Note: earlier this week David Welton rode the ferry to the mainland. Little did he know when he left home that he would be taking the photo he’s long wanted to capture. Here’s a gift to begin the New Year with hope from a retired physician whose spirits are lifted by rainbows. I talked with David on the phone today and he told me the backstory to these images. –Kate Poss

I traveled to the mainland Jan. 3. I had to get a Covid test to be admitted to the hospital for an atrial fibrillation ablation Jan. 5. My Covid test appointment was at a drive through clinic at Northgate. 

I drove over in bad weather. Snow and slush were on the road. The highway was wet and rainy. Kinda scary to be driving. 

On the way back home while driving on Mukilteo Speedway by the Red Cup Cafe, we—my son Nathan and I—saw a rainbow. I was tired. I was going to have the procedure in two days. I didn’t take the photo then. The rainbow arched across the entire sky all the way to the lighthouse. 

I always have my camera, I can’t take the same quality of photos with my cell phone. I turned in at the ferry dock. There was one boat running per hour. I got out and ran into an old friend, and we talked a while.

MV Suquamish ferry approaches the Mukilteo terminal as a rainbow arcs across the sky

I got back in the car. The rainbow was going away. I was disappointed. I waited. There were about 150 cars in the lot. I saw the ferry leaving Clinton. The rainbow returned. I stood under an overhang at the terminal. No one else was outside. This rainbow came out and was absolutely gorgeous. The ferry drove into the rainbow. 

David Welton stood outside the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal Jan. 3 to catch this image of the Suquamish ferry passing through a rainbow

The money shot looks like it’s shining on the car deck. I thought, Oh my GodI I was delighted. The rainbow disappeared and I looked at the 56 pictures I shot. When I was looking at them, the battery in my camera died. But I got the shot. If I had taken pictures of the rainbow and lighthouse earlier, I wouldn’t have gotten the photo with the ferry. I had wanted to get this shot for 15 years and finally got it. A rainbow makes my day. I love to see a rainbow. I’ve wanted to get this photo and I finally got it. 

Approaching the Mukilteo dock, the MV Suquamish ferry passes a vibrant rainbow on Jan. 3, 2022 about 1 pm

A rule of photography, if you want to get good photos you need to be patient and be where the action is. You set the scene, get the exposure right, then wait for something to happen. When the ferry went through the rainbow, it was happening. CLICK!

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