Educate Me Thursday: Riding a Ferry is Fun!

Last weekend I visited the beautiful city of Seattle.

seattle ferryI drove around the Olympic peninsula to Bainbridge Island, known for the gazillion dollar home of king of the world, Bill Gates. From Bainbridge, there is a 30 minute ferry that takes you to Seattle. As I was sitting on the ferry, I was thinking about how amazing it is and I think we take it for granted that we have the option to ride the ferry.

This thought occured to me the other day when I was watching a movie -filmed on the peninsula- and there was a scene on the ferry. It was beautiful, and very familiar. From 1989-1996 I lived in a city on the Puget Sound that has a direct ferry route to Seattle. I've been on the ferry a million times. Or at least 40. It really is as beautiful as you imagine it might be. And it's peaceful (unless it's in the middle of a huge storm-then it's just ridiculously scary).
I haven't personally seen any of our world's special creatures, but there is a whale pod that chills in those waters every now and again. And my nephew saw dolphins swimming alongside the ferry before. And I think it's awesome how seagulls pace the boat, waiting for someone to throw some food into the air.
Back in my day when I lived there, I believe the price was about $3.50 to ride one way. And it's free to ride TO Seattle but you have to pay to come back. The current ticket price is $6.90. That seems pricy, but I guess inflation is just our reality, right?
For the price of a ferry ticket, you can get any of these other things I have recently spent $7 on:
  • A grande peppermint white chocoloate mocha and a marshmallow square from Starbucks.
  • 2 lbs of fresh asparagus
  • A large bag of organic potting soil for growing vegetables
  • A magic 8 ball
  • 2.7 gallons of unleaded gasoline
But none of that will be as wonderful as riding a ferry (though if you cook the asparagus correctly, it's pretty close).

So for those poor souls who have never been on a ferry - this one is for you. Please hold your questions til the end.

A fair amount of the Washington State Ferries are car-carryin kind. The cost for the car and the driver is $11.85. Which is probably about what you'd pay in gas if you want to drive around the peninsula to get to Seattle from the Bainbridge Island area.
There are a ton of ferries:seattle ferryI know some people commute by ferry. They are what we call "crazy."

Preparing to get on the ferry, this is the parking lot of cars (from the Seattle side). seattle ferry

We have all been forced to make that decision to wait for the next ferry, sometimes a 30 min wait, sometimes a 90 min wait, or to "drive around." It's never a fun decision. And it usually comes after a long day in the city and even the non-Star Trek Trekkies are dreaming of tele-transportation machines because that wait or that drive is the longest time ever at that point.

seattle ferryPreparing to leave the dock.

At some point, you'll be on a ferry passing another ferry and you'll see how amazing it looks from the outside.

seattle ferry

photo by Michael Jaradine

So when you get on the ferry, a couple things will happen. Some people will be RUSHING to get a bench seat by a window. The bench seats with tables are the best. Those fill up quick, so be prepared to push others if you must.

Other people will head directly towards the front of the boat where there is a large bay window and a few rows of padded chairs. These are also really popular. Some people choose not to sit at all and will stand out on the deck the entire time. It's usually very windy, but on a really nice day, it's totally worth the wind.

seattle ferry

As the ferry starts to get closer, people will very casually stroll towards the front of the boat (or head downstairs to their car). This is another opportunity to work on your pushing skills, because for some reason, it's very important to get off that boat as soon as it docks.

Everyone must take this type of photo:

seattle ferry

It's like a law or something.

This guy actually saw me take a picture of him and the view and he and his friend talked a moment, looked at me and then immediately left the area. You'd think they would thank me for making him famous on the internet. Whatever.

If you ever are in the Seattle area, I highly recommend you take the time and the $7 to ride the ferry. It doesn't matter which's just a nice, relaxing ride.

I have a couple stories from my Seattle trip - meeting up with a college friend who we haven't seen for ten years. Andrew was 7 last time my friend and I were together. A lot has changed. I also met up with a blogger friend! That's the second blogger person I've met in real life and neither have been crazy! Lucky so far...


  1. Brian Miller said...:

    nice. been a few years since i was in seattle. love the town though and the ferry is a great ride. hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  1. Felicia S. said...:

    I have only ever got to ride on the ferry from San Francisco to Alcatrez---loved it! Beautiful pics1

  1. Jay said...:

    I'm sure that guy you took a picture of has already called the FBI. heheh

    I've only been on one ferry and, like Felicia, it was the one to Alcatraz. It was cool. The waiting doesn't sound like much fun though.

  1. Slyde said...:

    i'd love to visit Seattle one day...

    p.s.... you must have REALLY felt strongly about what you posted on my blog... you posted it 22 times!

  1. Heather said...:

    I never been an a ferry, I've only seen them in the movies. Sounds like an interesting process and kinda fun, but not every single day.

    It's a shame that guy didn't appreciate the fact you was going to make him famous!

  1. Washington State is on my bucket list...someday...


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