You won’t believe how many times the Chappy Ferry has been photographed, painted, sketched and filmed. There must be a zillion photos of it. Just hang around on the wharf for a while and see how many people step to the edge of the pier and aim their telephones or iPads at it. Then Google Chappy Ferry on the internet and see how many people thought that their photos deserved worldwide attention. Even though every photo shows a slightly different aspect of the ferry and its surroundings, they mostly fall into the category of tourist snapshots. So when Alison Shaw was asked to provide photographs for the Chappy Ferry Book, she must have known that she was joining a very large crowd of photographers.

As Alison said, “No offense, Peter, but it’s just a motorized barge.” No doubt about that. But she also said that she likes a challenge and she certainly has risen to it. Her photos make even the grease-streaked bulkhead look intriguing. I even can appreciate how the bottom paint is flaking off in a few spots. To see for yourself, stop in at the Old Sculpin Gallery during the two-week showing of artwork centered on the Chappy Ferry and the Edgartown waterfront.

While there, you will get to see dozens of renderings of the ferry in every medium from oil to watercolor. The great thing about painting is that the artist puts their own spin on the subject. Each work has its own individual focus. These artists clearly saw more than a motorized barge!

Ever wonder what makes the On Time ferry boats go? Dana Gaines did. After pouring over the design plans and crawling around in the engine room and bilges, he has put together a detailed and colorful cross-section sketch of the On Time II showing her propulsion equipment and steering gear. There are now two versions of the sketch. The first went into the Chappy Ferry Book. The second one is colorfully embellished with the life rings from all four of the self-propelled ferries, starting with the “City of Chappaquiddick.” Along the borders are the many different tickets and signs seen at the ferry. Both are on display at the Old Sculpin Gallery.

Have you noticed how cars on the ferry seem to be driving up onto the engine hatch more often now than in the past? There is actually a reasonably good explanation for about half of the drivers doing it. We replaced the old two-layer running boards with a single layer, which is half as thick. This makes the engine hatch stick up almost a half inch higher than before. So now when your tire rubs even a little against the edge of the hatch, you can feel it in your steering wheel. It feels as if you’re being pushed away from the center of the boat. This is actually what’s happening. The problem is that the natural response to this is to turn the steering wheel toward the center of the boat which takes you right up onto the engine hatch. So next time this happens to you, turn the opposite way that your instinct tells you to.

I bring this up now because among the art on display at the Old Sculpin Gallery is a sketch from Alison Convery’s Child’s Guide to Martha’s Vineyard, which was first published in 1970. The scene is of the ferry approaching the Chappy slip with a small van on board. Look closely and you will see that the vehicle has one tire right where the engine hatch is located. So this has been going on for decades. It’s practically a tradition.

Forget YouTube! There are hundreds of videos of the ferry on the Internet. Real high-quality stuff! Most are taken through the reflections and glare of a car windshield or from atop the wharf with enough wobbling to make me feel queasy. If you want to see the ferries from the air, look at the video clip on the Chappy Ferry website done by John Wilson from Mike Creato’s biplane. John told me that cameraman Scott Shucher shot the scene hanging over the side of the plane, holding a big video camera, being buffeted by the wind and shaken by the big radial engine. Scott did a great job under those conditions, but there was still a lot of motion in the original filming. However, when you watch the clip on the website, you’ll get the impression that it was filmed from an immovable spot. The credit for this goes to a computer program that takes all of the shakiness out of the film. See for yourself on the website. The full 15-minute movie is included with the Chappy Ferry Book.

Many years ago and for a span of many years, Dorothy Knight wrote this column from her home at Blueberry Cottage. She is now about midway through her three-week vacation here on Chappy.

Jim Mullen has had the good fortune to be married to his wife, Margaret, for 38 years as of July 7. Now, Jim is a nice guy, but just the same, Margaret will be eligible for Sainthood in two years.

Remember when the Chappaquiddick Island Association used to meet at the beach club? I liked attending, mostly to feel the cool breeze off the water and watch the boats heading out. I recall some special moments, such as when Mrs. Plumb told the assembly that the town’s mosquitoes were back in her yard again and that she was wondering when they were going to come to get them.

For years now, the CIA has convened at the community center. The next one is tomorrow, Saturday, July 7. You will have a chance to see the new fire tanker that the Edgartown Fireman’s Association is currently raising money to purchase. Coffee and donuts starting at 8, meeting begins at 9.

The Chappy Store is now open daily from 8 to 5. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but before heading over on the ferry for a trip into town, check first at Gerry’s to see if they have what you need.

Looking for something to keep the kids occupied? Just Google Chappy Community Center and check out their very thorough website. I’m glad to see the tennis court being used so often. Remember to park in the CCC parking lot when using the basketball and tennis courts.

A few people have gotten parking tickets at the ferry point. Heads up, it’s summer. Read those parking signs!