Following Seahawks win, the Bremerton boat was a bulgin’


Like many of you, I savored the Seattle Seahawks’ trouncing of the San Francisco 49ers a couple Sundays ago, a big win and a great start to a promising season that continued with a victory versus Jacksonville this week.

But as heavy rains had delayed the game versus San Francisco, I got a little worried, too.

With the delay, Bremertonians and other Kitsap County residents who took the ferry to the game had pretty much one option to get back here: the 10:30 p.m. ferry. (Not counting those of you who drove to the game via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.)

Yes, there’s a later boat, but 12:50 a.m. is just too late to wait, especially on a school night. We’ve all been in this tight spot before. Fortunately, the game ended with enough time to get to the 10:30 p.m. boat. (And with ticket prices being what they are, I’d be there for every moment myself.)

But would the 10:30 p.m. boat hold everyone? We’re talking about a lot of fans here. I went to bed thinking good thoughts for those coming back to Bremerton, and sent a note off to Washington State Ferries asking about how many people climbed aboard the next morning. I also put a note on my facebook page.

To my surprise, those who responded said it wasn’t too bad. The Walla Walla was working the route, which helped because of its size. Everyone made it aboard, it seems.

A week later, I finally got those ridership stats. The ferries counted 1,057 passengers on the 10:30 p.m. sailing. Not even the Bainbridge Island boat at 10:40 p.m., which was that route’s most populated run of the day, reached that number (it totaled 907). Bremerton’s route carried 2,560 people altogether that Sunday (Sept. 15), meaning that one sailing had more than 40 percent of its ridership for the day.

The WSF’s Ray Deardorf said that even if the Walla Walla (capacity 2,000) hadn’t been working the route, the Kitsap — usually the smallest boat on the Bremerton run — could’ve accommodated the load, with a maximum capacity of 1,200.

Yet had the Kitsap made the journey, some 400 people wouldn’t have had a seat to sit on, he added. “An uncomfortable crossing,” he said of the possibility.

Yep, those of us in Bremerton have our gripes about the frequency of the ferry sailings. But it’s nice to know that that boat might be bulging, but there’s lots of room on our ferry vessels.


5 thoughts on “Following Seahawks win, the Bremerton boat was a bulgin’

  1. Josh, we’ve been season ticket holders for 16 years and only once have we missed a boat because it was too full. But we plan which boat we’re going to catch and we pay attention to the size of the boats and which runs they’re on.

    I’d be interested to hear how many folks rode the 12:50 home that Sunday night?


  2. Mick, it was at least five years ago, maybe during the Superbowl year but I don’t recall exactly which game. I do remember that it was after they installed the gates that read a bar code and they let us get all the way down the ramp to where you actually would board the boat and a single ferry worker with a hand counter said “Stop, we’re all full”. I thought some of the fans might rush the boat since there were no State Troopers in sight.

    Seems funny to me that they install a nifty gate system yet they still rely on a human with a thumb counter? :-/

  3. Robin,
    I was on the 12:40 sailing that night and I was surprised at how empty it was. It was very empty compared to any other game day…. I not only commented that night on how empty it was… But also said maybe it was because everyone had so much time to catch the 10:30 sailing.

  4. They count on the BI side too . We don’t sell passengers on our side so during heavy loads we count. Have a new thing this year where we have to count under 90 LBs because of the life jacket requirements that are used for smaller sizes , Not sure how we do that , I guess they will have to guess.

    I remember when I first started working years ago we use to just throw out this metal plate that was connected with chains . When I was being trained I asked how I would stop someone from running for the boat after I pulled the plank , ” Had no automatic gate then” I was spoiled and just had come from Kingston with their state of the art system . My Trainer told me I was to stand so to be in the middle of the person running and the boat .

    I am safe in a toll booth now . ;0)

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