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Writing the Lady of the Lake

It seems the MV Tillikum isn’t the only vessel that lends itself to writing. The Lady of the Lake is the passenger-only, private ferry I rode recently to attend a writing workshop at Flick Creek on 55-mile long Lake Chelan in North Central Washington. This flag stop on the way to Stehekin, WA is accessible only by boat or on foot, and “The Lady” took me and other workshop participants there in style.


photo by Lake Chelan Boat Company


Turns out, I wasn’t the only passenger who enjoys writing aboard.

Properly called “The Lady of the Lake II” (the first was built in 1900), this steel vessel is 100 feet long and can carry 310 passengers. The Boat Company owners built it over the course of five years in the 1970s. Smaller than the MV Tillikum, the Lady II travels slightly faster than the interisland ferry.

Unlike the Tillikum’s five round trips through Washington’s San Juan islands every single day, The Lady (and her sister, The Lady Express) makes only one trip up and down Lake Chelan during the high season (May to October). January through March, The Lady hibernates, and the Express sails just three times a week (increasing to five days weekly in the month of April).

lake chelan map

All these runs are for passengers only; vehicles and other large loads travel up and down the lake by Mountain Barge.



photo by Mountain Barge


The Lady has a small galley for snacks and staff that rival the interisland crew in friendliness. You can read more interesting details about the entire Lake Chelan Boat Company fleet here.

Hmmm, I wonder if the Lady of the Lake could use a writer-in-residence…

Speaking of that, watch for news about the next Writer-in-Residence for the Interisland Ferry. We’re reviewing applications now and expect to announce the selection in mid-October.

3 comments on “Writing the Lady of the Lake

  1. I have yet to enjoy this particular ferry journey, but it’s been on my mind for ages. Thank you for the exploration in words and photos! I’m looking forward even more now to the adventure.


  2. I think you’d love it, Tara.


  3. debrababcock9905 says:

    Hello Iris, wherever you are at the moment,

    I’m trying to catch up on various things that I neglected or missed while I was away, and some of your posts are among those things. I love reading about this ferry and imagining the area it travels in, especially now that I finally had a full day of ferry writing myself on our own MV Tillikum recently. I got on the 10:35 from Orcas and got off at 4:35, on a gorgeous sunlit day this past Friday. It was wonderful to be surrounded by our amazing and changing landscape throughout the day and very productive for me. I realized too that because I am not the writer-in-residence, I am perhaps a bit more anonymous. No disruptions!

    So thank you for the inspiration. I imagine I will take advantage of this more often, now that I’ve actually tasted the special flavor of ferry writing on the Salish Sea.

    Great Blessings to you always, Debra


    Liked by 1 person

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