About cruising a Washington ferry wondering why I feel so old

Yesterday the friends I’m staying with in northern Washington State took off to Canuckistan for the day. The person with whom I was going to spend the day abandoned me to do something fun north of the border too, and so I headed south. After too many detours I eventually found myself at Fort Casey, and at the ferry bound for Port Townsend.

More about the town tomorrow.

I hadn’t booked a spot for the ferry because I didn’t know what time I would get there, and so bought my ticket on arrival, hoping there would be place on the boat (because first option is given to all those who had booked.) The youngster in the ticket booth asked if I was 65 or over, to qualify for a seniors’ fare. I decided not to take offence, despite still being a year from my 50th birthday. And as much as I love saving money, I also couldn’t bring myself to lie about my age.

I managed to answer “no, not yet,” with a straight face and handed over full fare.

The ferry, called Kennewick, has a capacity of 64 vehicles. I was the 64th loaded… For which I was very grateful, because I struggle sitting still and would have found it completely impossible to wait an hour and a half for the next ferry.

Many people just stayed in their vehicles for the 30 minute traverse of the Puget Sound into Port Townsend Bay. I, as I cannot sit staring at a stationary vehicle in front of me for half an hour, headed to the upper deck, where I roamed like a restless wraith looking for stuff to shoot.

One of the interesting things about many of the Washington State ferries is that they have jigsaw puzzles available for people to build. Many passengers head straight to a puzzle randomly placed at one of the tables on the passenger deck, foregoing the views or biting wind outside. They have the time it takes from departure to arrival on the other side to work on the puzzle, and then they leave it laid out on the table where they were sitting, as is. When the ferry heads off in the other direction someone else works on the puzzle, and so it goes until the puzzle is finished. Or not. There are 20 trips in a day. Who knows how many times the puzzles have been completed, if any.

But I watched the delight it gave several passengers (who would take photos of the puzzle before and after working on it) to be part of a bigger process; a bigger picture of many puzzle builders from who knows where.

I tried one too, and, as with the obligatory tradition, took a final photo of it.

Here then, a few snaps from my ferry trips to Port Townsend and back to Coupeville a few hours later.


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