Beginning in 1941, the largest and fastest ferry that ever operated on the San Juan Island run to that time, the M.V. Vashon, then eleven years old, was on the scheduled run to carry 68 cars and passengers from Anacortes through the islands with a chance to go all the way to Sidney, B.C.
The Vashon stayed on this route until she sailed off to help out at the Mukilteo-Columbia Beach, Lofall-Southworth and other runs for a few years but no where was she more appreciated than in the San Juans where farmers working in the fields could set their watch by the gentle ka-puckety, ka-puckety, ka-puckety coming through the islands, heard from down the channel before she was seen at the dock.
The Vashon was chosen for a close-up, color cover shot for Sunset magazine in 1965, as she wove her way through sailing vessels at the start of the Shaw Island Classic Sail beginning in Friday Harbor. Artists painted and sketched her and then for some down home good cheer in 1978, islanders threw a welcome-back party for her when she returned to the islands to serve as the "inter-island" boat.
Were you on board for the BASH? Someone writing a history book is looking for a few more images before the looming deadline.