Washington State Ferry Ride

Tom and I are spending this summer on an island, just like we spent the winter on an island.  Both islands are the same size, although San Juan Island has half the number of permanent residents.  Although they are both islands, you can drive to St. Simons Island on a causeway.  You have to take a Washington State Ferry to get to San Juan Island.

Before we even applied to come to San Juan Island, Tom and I researched whether or not we would fit on the ferry.  After all, the truck and RV are 57 feet long and 13 feet, four inches high.  We are a big rig!  In reading the material, I found out that the Washington State Ferry has boats that accommodate semi-trucks.  They have a 15 foot height clearance.  So, Friday, May 19 saw us in the line bright and early waiting for the Washington State Ferry that would take us from Anacortes, Washington to San Juan Island.

Even though the website confirmed the RV would fit, I was still nervous about what it would be like.  But I should not have worried.  It couldn’t have been easier!  We stayed at a campground about 45 minutes from the ferry landing the night before.  And we were in line 90 minutes before our scheduled departure.  We had time to watch another ferry leave and check out the waiting area.

About 10 minutes before we were due to leave, we were told to return to our vehicles.  One person waved the lines along and another told us where to park on the boat.  We were the third vehicle in on the main level.  Tom parked without any problem and then we locked the truck to go explore the boat.

The Samish is a big ferry.  It is “Olympic” Class and will carry 144 cars.  There are very nice seating areas and decks forward and aft where we could stand in the open air.  A cafeteria serves food and there are vending machines.

Tom and I spent most of our time on the aft deck.  We tried the forward deck:  crowded and freezing cold!  On the aft deck the ship protected us from the wind and we saw the same view – just a little later.

Waiting in line
Time to get on the ship
Into the belly of the beast
Watching other cars load
Pulling away from the dock
Large waiting areas
Table with a view
First glimpse of Friday Harbor
Docking at the end of the journey

The voyage to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island only took 45 minutes.  It was a non-stop ride, as opposed to stopping at several of the less populated islands.  Within five minutes of docking we were driving off the ship and into town.

We enjoyed our ride on the Washington State Ferry very much.  Because it is the only way on or off the island, we will be riding it again this summer.  We look forward to experiencing the ride as we check out some of the other nearby islands and explore the mainland.