Regulars know I've been playing a-plenty this summer, and it's standard cantina policy to provide vicarious experiences. So you all get to go on my first ferry ride with me.
I know, pathetic, right? I mean, ferry virginhood was acceptable when I lived in Arizona, but I've lived here in Seattle for over two years now. I've visited Rocky Point and San Diego. Yet I've never sailed the sea - until today. We took the ferry over to Bremerton, and while it's not open ocean, it's still traveling over salt water, damn it.
See, look - that's Elliot Bay behind me. Salt water. Not fresh.
This is the first time I've ever seen Seattle from the water rather than merely across it:
The seagulls follow the ferry. We had a whole flock of them hanging in the air above us - a neat trick:
I soon discovered why they hover:
Yes, if you hold up bits of food, they will swoop down and take it right out of your fingers. Now, mind you, we're going pretty fast, so they don't have time for fine-tuning - and judging from the reactions of various seagull feeders, the little buggers just grab everything within beak range. So if you attempt this trick, make sure you don't mind looking like Rahm Emmanuel, since you could end up flipping people off with a finger that's no longer present.
The ferry has to run a gauntlet of islands to get to Bremerton. Here you can see a few of them complete with the Olympics rising like mirages in the background:
And trust me when I say this is an utterly awesome sight. But don't let it distract you from the jellies - they were thick in the water, floating past just under the water where they couldn't be photographed but could definitely be marveled at. Some of them were huge, compared to the usual run of jellies I see up here.
Bremerton's the proud home of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and you can usually see an aircraft carrier or two in for repairs. Here's the shipyard - if your eyes are sharp enough, you can probably sort the carrier out from the clutter:
When the ferry docks, be sure to visit the Harborside Fountain Park right nearby. It's got fountains, believe it or not:
Great big fountains that go boom. If you've got your wading clothes on, you can jump in the water and get splashed, which is an excellent idea on a hot day. I salute the city planners who came up with this idea. And I adore them for including a bunch of half-polished and very interesting boulders. The geology buff in me melted. It's neat to be able to see part of a rock polished and the other part in its natural state. And they really fascinated me with the polished conglomerate:
The bottom right's the polished bit, the upper left the unpolished, and you can see how it's all a bunch of rubble in a stone matrix. Intriguing. Well, to a rock hound, it is. And there's more! I won't torture you with them until I do a Sunday Sensational Science about rocks, though.
As you walk up from the Harborside Fountain Park, don't forget to check out the arse end of a submarine (I think it's the arse end, anyway) and the bit of a something-or-other on display in front of the ship yard:
Why, yes, my father was Army. However did you guess?
Speaking of Vietnam, the USS Turner Joy is open for tours - unless, of course, you get there after they close:
Alas, all good things must come to an end. After a long walk around the marina and stumbling into a wedding in Harborside Fountains Park on the way back, it's time to get back home. Here's our ride:
On the way into Elliot Bay, I saw this pigeon flying way out in the middle of this big ol' expanse of water. I wondered if he'd make it back to dry land before his wings gave out. Silly me:
And here I thought passenger pigeons were extinct.
In Seattle, there's always one sure way to tell you're home:
There's no other skyline like it in the world.