The next potluck dinner at the Chappaquiddick Community Center is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6. Please bring a dish of your choice to serve six. Appetizers begin at 6 p.m. The dinner bell rings at 6:30. The dinners are now hosted by the CCC staff and they greatly appreciate your help with the clean up afterwards.

This year, participants in the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby saw many challenges, from stormy weather to a scarcity of hungry fish. Yet among the many dedicated Chappy fisher folk, a couple made it onto the leader board. On separate occasions, Melissa Sliwkowski and Jack Livingston were daily winners for all tackle shore bluefish. Stephan Pond was weekly leader for flyrod shore false albacore and division leader for flyrod shore bluefish. Robert Bottary was all tackle division leader and for the second time in three years, derby grand leader for shore bluefish. Not an easy feat by any means under these conditions.

The ferryboat On Time 3 made the voyage to Vineyard Haven the morning of Sunday, Oct. 20. It was one of very few calm days before or since. Having a square bow and flat bottom, that vessel does much better on flat water than in the two-foot swells commonly encountered on Nantucket Sound. As good fortune would have it, the tidal current was also running in that direction. The trip took less than two hours.

The following day brought 35 mph gusts out of the northeast. The ferry was tied up broadside to the weather at the cruise ship pier where she rolled comfortably on the occasional three-foot wave. Broadside to the waves is a better orientation for this type of hull. Facing bow first into the waves would have caused pounding which can damage the hull.

On Tuesday, the wind came out of the east, which is the ideal direction for hauling out a boat on the Packer Marine Railway. The ferry was high and drying out before lunch time. During the next days, the bottom was thoroughly cleaned of algae and barnacles. The entire hull was tested by tapping with a plastic mallet to detect any hollow spots between the plywood structure and fiberglass covering. The few minor spots found were cut open and will be recoated. The propellers were removed and taken to New England Propeller in Plymouth for refurbishing.

By the time you read this, the inspectors from the U.S. Coast Guard will have completed their biennial out-of-the-water scrutiny of the hull. After that we will have an idea of how soon the On Time 3 will return to service. Most of the maintenance will be undetectable to the casual observer, but underneath it will have a fresh coating of antifouling paint and like-new propellers.

Since the day that On Time 3 went to Vineyard Haven, the shorter of the two ferryboats, On Time 2, has been handling all of the vehicle traffic by itself. Also on that day, the Chappy Ferry began operating on the winter schedule. Traffic has been relatively light overall since then. Perhaps some have been avoiding using the ferry during this time because of the prospect of longer than usual waiting lines. Use of the so-called “cut line” has been temporarily suspended for all but emergency vehicles and school buses. When the On Time 3 does return to service, use of the “cut line” by fuel trucks, concrete mixers, USPS, UPS, Fed-Ex, etc. will resume.

The Chappy Ferry is now operating on the winter schedule, which means that, weather permitting, the ferry will daily begin operation at 6:30 a.m. and operate continuously until 10 p.m., then again from 11 to 11:15 p.m.

Sometime in the coming weeks, excavation of the water main in front of the Edgartown Inn on North Water street will take place for at least one day. Hopefully, only the left side of the street will be blocked and traffic can flow through the right hand lane to access Daggett street and North Water street beyond. There will be a police detail present to direct traffic.