Oh, wow. We’re right back to pre-pandemic fun for riders on the Seattle-Bremerton ferry route, which is down to one boat.
With only the Chimicum sailing the route as of Tuesday, half of the runs are canceled, including the 4:50 and 7:20 a.m. trips from Bremerton and the 4:15 and 6:45 p.m. return voyages out of Seattle.
The Salish, which has been taken out of service for steering repairs, is expected to return to the route later this week, according to Washington State Ferries.
But the next two days may not be very fun. Temperatures in the mid-80s on Wednesday can make for unpleasant waiting in a hot terminal or on a packed vessel, so plan for it: Bring water to try to keep your internal thermometer cool.
“Thank you for your patience while we work to maintain our fleet,” WSF said in a travel alert bulletin. “Crews will work as quickly and safely as possible to repair the boat and return the route back to full service.”
Almost every ferry route was already down boats or using smaller vessels after an engine fire on the M/V Wenatchee in April caused WSF to shuffle boats around.
Twenty-one boats comprise the Washington ferry system, the largest in the United States. But a decade with few new vessels and stripped-down funding for maintenance has left WSF with thin backup, especially with a large Jumbo Mark II class ferry like the Wenatchee down for what will likely be months.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.