Bad bearing halts Steilacoom II

Travelers hoping to catch the ferry from Keystone on Whidbey Island to Port Townsend were detoured Monday afternoon as the The Steilacoom II was taken out of service for repairs.

At approximately 12:30 p.m., workers noticed a burned out bearing in the vessel’s alternator, which prompted officials to pull the vessel from service while it was at the terminal in Port Townsend. The interruption was shorter than initially predicted, with the boat back on duty for the 3:45 p.m. sailing from Port Townsend.

The Steilacoom II is the only ferry that serves the route. It’s scheduled to go into drydock Jan. 4 for inspection and maintenance mandated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The breakdown wasn’t the only problem affecting the route. Sailings were delayed by 20 minutes earlier in the day because of fog, and riders have experienced delays in recent days due to high winds and tidal conditions.

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