Originally published Friday, December 30, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Be honest: Does this make our ferry sterns look big?

The U.S. Coast Guard has tinkered with stability rules for lots of passenger vessels, but the whole world noticed a story about Washington ferries. A little weight gain slims the carrying capacity.

No comments have been posted to this article.

THE rest of the planet is having weigh too much — oops — way too much fun with news Washington State Ferries revised some vessel passenger numbers.

A widely circulated Associated Press story described how U.S. Coast Guard vessel stability rules were rewritten to account for the estimated weight gain of adult passengers, from an average of 160 pounds to 185 pounds.

Blame the Centers for Disease Control for noticing the extra pounds, and the resulting Assumed Average Weight Per Person. Oh, and the regulatory arithmetic applies nationwide, across passenger-vessel categories.

Certainly the torrid interest in a local transportation update by readers in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, television news and the Internet is obvious. Rank jealousy.

Combine the scenic beauty of Puget Sound with the presence of iconic employers including Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon and Starbucks, world class higher learning, and a well-educated, globally connected and humble populace, and it drives others mad.

They look for any reason to snicker and giggle. So sad.

Outlanders do not appreciate the glory and tradition behind the nation's largest ferry system. For example, they are sized like lattes — super, jumbo and ginormous.

People cannot understand the high caloric pride in these vessels, from the historic Kremekalakala to the Black Forest Chetzemoka, The Walla Walla Super Sweet, the Chocolate Cathlamet and the Cherries Kittitas. Each is a treat to ride. Especially the seasonal Egg Nog Tillikum.

Let the rest of the country chortle into their oh-so slimming cheese steaks, three-way spaghetti, Reubens, deep-dish pizzas, Key lime pies and biscuits and gravy.

We see the crowd shots at televised sporting events. Come and visit and enjoy healthy grilled salmon. But please don't try to board the ferries, at least not all at once.


NDN Video