Excitement at the Chappaquiddick Ferry

It was an interesting day. I was headed to Chappaquiddick for the Book Club meeting, which was to be complete with wonderful cider, pound cake, apple kuchen, and jellies and jams (2 of the women are cleaning out their refrigerators, getting ready to leave the island for the winter).

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Because the meeting starts at 10:15, I left my place at 9:15. I am staying a five-minute walk from the ferry, so one might think you could swim to Chappy faster. ☺

In the mornings, however, there’s always a good line due to construction workers and the smaller On Time ferry that I’ve mentioned before.

I was right: there was a line, but not too long. I expected to reach the (other) island early, which would be great. I could spend some time exploring!

I took my place behind a dump truck that had a small bulldozer on a trailer that was hitched to the back.

Turning off my engine, I surveyed the line: several pick up trucks and panel trucks driven by handsome young Brazilians. One of the drivers was singing what sounded like a beautiful ballad in Portuguese. (I thought it was a love song, and that he must have a lucky girlfriend.)

We waited. Every few minutes we moved up a little. I kept checking my watch. Plenty of time.

Until…until it nearly was my turn. And someone decided that the truck in front of me had to remove the bulldozer. Apparently the small ferry couldn’t hold both the dump truck and the bulldozer simultaneously.

A flurry of activity ensued. One of the workers started up the dozer, backed it off the ramp. There seemed to be some confusion about what to do with it. Several minutes later it was decided the dozer would cross to Chappy without its truck or trailer.

But wait! The story does not end there! (It’s really getting exciting, no? Okay, bear with me.)

The dump truck crossed sans dozer. We were next! The earthmover and me! For some reason, though, it took an extra long time for the unloading and reloading process on the other side. Finally, the ferry began its trek back toward Edgartown and us.

Then everything went really weird. The On Time headed south (which is not unusual to compensate for the strong current). Then it spun around. Not kidding it spun around.

I gulped. I began to reconsider my commitment to the Book Club.

Finally the On Time reached the dock. And the vehicles backed off the boat. “Oh, man,” I thought. “I can’t back up straight. If I have to do that, I am toast.”

Before I could change my mind, the dozer was ambling toward the ferry and I was being waved on. Yikes.

Long story short, I made it. I did however, unclip my seatbelt and rolled down my windows. If they were going to spin this thing I was going to be ready for a swim.

I did not need to worry. Turns out the spinning was because one of the trucks that boarded on the “other side” had needed to back off for a technical reason. I have no idea what the further explanation was. Anyway, there was no spinning on my trip.

I was, however, late for the Book Club meeting.