As of this past Wednesday we knew of 254 homeowners who have said that they will send in their commitment letter to Comcast. Remember that the deadline to get 270 commitment letters sent in is Oct. 1. Also remember that Comcast has assured us that there is no financial liability associated with this commitment letter. I wish that they had worded it differently in the very beginning. Then we could have concentrated on discussing the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity to get Chappy wired for the future.

I was surprised to hear that a few people had not heard anything about this lengthy effort to bring Comcast to Chappy until they actually arrived on the Island for a vacation. Apparently many folks never opened the original Comcast mailing because it appeared to be yet another piece of junk mail. With that in mind, members of the CIA’s Chappy Utility Committee will be happy to help anyone who has lost their letter or is one of the few who are just now hearing about this initiative to bring high-speed internet and cable TV to Chappy.

Go to the new CIA website,, to read all about it. I know that we sound like a broken record but you need to get your commitment letter sent in as soon as possible so that if Comcast rejects it on a minor technicality we still have time to fix it. They are very particular that the correct owner or trustee of the property signs the letter. The Comcast assigned customer ID number, the address of the residence and assessor number must all be correct. Call Dennis Goldin at 774-310-1020 or email him at or Woody Filley at and they will help you get signed up.

We are closing in on our goal. Please sign up for Comcast, if not for yourself, then for your children and grandchildren, but most important, for your community.

Beginning September 3 the ferryboat On Time II will be solely responsible for carrying all of the traffic to and from Chappy as her big sister the On Time III will be in Vineyard Haven getting her bottom painted and her hull inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard. The hull inspections are required every two years so the boats take yearly turns.

Years ago both boats were hauled out each spring to get them ready for the busy season ahead. They would start the summer with a thick coat of fresh antifouling bottom paint, but by the end of the winter most of that bottom paint would have been rubbed off by harbor ice and by May, barnacles would start to appear. Springtime became too busy to be without either boat, so the haul-outs were scheduled for immediately after the end of the fishing derby. For the last few years major repairs on both boats have lasted several months, making it possible to haul just one boat per year.

Last year the On Time II took her turn at getting inspected. She was in great shape and was out of service for only a dozen days. We waited until the end of the derby to take her away. The problem with working on a boat out of the water in late October is that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. Condensation on the hull creates very poor conditions for applying the eco-friendly bottom paints that we use now.

The weeks following Labor Day are the quietest time of the year for traffic on the Chappy Ferry. We don’t expect any lengthy repairs will be required. Working in warmer weather makes any of the hull work easier and quicker. Our intent is to get the On Time III, which is the longer of the two ferryboats, back into service by the time that the derby gets into high gear and the contractors settle into their winter projects.

You may remember that a couple of years back when the On Time III was away for many months, the ferry waiting line was extended from the top of Daggett street up around the corner onto North Water street to a point opposite Simpsons Lane. Once people got used to the altered ferry line, very little police direction was necessary. You will see a repeat of that this year starting right after Labor Day. Look for the parking spaces in front of the library and the Edgartown Inn to be blacked out and No Parking signs to appear. Temporary stripes on the pavement will delineate the extended ferry line on North Water street and signs will indicate that through traffic will proceed along the left lane and ferry traffic will wait in the right lane.

As former ferry operator Larry Mercier said, “There’s never a good time to take a ferry out of the water.” But it still has to be done and we figure that, all things considered, for this ferry, for this year, this is the best time to do it. Thanks for your patience.