hike.  As we got closer to Cascades Lake, we got to an area that was a bit misty.  With the sun peaking through the trees, the moisture in the air picked up the shafts of sunlight picking through the branches.  I had not photographed this before and I was interested how to expose to get the effect to show up properly.

I wasn’t sure whether to underexpose or go with the base settings so I played around with it a bit.  Since it was the mirrorless M6 I was using, you get a bit of a preview in the viewfinder of what you will get but my experience of that camera is that the viewfinder can be a little off compared to what you get when working on the desktop.  A little tweaking and I was pretty pleased with the results.  I did also try some HDR just in case but I don’t think it was necessary.

NetJets Gets the Good Conditions

In this previous post, I mentioned the good light I was hoping would be available for a Dornier 328Jet.  While that didn’t work out, I did get a NetJets Latitude arriving at that time.  NetJets colors are certainly not very exciting so they are a bland subject normally (and a Latitude is hardly the most exciting looking bizjet either.  However, with the right lighting, even this can look pretty dramatic!

Woods Hole Boat in the Yard at Anacortes

Previous visits to Anacortes have included pictures from the shipyard in the town.  They seem to always be working on some substantial vessel or other that has been lifted out of the water and moved up the yard to allow access to work on it.  When heading to the ferry, we had a little spare time so took a swing through the town.  Sure enough, another large vessel was parked next to the road.  This one was registered to Woods Hole.  It was a long way from home!

First JASDF KC-46 Pegasus

The Japanese (JASDF) were a customer for the tanker version of the Boeing 767 when Boeing was offering it in the early days.  Japan and Italy were the only customers that I am aware of for that aircraft.  Therefore, it was not a massive surprise that Japan ordered the KC-46 when Boeing developed it for the USAF.  The first aircraft is now being completed and has been parked on the ramp up at Everett recently.  Here it is undergoing some testing.  Hopefully we shall get to see it flying soon.

London Buses in the Strangest Locations

In the center of Fairhaven, I was surprised to see an old London bus.  This wasn’t a Routemaster but an older vintage of bus.  It was tucked in a shady area next to a building on a sunny day so it was a touch tricky to get a shot of.  It was also surrounded by various stuff so I maneuvered to get a reasonably clear shot of it.  It still has its UK registration plates so anyone that is familiar with London Transport history, can probably advise what it is.  No doubt there is a website for this sort of thing somewhere if I looked hard enough.