The Kalakala is finally going to the scrap yard. There are those who will say it’s about time, that she’s a hazardous pile of old junk that needs to be disappeared, pronto. They have been saying that for at least a decade. Then there are the true believers, who see an art-deco ferry that was once the toast of the Sound and could be again, they will say, with a little bit more money. Just a little bit more.
The old line about a boat being essentially a hole in the water into which money can be forever poured is the unfortunate reality that the Kalakala just can’t get around. She’s had a checkered history (one that would make pretty good reading if it was written down the right way), but any chance for an actual future was taken off the agenda today with the announcement that she’s going to be scrapped where she lies, in the Hylebos Waterway at the north side of Commencement Bay.
I am neither a true believer nor a detractor. I wish I could have sailed on her back in the day. I would have liked to have ordered an ice-cold root beer from the lounge and taken it out onto the rail in the summer sun to watch the uncrowded shoreline of the 1940’s slide by. I think it would have been amazing to have seen her on the water, looking so absolutely different from every other craft, the curved lines and outsized porthole windows giving her the feel of a spaceship rather than a simple car ferry. The Kalakala is a boat that would never be built today, and whether you think that’s a good thing or not, it does mean that when she’s gone, we won’t see her like again.
I think I’m going for a paddle in the Hylebos in the next week or so, just to see her one more time before the end. Anybody else want to come?
UPDATE: Kalakala Farewell Paddle scheduled for Jan. 17, 8:30am. All the details are on the Facebook Events Page. Call if you have any other questions. This will be one to remember.