Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Pictures from my commute

Map from Seattle to Bainbridge Island

My daily commute, entirely outside of the borders of the interstate freeway system.

Colman dock, Seattle's Pier 52.

Boarding the 4:40 ferry to Bainbridge. This or the 5:30 is probably the most crowded sailing to Bainbridge on your average weekday, carrying up to 2,500 passengers.

A not-so-great shot of the Merchant Vessel (M/V) Tacoma, one of the WSF's Jumbo Mark II Class vessels. This is taken after exiting the waiting lobby, before boarding.

The reverse view, taken from the No. 2 end of the ferry, of the northern third of the parking lot. Most of these cars will not make it onto the boat.

Cars loading onto the ferry. The truss adjusts the incline of the ramp from the ferry to the parking lot for the tides. In the upper-right corner, you can see the last few foot passengers boarding.

The No. 2 bridge of the M/V Tacoma. Below that is the sun deck. I am standing on the main deck, one level below, and just ouside the main cabin.

Piers 54 and upward, north of Colman dock. These tend to be the more "touristy" attractions.

Piers 48 and downward, south of Colman dock. These are the piers used for the commercial hub of the Port of Seattle.

Something I've never seen before: A mechanic up in the No. 2 crow's nest, fixing the radar. Actually, he just seemed to turn a bunch of screws; I never saw anything come apart.

A picture of the Seattle skyline, showing that the Space Needle -- despite how it is usually depicted -- is definitely not downtown.

West Seattle.

A Hanjin Shipping freighter sitting in the middle of Puget Sound and the M/V Wenatchee, the other WSF Jumbo Mark II Class ship, on its return trip from Bainbridge to Seattle. I'm not sure why I often see the Hanjin freighters just sitting out there; perhaps they're waiting for customs to clear them?

A not-so-great shot of Bainbridge Island taken about two-thirds of the way there. It's only slightly more visible in real life, though.

A mere 10 minutes into the 35 minute trip, people on these sailings will already queue up to disembark. They are standing behind a yellow line, where one of the deckhands will set a barrier just before unlocking the railing.

Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, which houses the ferry terminal and one of WSF's ferry maintenance yards (a source of annoyance to some Islanders). Despite what you saw on the map above, ferries don't sail directly into the harbor from Seattle -- there are rocks and shallow waters just east of the harbor. Instead, they aim for the midpoint between Eagle and Blakely Harbors and make a sharp jig north before jagging west into Eagle Harbor.

The old creosote plant in Eagledale. This will eventually become a park; first, though, they need to clean up the plant.

A view of the No. 1 end as we dock in Bainbridge. The turbulence in the water is due to the reverse propulsion applied by the captain to slow us down.

Mooring the ship. In addition to the lines, the captain will apply a small amount of forward (Dockward? Fore/aft/starboard/port don't make as much sense on a dual-ended vessel...) thrust to keep the vessel docked.

Bringing the passenger ramp down.

Meanwhile, on the car deck, bicycles get off first. They'll be followed by motorcycles, ambulances (there was one on this trip), carpool/rideshare vans, and then all other cars. Sometimes this will include a school bus or two.

The sea of people leaving the ship. On these sailings, it will take far longer to get all of the foot passengers off than the cars.

Cherry blossoms near the ferry terminal.

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