Just as we got seated, we heard an announcement that usually alerts passengers about food available in the galley on the second floor. This announcement included a strange addendum: “By the way, two foreign nationals are working the galley today, please go up and say hello to Boris and Natasha!” We chuckled. There must be a story.
A bit later we found the galley empty, except for a few of the crew, who were sitting at the tables with food from home. I assumed this was the aforementioned Boris and Natasha and the crew member who named them. I asked, “Which one of you is Boris?”
The tattooed guy ringing me up at the register said, “I guess that’s me?”
At that moment, another member of the crew playfully rushed through the galley with a familiar voice and fake Russian accent, yelling, “Natasha, you’re burning my fish! Natasha, my FIIIISH!” The cool jazz of the passenger deck was now balanced with improv comedy in the galley.
As the sun approached the horizon, we passed two other ferries heading east, the Yakima and the Hyak, both “Super” class, holding up to 2,000 passengers and 144 cars. Washington ferry names often reference local Native American tribes and words. “Hyak” is jargon for “fast or speedy” in the language of the Chinook. Elwha, our boat this day, means “elk”.
I waited on the wind-blown outside deck for the ferries to pass so I could get the photo below of the Hyak speeding past Mount Baker, both icons of the Pacific Northwest.