On a busy Thanksgiving weekend of travel, Steamship Authority ferry service was disrupted Friday and Saturday due to mechanical problems on the ferry Martha’s Vineyard.
Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson said problems with a control on the port engine on the Martha’s Vineyard led to the cancellation of six round trips between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven.
The cancellations created standby backups, especially in Vineyard Haven where large numbers of Thanksgiving travelers were departing. The problem started Friday around 2:30 p.m., Mr. Lamson said, but the Coast Guard cleared the Martha’s Vineyard to make the last trip to the Vineyard on Friday night. But the problem emerged again Saturday morning, he said, cancelling six trips on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.
By mid-afternoon service was restored but the estimated wait time in the standby line had reached five hours in Vineyard Haven. In Woods Hole there were no backups, although the staging area was full of cars headed back to the Island. Lift decks on the Island Home were put into service in both directions on the route. The freight ferry Katama was also running.
The ferry Nantucket was brought in for extra service over the holiday weekend, Mr. Lamson said, but was busy Saturday taking the Vineyard football team and fans to Nantucket for the annual Island Cup game.
The Martha’s Vineyard was pulled from the water Monday for previously scheduled repairs, Mr. Lamson said.