PHOTOS: Scenes from Saturday’s port-presented ‘Working Waterfront’ tour for West Seattleites

Thanks to Karen Berge for sharing photos from Saturday’s free Port of Seattle-presented boat tour of the area’s “Working Waterfront.” Karen reports the tour traveled along both the East and the West Waterways north of the Duwamish River; above, a closer look at one of the container ships in port at the time, the CGA-CGM Attila. The tour also traveled past Vigor Industrial‘s shipyard on Harbor Island:

One of the more eye-catching sights there, a partly wrapped state ferry – the M/V Tacoma, undergoing work at Vigor, same place it was built in the mid-’90s (when the shipyard was known as Todd):

As the tour headed into the Duwamish River, Karen says they traveled under the low bridge as well as the high bridge:

If the tide had been any higher, she said, the low bridge would have had to have opened. Along the Duwamish, the sights turned to many a barge:

That included the one that generated some controversy among local environmental advocates for bringing in contaminated sediment from Bellingham :

Speaking of controversy, the tour also went by West Seattle’s Terminal 5:

Part of Shell’s Arctic-drilling fleet is still expected back at T-5 after the short drilling season, but the city Hearing Examiner’s decision is still pending, regarding whether additional city permits are needed.

Along with the diversity of facilities along the waterfront, the diversity of vessels was in view too. With the reconfiguration of Highway 99 and Alaskan Way on the south side of downtown, you don’t get as much of a view of the Coast Guard’s ships any more – here’s what was visible from the tour:

Karen concluded, in her note with the photos, “What I found most interesting was the opportunity to see a different perspective of places that I think I know so well. I cross both of the West Seattle bridges frequently, but have not had opportunities to see the underside of these bridges from a boat.

“Today, we saw parks, buildings, and industrial facilities in a different way than we have seen them before. I’ve gone to Jack Block Park as a destination, but have never seen it or any of the surrounding shoreline from the water, so it was incredibly interesting to see it in that context.

“It was also interesting to see the mixture of newer versus older buildings and learn more about those that I’ve never pondered. For example, our tour boat passed by the old Fisher Flour Mill and when asked, no one could identify it by name.” She adds that port reps say they’ll be offering the “working waterfront” tour to other neighborhoods – West Seattle was the first.

2 Replies to "PHOTOS: Scenes from Saturday's port-presented 'Working Waterfront' tour for West Seattleites"

  • Jill Boone September 20, 2015 (2:33 pm)

    I would love to see this offered again! I wasn’t able to attend this one but would definitely sign up for the next one.

  • Captain Dave September 20, 2015 (11:41 pm)

    I used to run private tours on the Duwamish aboard our classic charter boats. It is a fascinating river. Unfortunately, I found City and Port officials to be pretty hostile to our program. Even though the Duwamish is a public waterway, it doesn’t mean that people are welcome without specific official oversight. I think it is counterintuitive to limit public use of the Duwamish because there is strong evidence showing that the more emotionally connected people are to the water, the more concern they have for what goes down their drains. The Duwamish (especially around South Park) could be a great recreational opportunity for Seattle residents with activities like fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking and small boat sailing. Engaged citizens make the most effective environmental stewards. But don’t mention those ideas to City officials unless you want to be targeted for being a dissident.

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