This story originally aired on June 17, 2017.
Washington boasts the largest ferry system in the country. “Twenty-two ferries cross Puget Sound and its inland waterways, carrying more than 22 million passengers to 20 different ports of call,” according to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s website.
Marsha Morse was one of the first women captains in Washington’s ferry system. She’s been navigating the waterways since 1975.
In this episode of Sound Effect, we hop a ferry with Marsha, who explains how she handles thick fog as well as the intense situations that can occur on these boats.
“You get everyone coming through the ferries in their everyday state, which could be good, could be bad ... People die on the boat, people have babies on the boat. We have the whole cross section of life coming across on the ferries,” says Marsha.
Marsha also talks about what it was like getting to know Springer, the baby orca that was separated from her pod back in 2002. Springer started following the ferry back and forth between West Seattle and Vashon Island. Springer and Marsha had a few quiet moments together.