- BEST HEARSE EVER.
Roaming the interwebs with friends searching for a venue to hold a special occasion, we stumbled across the Washington State Ferries page all about special occasions on ferries. If you would like to get married on a ferry, you can! They don't mind at all, especially if you give them a heads up, though they warn you that they don't have changing rooms and their captains cannot officiate, sorry.
Even better than getting married on a ferry, in my opinion: You can get yourself buried from a ferry, which makes my Seattle heart all melancholically happy. They have very special instructions on the site, which are sweet and kind and pragmatic:
Memorial Services on Ferries
We require advance notice and booking three to five business days prior to a planned date for memorial services held on vessels. For more information or to make arrangements for your funeral/memorial service, please contact Operations Programs Staff Aide Johanna Karlin at 206-264-3556.
Ashes must be contained in a certified biodegradable container that can be dropped intact from a ferry. Such containers are sometimes referred to as “journey urns” and are designed to dissolve quickly after contact with water.
Bookings are made only during limited and specific non-peak sailing times and are not offered during holidays or on all routes. If you make arrangements with WSF for a shipboard memorial, we will send written notice of your planned arrival to the vessel officers ahead of time. Even so, when you go on board and the ferry is under way, a member of your party should contact a crewmember who will speak with the Captain to determine whether the memorial is safe weather-wise and operationally permissible (no fire drills, quarterly inspections by the Coast Guard, etc.).
If the Captain approves, your group will be led down to the aft end of the auto deck. A crewmember will accompany one person from your group beyond the restricted area to ensure their safety while the biodegradable container is dropped into the water. At the Captain’s discretion, the ferry’s horn may be sounded as, or after, the container has been released.
I've been riding these boats my whole life, and the idea of a ferryboat-captain-approved gathering and memorial service onboard a not-busy ferry, adrift in the fog of the Puget Sound, is such a startling, poetic, and old-school Pacific Northwest image my brain will not let it go. The picture in my head almost makes me cry—the industrial white and green of the boat, the dark blues and greens of the water and trees, the way the waves look when you peer over the edge, the moment of walking past the "restricted area" with a crewmember, the captain sounding the horn.
It also gets that Kimya Dawson song "Underground" stuck in my head. Y'know: "So I tattoo instructions on my ass/That say don't ever put this body in a casket/Burn it and put the ashes in a basket/And throw them in the Puget Sound/I don't ever want to be underground..."
Anyway, this is apropos of absolutely nothing. But if anyone's ever had a funeral (or, more Valentines-appropriate, a wedding) onboard a regular old state ferry, I'd sure love to hear about it.