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One last time around; Evergreen State bound for retirement
Affectionally known as the "E-State" by some, and by others as "Queen of the Northern Fleet," the venerable Evergreen State will set sail on her final voyage Sunday, 29.
Built in 1954, the Evergreen State, a fixture in the San Juans for decades, is the oldest vessel in the Washington State Ferry fleet, and will be decommissioned and retired from service following her final sailing on Sunday. The state ferry systen encourages islanders and visitors alike to board the E-State and bid "bon voyage" in what will be her last journey as part of the nation's largest ferry system.
"This remarkable ferry has served our customers well for six decades," said Capt. George Capacci, interim assistant secretary of the state department of transportation's ferries division. "It's tough to see her go, however, decommissioning the Evergreen State and rotating in our newest, state-of-the-art ferry, the 144-car Tokitae, brings us one step closer to improving overall reliability of our entire fleet."
The Evergreen State is currently assigned to the San Juans' inter-island route. Her June 29 sailing schedule includes a 11:35 a.m. departure from Friday Harbor, with stops at Orcas (12:25 p.m. departure), Shaw (12:40 p.m.) and Lopez (1 p.m.). Her final sailing departs Friday Harbor at 2:15 p.m., stops at Lopez, departing at 3:05 p.m., before arriving at the Anacortes ferry terminal, one last time, at 3:55 p.m.
San Juan County and the U.S. Coast Guard will provide an unofficial escort for the E-State during her final inter-island sailing and for the last trip from Friday Harbor to Anacortes. Private boaters are welcome to join the escort and sound their horns in tribute; however, Ferries reminds boaters to remain at least 100 yards from the ferry, for safety and security purposes.
On Sunday, the Evergreen State will follow its normal summer sailing schedule prior to its 2:15 p.m. departure out of Friday Harbor. Normal vehicle fares will apply, but walk-on tickets remain free of charge for that final sailing.