A Washington State Ferry plying between the San Juan Islands and Anacortes with Mt. Baker in Background
Working boats are those that haul our freight, catch our fish, transport us where bridges don’t go, and rescue us when we are either unlucky or foolhardy at sea. These are hard working craft with hard working captains and crews.
Pleasure boats are often elegant and great for sport. We've all seen the graceful sailboats with their colorful billowing spinnakers and sailors’ hair blowing in the breeze. And then there are the really big giant multimillion dollar yachts that for many of us elicit varying parts of envy and repugnance. I believe that far too little attention is paid to the real boating troopers who toil daily in all kinds of tides and weather. In this photo diary I highlight these intrepid mules of the waterways. No fair weather sailors here.
I live on a bay at the edge of the Salish Sea. We have a wonderful harbor that moors both pleasure craft and working boats, including a sizeable fishing fleet that fishes both locally and in the waters of Alaska.
Most of these photos are taken on or around Bellingham Bay including Squalicum and Fairhaven Harbors. A few photos are from the nearby San Juan Islands and the Northern Puget Sound, all parts of the Salish Sea. Some boats are at dock while others are underway carrying out their various nautical occupations.
Please continue beyond the pile of coiled mooring lines for more working boats.
Two Large State Ferry systems are shown here: Washington State maintains the largest ferry fleet in US. The second fleet is from the Alaskan Marine Highway which has its southern terminus in Bellingham.
Lady Washington, a 112’ cruise and educational ship used in several movies.
The Zodiac is a 160’ gaff-rigged two-masted schooner that takes day tours or week long adventures
The Island Mariner, whale watching and educational cruises
Squalicum Harbor is home port to a variety of salmon fishing boats. These boats include Purse Seiners, Gill Netters, Longliners, and Trollers. The harbor also moors a number of crab Fishers who catch primarily, the delicious and delicate Dungeness Crab. Some boats do double duty, switching roles dependent on what season is open.
Fish Buyers, Processors, and Sellers on the Water
COAST GUARD, POLICE, SAFETY, RESCUE BOATS
Arctic Challenger - Shell Oil well containment barge, destined for Alaska off-shore drilling should it ever open up again (keep our fingers crossed)
Where the Fishermen Refuel - The Web Locker