Tag Archives: Travel tips

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday morning at 2 a.m. when clocks are moved forward one hour. If you plan to travel on a ferry on Sunday morning, be sure you’re on time!


Annual Oyster Run this Sunday

The following reminder about the Anacortes Oyster Run was posted today by WSF.

The Annual Oyster Run motorcycle rally occurs this Sunday, Sept 27, in Anacortes. Motorists can expect large volumes of motorcycles and loading delays throughout the weekend. In Anacortes, Friday Harbor, and Orcas Island, motorcyclists are strongly encouraged to make reservations to ensure space on any desired sailing.  Without reservations, motorcycles will be on standby and loaded on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Reservations can be made by phone by calling 1-888-808-7977, from 7:00am until 8:15pm, or online via our website at:www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/reservations.

From Lopez Island, 10 motorcycles will be loaded on both the 7:30 am and 9:30 am sailings, if in line at least 60 minutes in advance of sailing time. Others will be loaded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Travel Alert Bulletins from WSF

Followers of this blog receive news and information about the San Juan Islands ferries, but we do not necessarily post every alert from WSF. Here’s how you can subscribe directly to email or text message travel alerts:

  1. Go to http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/schedule/bulletin.aspx
  2. Select the link at the top of the page called travel alert subscription service.
  3. You will need to set up an account (separate from a Reservation account) and then you will be able to configure notifications via email or text message.

You can follow WSF on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wsferries

Reservations for the 3:05 pm Anacortes to Lopez

Another re-post from Salish Rocks:

I recently made a post regarding the 3:05pm sailing from Anacortes to Lopez. At the time, no reservations were being taken for that sailing, which was causing some frustration and confusion among riders.

WSF has reconsidered and is now allowing reservations to be made for the 3:05pm sailing. Please note that space for Lopez traffic will still be limited, so those without reservations are urged to catch the 5:20pm Lopez-only sailing.

Lopez Crew


Passenger counting on the ferries

This message was originally posted on Salish Rocks:

The US Coast Guard has put a new rule into place, effective immediately and permanently, that requires WSF staff to take an accurate count of every passenger boarding and disembarking the ferries, including passengers in vehicles. This will be taking place at the terminals as well as on the vessels. Given how often we’re working in low light conditions and the prevalence of very tinted windows, it’s very difficult to see in each vehicle.

It would be a tremendous help to us if drivers could hold up fingers for the total number of passengers in the car. If you’re traveling alone, please still hold up one finger (preferably the index…). This will help us keep the loadings moving efficiently since we won’t have to stop the line to check with each driver. It will also help us avoid needing to peer into your vehicle, which is comfortable for no one.

We understand that it will take time to get used to this, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation as we adjust to this new rule.

Thank you,
The Lopez Landing Crew

Five suggestions for adapting to ferry reservations

Lots of people have been asking me about the new reservation system for the San Juan Islands. This blog is intended to help spread information, but I think it’s also appropriate to give some tips to help us all adapt to the new system.

  • The reservation system is not going away. WSF has invested several years and millions of dollars in making this system—they are not in a position to abandon it.
  • Be patient. There WILL be glitches and screwups. Reservations for the San Juan Islands routes are very complicated and it will take time to work out the kinks and bugs.
  • Give constructive feedback. Whining and complaining won’t make anything work better, and will just make everyone grumpy.
  • Chill out. Change is hard, but getting angry won’t make things go any more smoothly.
  • Be nice to the ferry employees! It is going to be a tough summer for them as well as for us.

Bonus Karma tip:

  • Help a friend. If you know someone who could use some help signing up for an account, or making a reservation, lend a hand.

Thank you to everyone who is working hard to make the reservation system a success.

Contacting WSF

Vehicle Reservations Call Center: Statewide: 1-888-808-7977; Out of State: 206-464-6400; Hours: 4:00am until 8:30pm, 7 days a week

Contact info for WSF: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/infodesk/contact.htm

Customer Feedback form: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries/InfoDesk/CustomerFeedback/

Setting up a ferry reservation account, step by step

As Kathy Booth noted in yesterday’s post, it’s a good idea to get prepared early for using the new reservation system. Don’t wait until the busy summer season is upon us to set up your account and practice using the new system.

You may, of course, use the system as Guest without creating an account—but residents would probably want to create a Universal Account as your info is saved for faster transactions. You need to have an email address in order to create a Universal Account.

To help you get started, I went through the process for signing up for a Universal Account today and put together these detailed instructions and  screenshots. Continue reading