When you board any of the Washington state ferries, there are signs that read, “Once loading has begun, the captain’s permission is required to disembark the vessel”. I’ve read them countless times, but they occupy the same space in my mind as every “do not leave baggage unattended” sign ever… filed under blahblahblah.
Yesterday morning, I had to ask the captain’s permission to disembark. It had been a rough morning from well before “go”. I had spent a couple-hour period awake in the middle of the night for no discernible reason, so when the alarm went off at 515a I was firing on something decidedly less than all cylinders. I managed to get myself in the car at 6, never more grateful that Dean and I could carpool and therefore I could doze in the passenger seat, thinking the only casualty of the morning was my forgotten cup of tea, which wasn’t so bad really. Fast forward an hour or so and I was sitting on the ferry, settling in for the crossing with my breakfast smoothie and journal, headphones full of nature sounds in, when I suddenly realized that something else was missing… my wallet.
The ferry only collects passenger fares in one direction, which is the return for me. I had just learned how to strand oneself on the other side of the Sound.
I headed swiftly for the exit, and met the deck hand there who was handling passenger loading. “I don’t have a wallet, I need to get off before I’m stranded in Seattle.” He pulled out his radio and I suddenly remembered the signs. Yup, the captain wants your full name and some sort of corroborating ID so they all know who to blame when something goes catastrophically wrong on the boat you’ve abandoned. Details submitted, late-boarding passengers amused, permission granted, I disembarked and the bridge went up immediately behind me.
One desperate phone call to Dean and he was backtracking to rescue me with some cash, and I was waiting on the 845a sailing, waiting to see how many other exciting ways the day could go sideways. (It was mostly uneventful from there, thankfully.)