Today "Hub's" was on the inaugural sailing today, between Whidbey Island and Port Townsend. Making the new ferry is called the MV Chetzemok, It was named after the late Klallam Chief Chetzemoka, A piece of history was made when the first passenger drove aboard, this was by Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire.
"The Chetzemoka provides an important link between communities on both sides of the inlet," Governor. Gregoire said. "The inaugural sailing is truly a big event, and I'm thrilled to be able to share in the excitement of the occasion."
The new ferry will carry 64 vehicles and 750 passengers It begin its regularly scheduled service between Port Townsend and the Coupeville (Keystone) terminal today linking Whidbey Island to the Olympic Peninsula. For three years there has been a much smaller ferry traveling this route, which was leased from Pierce County, on the Anderson Island. The route that my father began working for after his 37 years as a Captain in the ferry system. The people that work the run along with the passengers that are more like family and a large part of what makes the ferry system what it is nicknamed the M.V Steilacom Two, BOB. Because of her ability to BOB up and down with the roughest current and route our fleet has to go through. Many time and occasions, due to weather, the ferry wasn't able to leave Port Townsend or getting to Keystone and then being stuck over on Whidbey until they were able to weather the storm. Everyone hopes that the Chetzemoka will help make traveling easier.
Many things on the ferry were done in a poor manor, the list that you can feel as soon as you drive on in fact you don't even need to take the ferry to see this, all you have to do is look up and you will see the ferry tilting to Starboard side. There was a ton of wasted money in this project and a lot of headache. Being able to be part of the History of Washington State was something that my husband was a part of. It was something he will always remember and a great story he can share and tell the rest of his life.
The ferry was recently investigated and it was soon discovered that for every vehicle the ferry can carry it cost $1.2-million to build. By that measuring standard it is by far the most expensive ferry ever built in this country. The $80.1 million vessel was built by Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle.
Todd is in the process of building two more ferries of the same design for Washington State Ferries. Hopefully under budget to off set some of the cost it was to build this over budget ferry this time.
I have never been more proud of my husband and the idea of my Grandfather, Father, & now my husband have all been involved in the history of new ferry's in the system. My Grandfather was there when the Hyak was brand new on the fleet, My father was there when the Walla Walla was brand new to the fleet, I was there when the Tacoma came out to the fleet and now my husband when this boat came out. Although I no longer work there it is still a big part of my family. A large part of my past and present. Now I am looking forward to the next generations of Ferryboats that will come up.