WSF community meeting scheduled for June 13 | Ferry Fare | June

In an April survey, riders voted two-to-one in favor of revising the Saturday ferry schedule for the Kingston/Edmonds route. Ergo, starting on June 19, the last Saturday night sailings will be at 11:05 p.m. from Kingston and 11:45 p.m. from Edmonds.

In exchange, a 10 p.m. Kingston and a 10:45 p.m. Edmonds sailing will be added. There will be a survey at the end of the summer to see if we want to stay with this schedule or to go back to the old one.

More free cookies

Yes, there will be Mirracole Morsels cookies at our public ferry meeting on June 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Center. This has been a big legislative session for ferries and “double, toil and trouble” aptly describes it. Come and see what got cooked up. Also find out what’s being done in the aftermath of KING 5’s “Waste on the Water” exposés. And come to speak your mind on a fuel surcharge proposal. This may be our only chance. Please let me know of anything that you want Washington State Ferries to address at the meeting.

Coming and going

With the summer ferry overloads at hand, the question springs forth: Who decides when to stop loading and get the ferry underway?

Answer: the dock crew decides after conferring with the ferry captain. Unlike in the cartoon, a safety checklist gets done before the boat pushes off. When ferries are running behind, the dock crews may resort to a “quick load.”  They load the cars that they think will fill the boat and then stop loading.  This will be within four or five cars of a full boat and time won’t be used up calling for cars by ones and twos to top off the load.

Expect summer delays from the heavier traffic with more frequent sewage tank pumping, more cars with dead batteries, and other predicaments.  If a ferry gets so far behind schedule that the second boat has caught up with it, and is waiting off the dock, loading may be stopped early so that the second boat can get into the dock and to allow the first boat to catch up on its schedule.

Heating and cooling

You may have noticed that the cabin on Spokane was running hot and cold in the spring.  This winter she had her heating and cooling controls replaced.  In breaking in the new system, some items didn’t work right and had to be exchanged. For rider comfort, Walla Walla will be having its system upgrade this summer.

Terminal etiquette

When the ferry traffic is backed up in Kingston how do you get to the passenger drop-off and pick up spot?   WSF says to take the local traffic lane down to Washington Avenue, put your blinker on, and wait for someone to let you in.  Good luck explaining to drivers waiting for tickets that you’re not line-jumping but just dropping off or picking up.

When picking up my 92-year old mother, and no one would let me in, I resorted to the “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” strategy by driving over the rubber pylons. FYI, they bent over easily, popped back up, and no one quibbled.

If you have a handicapped person in the car, tell the toll booth person.  They’ll radio the boat crew to ensure that your car is placed near to the elevator and/or car deck toilet.  If you don’t tell them you may find your car where the handicapped rider can’t get out.

Contact me at (360) 297-2845 or, with comments, questions, and, of course, your kudos.