07/15/2009: ""Touring Watchs" Back"
Councilman Howard Rosenfeld represents the Council on the FAC (Ferry Advisory Committee) and reported to the Council on Tuesday the US Coast Guard Captain Suzanne E. Englebert, (photo left) the Commanding Officer of the Seattle Coast Guard sector, has retracted the order terminating of the so called Touring Watch; at least for the time being. The Watches allowed crew members to spend a night in San Juan in order to be ready to sail from Friday Harbor in the morning.
The new ruling will allow Touring Watches to continue until the end of the fall schedule, then the Coast Guard will take a second look at them, and decide either to continue, or not.
Rosenfeld said reversal was due in large part to the involvement of the FAC and the County Council.
FAC Chairman Ed Sutton also addressed the council, stating “This is a great win, we’re not done yet, but I think we dodged a bullet. This has been an extraordinary team effort.”
Sutton said the only major change on the latest draft of the fall schedule is the last sailing from Anacortes on Mondays-Thursdays will be at 7:25 p.m., which is a change from the 8:25 p.m. sailing. Later sailings will be available for the Friday-Sunday runs.
the Coast Guard ordered an end to touring watches, which prompted the Ferry Advisory Committee to issue the following statement: “Typically over 60% of the Friday Harbor traffic boards ferries to arrive in Anacortes prior to midday. The draft Schedule allocates only 26% of total eastbound capacity to these hours. The net effect will be to make it difficult for San Juan Island residents to make mid-morning appointments in Anacortes or conduct a full day’s business on the mainland. “