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Keystone-Port Townsend ferry service begins at 12:15 p.m.

After severe weather delayed the start of passenger-only ferry service on the Port Townsend to Keystone route, The Mystic Sea is scheduled to start service with the 12:15 p.m. sailing from Port Townsend and the 1:10 p.m. sailing from Keystone.

The Anacortes-based Mystic Sea was supposed to start offering passenger-only ferry service Monday morning while the Steilacoom II is in drydock for a four-week period to undergo maintenance. However, officials were forced to cancel the Monday morning sailings because the floating barge hadn't been installed yet.

The barge, which is attached to the end of the ferry terminal, is needed to provide a safe place for passengers to board the Mystic Sea.

Workers planned to install the barge at Keystone between Sunday night and Monday morning, however, the rough seas and high winds made it too difficult for that work to take place overnight.

By the time the Mystic Sea was to have docked at Keystone to unload passengers, workers were still busy installing the barge.

Employees at the terminal said they hope the work will be complete sometime between 10 a.m. and noon.

Monday morning's cancellations weren't the only sailings at Keystone affected by the lousy weather. The 4:30 p.m. sailing from Keystone Harbor was the last trip Sunday the Steilacoom II could make and all of the remaining scheduled trips were cancelled.

The Steilacoom II, which is owned by Pierce County and leased by Washington State Ferries, was required by the US Coast Guard to undergo maintenance and inspections.

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