When Southwest storm winds off the Pacific are forced to divide around the Olympic Mts., the eastern branch of these winds blows up Hood Canal. Because the mountains have forced the moving air aside, it is compressed, and by a well-known principle of fluid dynamics called the Bernoulli Principle, a flowing fluid (in this case air) that is compressed and subjected to higher pressure by dividing around an object speeds up in the immediate vicinity of the object. This is why Hood Canal experienced 100 mph winds in 1979, winds which broke apart and sank the original bridge. When this eastern branch of the "fluid" reaches the northern end of Hood Canal at the NE corner of the Olympic Peninsula and north end of the Kitsap Peninsula, it spews forth into Admiralty Inlet like water out of a fire hose and slams into the southwest side of Whidbey Island.In calling for bigger boats to replace the scrapped small Port Townsend ferry, the writer also says there will need to be an expanded terminal at Port Townsend and a new terminal outside the tiny Keystone Harbor on Whidbey. He stresses that the Inlet is "a wild and dangerous place," as some recent episodes demonstrate:
The experience of the Keystone-Port Townsend passenger-only ferry the other day is a case in point, with the entire bow going under dark green water for what seemed like an eternity, flooding water into the passenger cabin and striking terror among the passengers. They literally thought they were about to die, screaming and helplessly running "up hill" toward the back of the boat. Another case in point is the recent event that damaged cars on a much larger San Juan Islands ferry.The comments appear on a blog called Bitter End, run by a rescue tug captain, Richard J. Rodriguez. It's an interesting source of detailed information about our ferries, from the helm, as it were.
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