We arrived at the dock in Anacortes, WA to take the Washington State Ferry to Friday Harbor early – very early. In this case, early was good (frankly, in most cases early is good). This is a large ferry with two car decks and two passenger decks. Arriving an hour early meant that we were about eighth in line – and thus on the lower car deck; first loaded, first off. We spent the hour using the very clean rest rooms, reading in the car and watching other passengers walk around.
It was fairly foggy over the water when we arrived at the dock in Anacortes, although we could see at ground level relatively well. It just seemed like low hanging clouds. As we waited, the overcast brightened perceptibly. I had to unzip my sweatshirt as the dim sunlight warmed the car.
Boarding began promptly and was very efficient. I have ridden ferries before and it often takes a while to load the vehicles. But this ferry did not require backing the car on, so it was much easier to accomplish. My husband ran upstairs to the galley to get us a snack before the line got long. By the time he returned, the ferry was beginning to slowly leave its berth.
As I noted, I’ve been on ferries before, but I will have to say that I have never been on such a spacious ferry before. I had settled at a table in the lower passenger cabin to write. As I looked around, I noted that this ferry is exceptionally clean. There are three rows of six double tables and six dozen padded chairs in the center portion of this cabin. Additionally, there are at least twenty double, upholstered benches along the windows on each side of the cabin. The ceilings were at least ten feet high and there was between five and ten feet between tables, chairs and benches. When the spaciousness was combined with the large windows that lined each wall, it seemed very open – even indoors, where I seldom travel in a ferry. I’ve learned that my personal motion detector is usually much happier outside, where I can feel the air and see the horizon. But this ride is so smooth and the area so open to the view that I am able to write and not feel motion sick.
I am going to be closing up shop here because the ride has gone so well that we will be docking shortly. It doesn’t seem possible that forty-five minutes has passed. But I know we will need to move back to the car soon.
This has been, by far, the most pleasant ferry ride I have taken. I highly recommend the Washington State Ferry system to all of you. I can see how even commuters could enjoy traveling to and from work on this boat!
By the way – the cloud deck has lifted and we’re beginning to see the sun. Perfect timing!