Ferry Kalakala stages impromptu race with ferry City of Sacramento in 1945.

  • By Alan J Stein
  • Posted 6/01/1999
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 1204

In 1945, the ferry Kalakala stages an impromptu race with the ferry City of Sacramento.

Both ferries were leaving the Seattle dock at the same time. An ongoing rivalry between the two ships prompted Captain Ole Rindal (d. 1979) of the Kalakala to urge his chief engineer for more power. The race was on.

The ships were neck and neck as they approached Rich Passage near Bremerton. The Kalakala appeared to have the inside track. At that point the Captain asked his First Mate to check the tide, which was high. Not wanting to risk the ship on Orchard Rocks, he allowed the City of Sacramento inside.

Amazingly, the captain of the City of Sacramento was the one to be chastised -- for winning the race. The Kalakala was the flagship of the fleet and the Black Ball Ferry Line didn't want her to appear weaker than the other ships.


Wayne Jacobi, "Kalakala Ferry Skipper Ole Rindal Dies at 81," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 30, 1979, A12.

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