Friday was a day of waiting.
The hotel I stayed at in Bellingham was in a commercial area, and there was a Fred Meyer next to it. Fred Meyer is one of those all-in-one stores that has groceries, clothing, furniture and everything in between. I went to get Sea Bands, recommended for seasickness, and to pick up a few toiletries—I left a small bag behind at some point during my trip. I quickly found what I needed, and then checked out the clothing section. It is funny how clothing styles differ from one part of the country to another! Lots of plaid shirts (men’s and women’s), big fleecy outerwear, and leggings.
Then I went into the Historic Fairhaven section of Bellingham, where the ferry terminal is located. I checked in at the terminal, and then headed straight for the bookstore, Village Books, which has a large selection of new and used books. After a leisurely browse, I picked up a few books on Alaska and one on the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. Then I went to Fat Pie for a salad and a slice of pizza.
When I got back to the terminal I found that due to weather, the ship was not leaving port until 8pm and vehicles would not start boarding until 5pm. They suggested I check the car in and drive to my assigned lane, then leave it there. The historic district is in easy walking distance from the ferry, so I did as they suggested and walked around town for a few hours. Then I returned to the terminal and read for a few more hours, and then got into my car. I read for a little while, but gave that up to watch the activities at the dock.
Vehicle boarding did start a little before 5pm, and our lane was one of the last ones to board, since Ketchikan is the first stop. It was about 6:30pm when I drove on to the ferry and was expertly directed to the appropriate space. My room was surprisingly spacious and very comfortable.
I put on my Sea-Bands to fend off seasickness (thank you for suggesting them, Carolyn!), feeling a little self-conscious about it. Then I had dinner at the café and went to bed early, about 8:30pm. I slept pretty well, all things considered. I was glad I bought the books in Bellingham—there was no TV or Internet access and the view outside was mostly (but not entirely) fog and rain. The staff could not have been nicer or more helpful.
This morning at 9am we arrived in Ketchikan, and very shortly afterwards I drove off the ferry. I’m finally here!