On Christmas Day, the Chappy ferry will run on an abbreviated schedule during the morning. The ferry will operate on the hour for whomever is in line at that time. Specifically, the ferry will make one or more trips as needed at 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m. during the morning of Monday, Dec. 25.

Beginning at noon Christmas Day the ferry will resume the normal winter schedule which means that the ferry will operate continuously until 8:00 p.m. Then again from 9 to 10 p.m. Then again from 11 to 11:15 p.m. Sadly, the current forecast for the entire three-day Christmas holiday weekend is a prediction for intermittent rain.

On New Year’s Eve, the ferry will make an extra late trip at 12:30 a.m. courtesy of captain Brad Fligor. In addition to the regular fares, there will be an extra fee of $10 per person. The Harbor View Hotel will be hosting the annual New Year’s fireworks display at midnight. They are fired from a barge anchored in the harbor just south of the lighthouse. The moon will be nearly full adding to the spectacle.

On New Year’s Day, the ferry will operate on the normal winter schedule. Happily, the current forecast for the three-day New Year’s holiday weekend is for mostly sunny but cold.

These last two snowfalls were my idea of the perfect amount. Just enough to smooth out the lumps in the yard, little enough to be swept off the steps and gone within a couple of days.

Every year since I was a teenager I have bought an Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book. There are any number of tide programs and websites for iPhone and computers readily available but I personally like a nice solid paper copy of the tide charts. When I get my new copy I first go to the moon phases pages.

This year both January and March each have two full moons. We incorrectly now refer to them as blue moons. No matter, we know what it means now. The month of February has no full moon. Then I turn to the Boston July pages. I want to see what the tide will be doing during the 4th of July fireworks. This year the tide will be falling all evening to be low during the fireworks show. This means that there will be plenty of beach exposed along the Chappy shoreline for spectators. In other years when the tide has been high, everybody has been forced into the vegetation at the back of the beach where they inadvertently harvest ticks of all sorts. I also note that the 4th of July falls on a Wednesday in 2018. I suspect that will calm things down a bit since most folks probably won’t be able to take the day off midweek and get back to work on time Thursday morning. The other ferry services should be overwhelmed during that time regardless. This is the 144th year of Eldridge’s publication.

I use a different tide book at the ferry called Tidelog which I distribute to truckers. It has graphic depictions of the tides which shows the varying heights of high and low water. This gives us the opportunity to schedule heavy loads on the ferry over a period of time during a particular tide cycle when the water level is sufficient for a particular vehicle. This is important if they need to get over and back during a single high tide. Having the time and amplitudes of the tides printed on paper makes it very easy to pick the optimum days for getting a couple dozen concrete trucks over to Chappy.

The most important aspect of paper tide charts is that you don’t need good cell reception or to have to remember to charge them to be able to peruse them. The is true for nautical charts. Once a vessel is under way the new-fangled navigation programs are wonderful as long as you are aware of their limitations. But for planning a voyage or getting an over-all sense of your surroundings, the paper charts are superior. They stand alone, without a dependence upon the proper functioning of electronics. The most essential element and advantage of paper tide charts and nautical charts is that they are checked for correctness before they are printed. From personal experience, I know that the same cannot be said for all of the information that you will find on-line.

Send Chappy news to peterchappyferry@gmail.com.