Whale, whale, whale, what do we have here?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Break out the binoculars, mates. It’s whale-watching season aboard the Washington State Ferries. 
Occasionally, a humpback whale en route to Alaska pops up for a wave.

Since April 1, 2014, more than 50 people reported sightings of gray and orca whales from our ferries, according to Orca Network.

Spotting for spouts aboard the Sidney B.C. to Anacortes ferry. Photo by Sue Frause.

Did you know that Puget Sound is home to a 103-year-old orca? Born in 1911, Granny (J-2, pictured below) shares the same waters as we do.
When Granny was born, steamboats plied passengers through Puget Sound. Photo by Astrid van Ginneken. 

For our porpoises (and Granny’s), it’s Earth Day every day at WSF

We’ve got a responsibility to help keep the Sound clean for Granny, and all whales and marine life that call our region home. That’s why we’re proud to operate one of the greenest ferry systems in the world on April 22 (Earth Day), and all year long. 

Here’s how we sea it:
  • All of our vessels are National Passenger Vessel Association Waters Program certified.
  • EnviroStars, a regional pollution prevention program, awarded WSF with five-star certification for demonstrated leadership in recycling/compost programming and using sustainable/reusable materials when feasible. 
  • In 2013, our ferries used up to 5 percent biodiesel. That’s more than 687,740 gallons of carbon-neutral, greenhouse-gas-reducing fuel.  
  • In 2014-2015, we’ll launch a pilot project to increase our biodiesel fuel to 10 percent.  
  • In 2016 the M/V Hyak will become afuel-efficient hybrid ferry, saving 237,000 gallons of fuel annually.
Water you waiting for?

You can make it Earth Day any day of the week and hang out with orcas in real time. Just take the Anacortes/Friday Harbor ferry to Lime Kiln State Park (photo, below) and get comfy.

Whale, there you have it, folks. Seas the day!