A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Lindsay Allison had posted a note on Facebook regarding ordering quail to release onto her property to eat ticks. I have received more detailed information from her. The quail will cost $6.50 each and are delivered to your house in early July. They can fly and are about 12 weeks old. There is a delivery charge which will depend on how many are ordered, so be sure to ask about a reduction if there are enough ordered for addresses on Chappy. She provides fresh water and puts out game food for them which can be purchased at SBS in Vineyard Haven. The water dish and game food are placed under a rhododendron so the hawks don’t see them eating. They are lively, busy birds.

Lindsay says that it’s great to see them running around and calling as they did when she was a child. Hopefully, we can get them established again on Chappaquiddick Island.

To save you the trouble of finding my past column, I will summarize the purchase details. The birds are provided by Wareham Quail Farm over in West Wareham at 150 Fearing Hill Road. They raise them from their own laying hens. If interested, you can contact John at 508-295-5528 or on Facebook under the name Wareham Quail Farm or email at cattledog3@verizon.net to reserve your own flock of voracious tick eaters. The minimum order is 30 and a deposit of $1 each is needed to reserve them. A flock of 30 birds will cost a couple hundred bucks plus delivery and feed. Considering the entertainment value alone, it’s a pretty good deal. Considering that they will be your first line of defense against horrible tick-borne diseases, it’s a fabulous deal.

Last Sunday we needed to perform an unexpected repair on the Chappy ferry ramp on the Edgartown side. It was unexpected only in regard to the timing. We were confident that the attention that the ramp needed could wait until next winter. Thursday afternoon it became clear that it had to be done sooner rather than later. The work would require taking the ramp apart to the extent that we would be unable to carry vehicles. Since these weekends are the quietest that the ferry service experiences, we chose Sunday as it is the least traveled day of the week and figured that we could get the job done between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. We spread the word via Facebook, our website and the Edgartown text notification service as well as posting big signs at the ferry. We notified the fire and police departments.

I drove to Bridgewater on Friday to get the necessary materials. On Saturday, the steel beam was cleaned and epoxy coated. We got together all of the materials and equipment the we would need to do the work. Saturday evening the fire department brought an extra fire truck to Chappy, the police department parked a cruiser on Chappy point and at least a dozen Chappaquiddickers parked their cars in town for use the next day.

Early Sunday morning, the fire department brought an ambulance to Chappy just as they do during any possible interruption of ferry service. Just a few minutes after 7 a.m., I tied the On Time 3 up to the face of Memorial Wharf and the crane barge moved into the slip. The On Time 2 began shuttling passengers between the Chappy side slip and the southeast corner of the wharf. We used a variety of wooden steps and an aluminum ramp to safely transfer riders ashore.

The repair crew immediately began removing the wood and metal decking of the ramp. A corroded I-beam was cut away and a new one carefully welded back in its place. I’m glossing over the details of a noisy and grimy but interesting and satisfying operation. We had everything back together seven whole minutes before our deadline of 6 p.m. The fire department retrieved the fire truck and ambulance and everybody raced home to watch the Super Bowl.

Thank you for your patience. If you didn’t feel patient, I apologize. There is never a perfect time to interrupt ferry service. But that’s just one of the things that makes life on Chappaquiddick Island different and interesting.

Send Chappy news to peterchappyferry@gmail.com.