Tag Archives: ship

Handbrake Turn In A Ferry

When you look at something like a ferry that can hold 180 cars and a thousand passengers, you don’t immediately think of agility and maneuverability.  However, the Wightlink ferries that run between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight have surprising capabilities.  The entry to Portsmouth Harbour is followed by a rapid change of direction to get to the terminal at Gunwharf.  From the Spinnaker Tower, you get a great view of how rapidly the ferry can be thrown around.  The St Clare is a bi-directional ship so it doesn’t back in like Victoria of Wight.  Instead, it looks like it is doing a handbrake turn.  The wake ends up almost combing out of the side of the boat!

Kitsap Ferries

A variety of ferry operators have made their way on to the blog over time.  Today I get to add a new one for me.  I was taking a WSF ferry to Bainbridge Island and, as we were departing Seattle’s Colman Dock, some Kitsap Ferries services were also arriving and departing.  The light angles weren’t ideal but I figured I would add to my collection of ferry shots anyway.  Maybe I will go back deliberately at some point in the future to get some better shots.

A Retired Ferry In Storage

I am known to take the occasional photos of ferries.  I have even been known to search them out from time to time.  However, I recently got a photo of one purely by accident.  We were on Whidbey Island and in the town of Langley.  We drove down a side road to a dock area to see what was down there and we came across a retired Washington State ferry.  The MV Evergreen State was in the WSF fleet for decades but was finally retired from service in 2015.  Apparently her disposal did not go smoothly and she was in Olympia for a while before a new owner bought her and moved her to Langley.

Supposedly, the new owner is in the process of converting her to electric power.  Working on a vessel as old as she is sounds hard enough as it is but converting it to new technology seems like a major undertaking.  Maybe it will all work out well but I have a feeling that another troubling time could be ahead.  Meanwhile, she is moored in Langley and this is where I shot her.

Henry Island Transporting A Tanker

I have had some previous posts about San Juan Ferry and Barge as we saw a lot of them while vacationing in the San Juans.  On our trip to Friday Harbor while mum was visiting, I hadn’t figured on seeing them unless they were moored in the harbor.  However, as our ferry was getting ready to depart Anacortes, the Henry Island, one of their two boats, came towards us from the main harbor at Anacortes.

It passed behind us but I figured that we would catch it up as we headed to Friday Harbor and that proved to be the case.  It was transporting a tanker truck with a trailer so the deck of the boat was full.  As we chased it down, a couple of kayakers were coming the opposite direction.  I wonder which of our two vessels they were more interested in.

Ferries Bunching Up At Lopez

We took the ferry to Friday Harbor when mum was staying and there is no way that I am going to be on a ferry for a while without the camera coming out to shoot the other ferries we passed.  We were on the direct service from Anacortes to Friday Harbor but there are the other services that stop at the other islands.  Our route took us passed the terminal on Lopez Island and, both outbound and return, we saw ferries docked there.

It seems that the schedule results in one ferry arriving at Lopez shortly after the preceding one departs.  I assume that this doesn’t make it too tricky to stack up the awaiting vehicles but there doesn’t look to be a huge amount of space at the terminal.  Then again, Lopez is a quieter destination than Friday Harbor.  It was fun trying to get shots that combined both ferries in one frame and they passed on their respective routes.


I have already shared quite a few shots from the Lego Awesome exhibit in Seattle.  One of the creations they had on display was an icebreaker.  This was a big beast and, in keeping with a lot of the pieces, it was cut in half to show the interior.  The boat itself would have been an amazing build but the interior elements were fantastic.

To show all of the elements would result in loads of images and that isn’t going to be so good to work your way through so I have cut it down to a few shots to give you an idea of what they had done.  The internal parts of the ship were reproduced and there were all sorts of Easter eggs scattered throughout like aliens that had been recovered from the ice.  The ship was even pitching up at an impressive angle on a sea of blocks that was a great piece of work on its own.  I think icebreakers are neat looking ships so to have one made on this scale, in Lego, and with so much little detail was a lot of fun for me.

Edmonds Ferries In The Sun

A change of plans caused by reduced ferry services at Mukilteo meant we found ourselves at Edmonds having a stroll along the shore.  It was a lovely sunny Saturday if a little cool and breezy.  The ferries to Kingston from Edmonds were running a full service and you know I can’t resist getting the odd ferry photo.

Coast Guard Vessel

A Canadian Coast Guard boat was up on the shipyard being worked on while we were in Victoria.  A ship out of the water has a very different feel given how much it sits above you and the view of the area below the waterline.  It changes the scale of the vessel to my eye.  I’m not sure what work was being undertaken and wonder whether it is already back in service or not.

BC Ferries And A Competitor

On our trip to Victoria, we took the BC Ferries crossing to Vancouver Island.  On our return journey, we got to the terminal at Swartz Bay quite early and the sun was shining so I wandered down to the water edge near the ferries to see what was going on.  There were more BC Ferries vessels in place along with a competitor ferry, Seaspan, that appears to be focused on freight traffic only.

That ferry left before we loaded but it ended up following us through the passage towards the Strait of Georgia.  We made a couple of turns through the passage which meant it appeared and disappeared from view for me but I managed to catch it a couple of times.  The passage is also the place where the ferries pass in opposite directions since it is mid journey.  A chance to get some more ferry shots.  After a pause, it seems I am back on the ferry photography trail!

Ships Look Better From A Distance Part 2

A while back, I produced a post about the way in which ships look a lot rougher when up close compared to from a distance.  In that case, it was a Washington State Ferries vessel I was considering.  In the shipyard in Victoria that was across from where we were staying, there was a catamaran ferry undergoing work.  The bow of the ship was very close to the fence and you could see exactly the same thing.  The steelwork welds were easy to see at that range and remind you that these ships are heavy engineering.