2:47 PM: An unusual sighting, shared by Gary Jones, who photographs from Alki Point: Seen in the noon hour, a boat marked “Tunisia Navy,” with two helicopters nearby.
Their markings match what we saw on two helicopters passing overhead, westbound, one behind the other, as we arrived at HQ in Upper Fauntleroy after a noontime trip.
Backstory? We don’t know yet. At first, we wondered about a movie shoot (Seattle wouldn’t seem to be much of a stand-in for Tunisia, which is on the Mediterranean Sea in North Africa, but you’ll recall Alki doubling for Florida) – then a bit of Googling revealed that the U.S. donated two similar types of patrol boats to Tunisia seven months ago and was planning to donate more. Still checking around. Know anything? firstname.lastname@example.org as always.
8:44 PM: After a couple of e-mail tipsters suggested we check with local boatmakers that build military-style patrol boats, we sent out queries around 5 pm and just received this reply from sales manager Kevin Rowlee at Bremerton-based SAFE Boats International:
Yes, that was a boat built by SAFE Boats International. It is a “65 Full Cabin – Inboard” destined for the Tunisia Navy. The boat you saw was the second of two boats purchased under the same contract.
Commenter Brian confirms the photo-shoot angle.