During this time of COVID-19 we’re hesitant to jump on an airplane where social distancing is not possible or be sequestered for days on a cruise ship with a few thousand other people. Now comes an opportunity to travel with family and friends while maintaining proper social distancing.
The Evergreen State, a three-hundred-foot long passenger-and-car ferry may soon be for sale. Built in 1954 and rebuilt in 1988, the vessel carried eighty-seven cars and eight-hundred-fifty passengers as part of the Washington State Ferry System’s fleet. The ferry system decommissioned it in 2017. A purported businessman in Florida purchased it at auction for $300,000.
The new owner had several declared possible plans for the ferry, but ended up selling it on eBay for $205,100. The deal fell through when the seller could not provide the buyer with documentation—including proof of ownership .
The Evergreen State has been docked at the Port of Olympia all this time, to whom the owner has not been paying rent. The Port, owed back rent of $32,000, has declared it abandoned property and is preparing to put it up for auction.
You likely have seen DUCK amphibious vehicles lumbering around Seattle or other cities, carrying cheering passengers. The twenty-five-passenger jitneys are converted military transport vehicles from the Second World War era. (“Duck” comes from army nomenclature: DUKW.) Duck sightseeing tours travel on roads and water and are popular tourist attractions wherever they operate except, until recently, Seattle.
A Ride the Ducks vehicle crashed into a bus on Seattle’s busy Aurora Avenue Bridge—Highway 99—in 2015. Five people died, more than sixty injured. In 2019, a jury awarded a total of $123 million to the victims. The Seattle Ride the Ducks could not recover and has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation.
The remaining nineteen ducks will soon be available by auction. You will definitely attract attention cruising along in your duck.
You are many eons late for your very own pet dinosaur. Not to worry, though. An auction house in Vancouver, British Columbia is readying for sale a menagerie of animatronic prehistoric animals. Lifelike in appearance but filled with gears and electric motors, the beasts can be controlled by a human operator. Many have motion sensors and spring to action when someone gets too close. Imagine the fun you could have with trick-or-treaters.
A small apatosaurus can be yours for a couple-hundred bucks. A brontosaurus will cost you a few thousand. The auction house has not disclosed the source, but speculation is they’re from a bankrupt manufacturer or touring exhibition operator. The auction company says they have had inquiries from a liquor store and other retail businesses, zoos, restaurants, and private individuals who want to entertain their neighbors or grandkids.
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George, I really love this latest post of yours. I just passed it on to a client who actually helped construct this ferry’s replacement a couple of years ago. He lives on Bainbridge Island and I suggested he get a Duck—perfect for island living! I rode on the Seattle Ducks with my kids when they were little, and I’ve ridden on the ones in Philadelphia and London (in the latter, they actually put in right next to Britain’s legendary SIS building—home of famed MI6).
It just blows my mind that one could actually find—and purchase—a ferry on eBay!
Great post. Keep up your wonderful writing about so many random, delightful things.