Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kennewick on the High Seas

Monday this week brought some blustery weather at times. Bellingham as well as other places got buffeted a bit in the wee morning hours, but all was calm as I headed down Whidbey Island, and the ferry ride across to Port Townsend was a very smooth sail. I had a very short pre construction meeting at a project site and then a short chat about another project and then back on the Kennewick for the trip back to Whidbey.

Just before pulling out a navy ship heading for Indian Island passed by. Indian Island is a munition depot center indian-island-jefferson-county and indian-island-us-supreme-court-case.

Navy ship on its way to Indian Island
 In addition, I had a nice view back to the Olympics and the rain shadow with blue sky.

Olympics and the blue hole

But as we got into the more open water of Admiralty Inlet westerly swells driven by the surge of west wind down the Strait of Juan de Fuca had just arrived. This made the ride interesting.

View from the third deck level
This is the only the second time I have been on a ferry where a wave surged up onto the car deck. On this trip it happened dozens of times. The captain ordered no one was allowed on the outside decks and told everyone to stay in their seats. There was a reported case of sea sickness on the bridge much to the crew's delight. We sailed very far south to avoid the worst of the waves. At one point we reversed course and turned the boat around so that the lighter end of the ship was leading into the waves. It was announced that if that did not work we would head to a different port. All of these later events were a first for me despite the many ferry trips I make.

The Kennewick pulled through. It was designed for this more open water run. The completion of the crossing made for a more efficient day as I had a visit to make to Coupeville and Oak Harbor. I took a little side trip to see the waves along Ebbys Landing.
The waves are reminder that fetch (the distance of open water) is a major factor in erosion of shorelines and at least in part explains the treeless slopes on significant portions of the northwest shore of Whidbey Island.



Sam Crawford said...

That's the Arleigh-Burke class destroyer DDG-92 USS Momsen homeported at Everett. (We're a navy family these days!)

Sam Crawford said...

Speaking of the Momsen, here's what it did to pirates that went after an oil tanker a couple years ago (read description below photo):

Dan McShane said...

Every ship has a story. Thanks for filling in on a casual observation. I kind of like pointing out Indian Island's role in our Salish Sea landscape. Now I can say navy ships call into Indian Island before heading out to take on pirates off the Somali coast.