Across the sound

In the United States, today is Labor Day.  Now that I’m a manager, I don’t labor too hard, but I took the day off anyway.


We’d talked before about taking the little one on a ferry ride, but hadn’t done it yet.  Today seemed like the last good chance to do it before the weather turns rainy & cold.


Because we don’t want to contribute to the traffic, pollution, noise, gas consumption, and stress from driving, we decided to take the bus to the ferry.  I find transferring busses to be a chore, especially with a small kiddo, so we drove to a Park & Ride first.  


We saw our bus leave as we got there, so we parked & played in the grass for a little while.  As we were walking over to the bus stop, a few minutes before it was due, I realized I had left the bus & ferry schedules in the car.  Ran back to the car, and back to the bus stop.


Bus pricing around here is weird.  There are peak and non-peak hours.  There are 1- and 2-zone rates.  Downtown Seattle has a free-ride area.  Busses leaving the area have you pay as you get off, instead of paying as you board. 


So it’s no surprise that Julie didn’t have correct change.  I asked if anyone had change for a buck, but no one responded.  Julie braved her way to the front of the bus, now doing 65mph, and told the bus driver she was just going to pay two $1 bills for the $1.25 fare.  The bus driver tried to talk her out of it, saying she’d be wasting 75 cents.  


Hint: We can afford 75 cents.


He was successful, and Julie sat down to ponder longer.


Finally a woman decided to give us change for a buck, we paid the fare, and we were in good shape.  


As we approached downtown, I realized that I wasn’t sure which stop to get off at.  I thought about what I’d read on the bus & ferry web sites, made a guess, and got it right.  We walked the 4 blocks to the pier.  See pic.


Reid doesn’t like too much wind, but his curiosity was stronger, so we walked around the upper deck exploring.  We saw a seagull keeping pace with the boat.  We saw the wake & the foam from the engines. 


When we got close to Bainbridge we watched the docking maneuvers, saw the workers bring the bridge in to place for the cars, etc.  They tie off with two large (2in diameter?) docking lines.  Each is led to a cleat on the boat.  A round turn around the base (the strongest part) and then a series of figure-8s around the horns.  This differs from the way I’ve learned to tie up, where the second turn gets a twist, creating a clove hitch around the cleat.


There’s a nice walking path form the ferry to the town of Winslow.  It goes through a park & a playground.  While my better two thirds were on the playground, I walked the main drag of Winslow looking for chow.  Got a bowl of black bean soup & a herb roll (“an herb roll”?) from the bakery.  Cool bakery, but I was hoping they’d have some sandwiches or something. 


The Town & Country Market, next to the playground, was very cool. Some interesting and very tasty sandwiches.  Regular groceries + bulk goods.  Julie says she could do all our grocery shopping there.


There’s a tunnel (in airports it’s called a “jetway”) that you walk through to the ferry.  The part you wait in is split down the middle, to keep those waiting out of the way of those leaving, I presume.  The division is a bit odd.  It’s a series of “Delinator Posts” with a nylon rope run along them.  That sort of construct seems temporary, right?  I would have used clove hitches around each of the posts.  It’s a good crossing knot, and easy to tie.  Instead, they had reeved the rope through the whole in each post, with a stop knot on either side, and an eye splice on the ends.  Odd.  (Does anyone else care?)


On the ride back, my son made up songs for other passengers, while I practiced making eye splices in ½” hemp rope.  Hemp isn’t as slippery as nylon, so you need ½ as many tucks.  I’m going to keep practicing for a while; I think it may be a useful skill some day.


Hiked back up the hill from the ferry to the bus stop.  Bus arrived 5 minutes later.  Nice timing.


The bus was a new hybrid model, with a low floor.  Very nice. 


Stepping off the bus at the park & ride, the bus door closed on me.  Ow!  We yelled at the driver.  Then it closed on Julie.  I held it open for the other passengers.  Crazy bus driver?  Malfunctioning equipment?  Well, I’m glad my baby didn’t get caught.


He fell asleep before we drove off.   


I think he had a great day.  So did I.

Comments (3)

  1. Patrick says:

    The buses usually work like a charm for me. Try if you have a WAP-enabled or (better) smartphone and check out what ITS are planning – – they have some slick projects in the works!

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