A Ferry Tale

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

For 25 years, I lived on an island 7.73 nautical miles from downtown Seattle, a 35-minute ferry ride.

I loved the ferry.  I hated the ferry.

I drank coffee on the ferry.  I drank wine on the ferry.

I took the ferry to work, to concerts, to restaurants, to clubs, to stores, to hospitals – and back.

People were born on the ferry.  People died on the ferry.  People committed suicide on the ferry.

I laughed on the ferry.  I cried on the ferry.

I socialized on the ferry.  I socially isolated on the ferry.

When I could not bear to converse with others, I put in my ear pods and walked the top deck, listening to music.  Ahmad Jamal. Dave Brubeck. Tchaikovsky. Puccini. Butterfield Blues Band. The Rolling Stones.

I heard about 9/11 on the ferry.  I heard about the Oklahoma federal center bombing on the ferry. 

I miss the ferry.  I never want to ride the ferry again. Except on nights like these.

11 thoughts on “A Ferry Tale

  1. thanks Steve. I spent many hours on that ferry. I don’t know how I feel about it. I know i don’t use it too much.

    Things are looking up unless you live in the Midwest. I am looking to Spring. Hang in there and keep healthy…..Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are certainly worse ways to commute. I read, listened to music, talked to people when I felt like it, and walked the top deck for fresh air. Now that we’re in Gig Harbor, I’ve taken the Southworth ferry a couple times.
      Yep – looking forward to vaccines and not living in constant fear of catching a deadly virus. I woke up last night in the middle of the night coughing, and my first thought was: I’ve got COVID. But I took a throat lozenge and woke up this morning feeling fine. Another day dawns! Looking forward to getting together with you for a cup of coffee one of these days, once again.


  2. I, being only a visitor to your neck of the woods, love the ferry. I know – I romanticize it because it isn’t a 35 minute part of my daily commute. But I’ve often wished it were.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It beats white knuckles on the steering wheel for hours, which I experienced commuting in Germany and the US. And ferry commuting is somewhat incomparable when the ferry stops mid-Sound to let a pod of Orcas pass by. Early morning and late evening views off the decks over the mountains are also rather amazing. But after a couple decades of commuting every day, the annoyances mount, as well. Waiting in the ferry line. Missing a ferry by minutes and being stuck in the parking area for the next 45 minutes. Etc. Now that I’m retired, I occaisionally take the ferry and recall that, in the end, it’s just a big bus on the water.

      Liked by 1 person

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