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Ferries - articles

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Washington State Ferries Spring ferry schedule is available online. The schedule begins March 24 and runs through June 15, 2013.

Sailings from Anacortes to Friday Harbor and Orcas Island have a bit of a gap during the day to say the least.

There is one at 9:30 a.m. with the next at 2:40 p.m. followed by a 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and the last sailing of the day the 8:25 p.m. On Friday night only there is a 10:30 p.m.

 

Mid morning and on sailings from Anacortes to Orcas are: 10:40 a.m., (1:55 p.m. on Sundays only), 3:35 p.m., 6:25 p.m. and their last sailing of the day at 8:55 p.m.

From Anacortes to Lopez there is a 10:40 a.m. sailing followed by a 12:35 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and the last sailing of the day with Friday Harbor the 8:25 p.m.

Shaw Island, which has a year-round population of 240 people (2010 census), has most of the same sailings as Orcas Island: 10:40 a.m., 3:35 p.m., 6:25 p.m. and the 8:55 p.m.

On Friday night there is a sailing at 10:30 p.m. from Anacortes that stops at Lopez at 11:25 p.m. at Orcas at 11:55 p.m. and at Friday Harbor at 12:30 a.m.

The 12:35 sailing runs solely to Lopez Island. The Ferry Advisory Committee has acknowledged this is more capacity than Lopez needs but says the sailing works better for the overall schedule.

The schedules are drawn up without the aid of computers - at least they have been and emails asking if the process has changed haven't been answered by WSF so it is doubtful it has changed.

When the FAC and WSF have been asked over the years why paper and pencil are used instead of computers, which could produce a variety of models from which the schedule that had the best combination of efficiency and service could be selected, the answer has always been it's too complex.

The parameters include: Different sailing times for each island, Coast Guard and union rules regarding shift times for crews, fueling time, dwelling time with includes unloading time.

Excuse the editorial comment, but if airlines can do it, and have been for decades, it's completely nonsensical that ferry schedules can't be done with computers, especially here in the land of Microsoft.

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