Chicago Water Taxi | Staycation | Chicago Reader

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Chicago Water Taxi

A view from the river

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MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen

Chicago Water Taxi offers transportation for commuters and tourists along the Chicago River. The ships travel between Goose Island and Chinatown daily from Saint Patrick’s Day weekend to December (weather depending).  Photographer Max Thomsen spent a few days following Captain Chloe West, a ten-year veteran of the company, and her crew on the Wendella Ltd. Shuttling folks along the waterway revealed unique views of the city only visible from bow or stern.   v

—Jamie Ramsay

Captain Chloe West - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • Captain Chloe West
Before the day starts, the crew practices retrieving a ring buoy, part of a Coast Guard safety test. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • Before the day starts, the crew practices retrieving a ring buoy, part of a Coast Guard safety test.
With a few gentle adjustments of the throttles and a spin of the wheel, Captain West pulls the ship in with grace. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • With a few gentle adjustments of the throttles and a spin of the wheel, Captain West pulls the ship in with grace.
The Wendella Ltd. waits for kayakers to pass. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • The Wendella Ltd. waits for kayakers to pass.
Reflection of the ship in the River Point building at 444 W. Lake. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • Reflection of the ship in the River Point building at 444 W. Lake.
Two massive John Deere engines power the Wendella Ltd. The engines are cooled with pumps that pull water from the river. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • Two massive John Deere engines power the Wendella Ltd. The engines are cooled with pumps that pull water from the river.
West inspects the ship’s two generators. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • West inspects the ship’s two generators.
Civic Opera across from the Ogilvie and Union Station stop.  According to Senior Deck Hand Dave Ling, there are 75 singing faces on the river side of the building. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • Civic Opera across from the Ogilvie and Union Station stop. According to Senior Deck Hand Dave Ling, there are 75 singing faces on the river side of the building.
Deckhand Nick Leon installs a nonslip ramp for passengers to enter and exit the ship. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • Deckhand Nick Leon installs a nonslip ramp for passengers to enter and exit the ship.
View from below the Congress Parkway Bridge - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • View from below the Congress Parkway Bridge
You can catch a glimpse of vintage coach cars in the Amtrak Car Yard along the route to China Town. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • You can catch a glimpse of vintage coach cars in the Amtrak Car Yard along the route to China Town.
MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
A view of the Canal Street Railroad Bridge at the China Town stop in Ping Tom Memorial Park. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • A view of the Canal Street Railroad Bridge at the China Town stop in Ping Tom Memorial Park.
The REI boathouse at the Chinatown stop in Ping Tom Memorial Park rents kayaks to travel the river. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • The REI boathouse at the Chinatown stop in Ping Tom Memorial Park rents kayaks to travel the river.
Captian Chloe West rides into the sunset on the way to the next stop. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • Captian Chloe West rides into the sunset on the way to the next stop.
The ship is docked overnight at the Ogilvie and Union Station stop. - MAX THOMSEN
  • Max Thomsen
  • The ship is docked overnight at the Ogilvie and Union Station stop.

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