The 64-car Chetzemoka is the first new vessel built for Washington State Ferries in more than a decade – since the Jumbo Mark II class trio – and this morning it made its Elliott Bay debut, leaving Todd Pacific Shipyards on Harbor Island under tow, headed for some finishing work in Everett. We watched it from a spot just east of Anchor Park – one week after standing at almost the exact same spot, watching that visiting gray whale. According to the project page on the WSF website, Todd has a contract to build two more ferries like the Chetzemoka, which is destined for the Port Townsend-Keystone route, where the state’s been using a leased ferry since the Steel Electric-class vessels were taken out of service (the 2nd will go to that route as well, while the third is scheduled to run between Tacoma’s Point Defiance terminal and Tahlequah at the south end of Vashon). If you’re wondering about the name Chetzemoka, it’s explained here. ADDED 11:15 AM: A closer view from further along the journey (from a photographer who asked not to be credited):
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