Pity the Steamship Authority, which cannot catch a break. Never mind that they bring far too many of other people’s cars to the Island every summer, but don’t ever seem to have enough reservations for those folks (me and my friends) who really need and deserve them. Or that any driver who courteously arrives in time to be at the front of the line is religiously parked on the side aisles of the freight deck, thus ensuring that they will be at the back of the line off the boat on the other side. Have you tried their coffee?

Now they have named their new boat . . . Barnstable, which — with all due apologies to our neighbors across the water — smells a bit more like a place to set up an aspiring Christmas creche than a noble and nostalgic vessel on which to stand on the deck and breathe deeply of the sweet ocean breezes while all the cares of the mainland blow away behind you.

Yes, Barnstable is the county that includes both of the SSA’s port towns on Cape Cod: Woods Hole and Hyannis. And yes, as the SSA employees requested, the name will not likely confuse those visitors arriving in Woods Hole who never could understand that a boat named, say, Woods Hole, could ever sail somewhere other than Woods Hole.

Don’t count on it, though: someone will surely arrive from somewhere and say “If I don’t want the boat to Barnstable, where do I get the one to Oaks Bluff?”

But still . . . Barnstable?

A Wampanoag name, such as Noepe or Nanticoke, would go nicely with the current Iyanough and Katama. But maybe ever more boats that disgorge ever more cars is actually not really an appropriate way to honor the original overrun inhabitants of the Cape and Islands.

Poetic names are probably also out for now, thanks to the nearly universal translation by year-round Vineyarders of the name Island Home to Broken Home.

So Barnstable it is, as good a name for a good ship as any other that a committee could settle upon. It may come to grow on us. Maybe we’ll call it the Barnyard, in a wholesome and wistful way. After all we, like sheep, are rarely happier after a day of being herded down the path to Woods Hole than when the steamship shepherd points us in the direction of the barn or stable door and we have made it inside.

Even if we do end up with a lousy spot by the wall while that insufferable ram with a fancy rack is right by the door, “I’m on the boat!” we joyfully text ahead.

The only thing better, in fact, is when they open the doors again on the Island side and we are home.

Paul Schneider lives in West Tisbury.