The next Chappaquiddick Community Center potluck will be hosted by Leslie Floyd and Ken Bettencourt on Wednesday April 4. Appetizers and conversation begins at 6 p.m. with the buffet line starting at 6:30 p.m.. All are welcome. Bring an entrée, side dish or dessert to serve six.

Sign up to be a host by calling Lynn at 508-627-8222 or by putting your name in the book the next time that you are there. Potlucks are scheduled for the first and third Wednesday evening of the month.

When the Steamship Authority ran short of ferryboats last weekend, help came from far and near. The freight boat Gay Head came over from the Nantucket route, the high-speed catamaran Whaling City Express came up from New York city and the On Time II went over from Chappaquiddick.

Together those three vessels nearly made up for the loss of the two full sized SSA ferry boats — the brand new Woods Hole and that faithful workhorse the Martha’s Vineyard. The freight boats Katama and Sankaty saved the day, demonstrating once again that redundancy is key in the operation of a ferry service.

The freight boats have limited passenger carrying capacity which the Whaling City Express tried hard to make up for by scooting back and forth between Vineyard Haven and Woods Hole at the alarming rate of a round trip per hour.

The On Time II carried only three vehicles per trip and those had to be small passenger vehicles to give the 56-foot-long ferryboat as much freeboard as possible on her temporary weekend assignment. She usually operates in the relatively sheltered waters of Edgartown Harbor.

With her deep vee hull shape and eight tons of ballast she handled the choppy seas of Nantucket Sound without hesitation. Fortunately, the On Time II is certified by the Coast Guard to carry 49 passengers. That put a big dent in the long lines of foot passengers waiting at each terminal. The seven nautical mile run took between one and a half and two and a half hours depending on the direction of the tidal current. Prospective passengers were warned that it wouldn’t be the usual cushy ride that they have become accustomed to. They were advised to bring a snack and hit the head before departure as that ferry boat has no lunch counter or facilities since it is ordinarily underway for only a mere 60 seconds.

Said Captain George Fisher: “There were enough hardy yet desperate souls stranded on the wrong side of the water to fill up every one of our runs. They packed into the vehicles on board like college students in a phone booth. Those who rode the whole way on the open deck will have quite a story to tell their friends back home! But I wouldn’t be surprised if those friends were skeptical about the veracity of such a tale since we’re so close to April Fool’s Day.”

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