The Tuesday after Labor Day has historically been the beginning of the quietest time for the Chappy ferry. Except of course the year we took the On Time 3 out of service on Labor Day afternoon. I figured that since September sees such reduced traffic on the ferry it would be a good idea to get her out of the water right away and get the work done while the weather is more favorable to boat painting. The problem was many more people stayed on that week that particular year because of a religious holiday. In the early afternoon, we drove the boat to Vineyard Haven, hauled it out of the water, cleaned its hull and were ready for inspection before dusk. I was pretty happy about the prospect of working on the boat in the warmer drier weather and getting it back in the water before the snow flew. However, upon my return to Chappy, still wet and slimy from crawling around beneath a ferryboat fresh out of the water, scraping seaweed and barnacles off of the hull, I beheld a ferry line on Chappy reaching nearly to the beach club. So, we put the ferry back in the water the very next morning and brought it back to Edgartown. The biggest challenge of operating the ferry is the unpredictability of the people using it.

In case you missed it the previous couple of times that I mentioned it, I’ll be boring you weekly with a warning regarding the ferryboat On Time 3 going out of service on Sunday, Oct. 15. If you have a project planned on Chappy that involves concrete delivery you will be much happier if you can get it accomplished before that date. We don’t know for sure how long the ferry will be out of the water for preventive maintenance and Coast Guard inspection but it will be at least 12 weeks. The On Time 2 will have to handle all the traffic alone during that time. Because she is nine feet shorter than her big sister, sometimes only two vehicles will fit aboard. This of course slows down the flow of traffic dramatically. Please plan ahead to avoid those 12 weeks if at all possible.

This is the last week of yoga at the Chappy Community Center. Tai Chi with Tom continues through Friday, Sept. 15. The first potluck supper of the fall is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20. Call Lynn at the center at 508-627-8222 to sign up for hosting. Potlucks are on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 6 to 8 p.m.

We are in the height of hurricane season now. If there are no weather pattern surprises, hurricane Irma will get trapped in the Gulf of Mexico. However, there is always another tropical wave leaving Africa with the potential to become a storm that threatens the Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. Crossing your fingers helps ward them off but the best way to reduce your worry is to be prepared. Flashlights, bottled water, canned food, battery powered weather radio, cell phone charger in your car, refilled prescriptions are a few of the items that will make the aftermath of a hurricane more bearable. I always suggest that people fill their bathtub with water before the storm hits so they have water to flush the toilet if the power goes out.

Remember that if you have an emergency on Chappy during a time when the weather has interrupted ferry service, call 911 or 508-693-1212. We always have a plan B ready to help you.

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