We took a visit to the locks at Ballard on the 4th July weekend. We had anticipated a ton of boat traffic for the holidays but we were wrong. Maybe everyone was at home with family members. The result was very limited traffic through the locks. They were just using the smaller lock. One boat that did make the traverse was a rather nice looking old wooden sailing boat. I imagine it requires a fair bit of upkeep but it looked like the sort of boat that you could make relaxing trips in if you had a load of spare time.
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.
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 visited the Sound Transit operations and maintenance facility in the south part of Seattle for meeting recently. This is the original facility but they have added one in Bellevue and another will be built in Federal Way in the coming years. Plenty of the trains were parked in the storage tracks including the original cars and the new ones getting delivered by Siemens for the extensions due to open soon. Too good to pass up the chance to grab some shots with my phone.
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!
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.
One evening, while up near Everett, I had a bit of spare time on my hands. I had noticed a park along the waterfront called Picnic Park and had noted that I would check it out at some point. This was a good time to try finding out what it was like. The weather was not great but, with time on my hands, I headed down there. It is a small park along the water and there is a bridge across the railroad to reach it. As I walked across the bridge, there was a nice view down to where the coast curves around and the trees along the shore had some nice fall colors.
With the sun popping in and out on a regular basis, I thought this would be a good place if a train was coming. As it happened, the Sounder commuter rail train from Seattle to Everett was not far off so I decided to wait for it to come through. A few minutes later it came in to view. There was a family with a young child standing on the bridge waving to the crew and, when I looked at the photos at home, I could see both crew waving back. It was a pretty short train. The Sounder North has not been too successful and the commuter rail ridership is well down due to COVID. I guess there is no need for more cars just now.
The Avants event at Chateau Ste. Michelle had some very high end hypercars on display. A Ferrari Enzo or a La Ferrari might seem like they are the best. How about a McLaren Senna? Seems like the best huh? That might be true but the one next to them was the one I really was taken with. I am not a big Porsche fan. I don’t have a problem with Porsches but I have never been taken with them in the way some have. However, I make an exception for the Carrera GT. That is a car that seems to be special and the end of an era of car types. I recall seeing one on the streets in Chicago and being blown away. Consequently, when I saw this one next to the more recent high end creations, I was really excited. It is a great looking car and something more traditional in the way it is designed. It was also super expensive when it was new. Of course, if you want one now, it is even more expensive!
I was chatting with one of my neighbors and he mentioned a car event coming up at Chateau Ste. Michelle, a local winery. This event was arranged by Avants and was a selection of exotic and unusual cars on display in the grounds of the winery along with wine and food to enjoy. Sounded interesting and Nancy was keen to try it out so we got ourselves tickets. On the day, the weather started out looking pretty bad but, since the event started in the afternoon, we decided to see how things turned out. As it was, the day became overcast but basically dry so it worked out fine. I’m not sure whether it actually reduced the number of people there or not but it felt busy but not crowded.
Exotics@RTC will provide a bunch of unusual cars but this had some very special vehicles and was definitely worth going to. I am going to have some specific posts on some of the vehicles but this is more of a general overview of what we saw. The cars were spread out across the lawns so were not crowded together. Also, while there were people around most of the time, the cars were often clear of visitors if you were trying to get a shot – even when it came to some of the most unusual vehicles.
There was wine from the winery to purchase as you walked around (assuming you hadn’t bought the more expensive tickets with packages of wine and food) and you could order food. However, the food options were not that impressive and didn’t seem to fit with the nature of the event. That would be my only complaint with the event as a whole. Whether you wanted race cars, hyper cars, vintage sports cars or even more unusual vehicles from Europe, there was something to see. Nancy is not a car person but she certainly enjoyed looking at the beautiful styling of some of the vehicles (and the quirky styling of others).
When I go to Exotics@RTC, I just enjoy the vehicles and occasionally know something about them. Most of the time, I don’t know much about them at all. Some of my friends are far more knowledgeable about cars than I am and they can recognize what is significant and what is not or even what is genuine and what is not. I don’t have that knowledge. Instead, I see something that appeals to me or doesn’t.
German day, earlier this summer, included a vintage BMW. This car looked like the sort of thing that would have appeared in old movies. The sweeping lines of the car, the suicide doors, the shape of the windows – all of these just looked really elegant to me. This was a car that had a certain something and I was drawn to it. The fact it got a central position in the display must suggest it was not an average vehicle but I don’t know why. Maybe some of you will instantly recognize it and point out I was looking at something amazing or something decidedly average!