If you’re wondering how the new ferry Chetzemoka got blown off the Port Townsend-Coupeville route Monday night and Tuesday morning, you must not be the only ones. Washington State Ferries felt the need to send out information explaining it.
It was a lot nastier up there than down here. There was a gale warning for Admiralty Inlet. At 8 a.m. Tuesday, there were steady southeast winds of 43 to 48 mph at the Coupeville terminal with gusts to 57. An hour later in Admiralty Inlet, the winds were 52 to 57 mph with higher gusts and 5- to 7-foot seas.
Overall, the Chetzemoka has missed 10 round trips since entering service two weeks ago. The captains and crews are still getting a feel for how the new boat operates in various sea and wind conditions on the most challenging route in the ferry system. It didn’t help that there were windstorms the first two Mondays the boat was on the route.
Over time and with more experience, the Chetzemoka will be able to operate through a larger range of weather conditions, according to the ferries system.