For those who think the Lummi Island ferry’s annual dry dock in September is a pain: imagine a 4 week dry dock from February 28 to (they hope) March 29. That’s what Guemes Island residents are facing in 2017, according to this Feb 9 press release about the Guemes ferry’s 4-week dry dock. At least they have better mainland parking and place to wait out of the rain.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 9, 2017
Contact: Rachel Rowe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-416-1400
Guemes Ferry out of service from Feb. 28 through March 28
Annual maintenance will take the Guemes Island passenger and vehicle ferry out of service for nearly a month, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 28. The vessel is expected to return to service by 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 29.
During the haul-out, passenger-only ferry service, provided by Arrow Launch Services aboard the vessel Strait Arrow, will connect Guemes Island to Anacortes. Passenger-only service will start at 1 p.m. Feb. 28, and will run on the non-peak sailing schedule: 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The schedule is also available online at http://www.skagitcounty.net/ferry.
“We understand that taking the vehicle ferry out of service is a big inconvenience for our islanders, riders and neighboring residents,” said Capt. Rachel Rowe, Skagit County Ferry Operations Division Manager. “Doing maintenance now allows us to keep the ferry running during our busy spring and summer months. Our hope is to complete work as soon as possible and get the vessel back to normal service.”
The Strait Arrow can accommodate 49 passengers and bicycles. Small motorbikes or electric scooters are allowed at the discretion of the captain. Extreme weather conditions, including high winds and low tides, may affect the service.
Skagit Transit will provide on-call shuttle service on Guemes Island for a small fee during the ferry haul-out. Residents can call 360-757-4433, and then press 1 to be connected with a dispatcher. The shuttle will run between the ferry dock and residents’ homes. It will operate daily, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Saturday; 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit http://www.skagittransit.org.
Skagit County typically removes the Guemes Ferry from service once a year for maintenance work and repairs. Maintenance work on the ferry is being completed by Foss Shipyard in Seattle.
Like Whatcom County, Skagit County is working on replacing it’s old ferry. They are hoping for a less-polluting electric ferry. Here’s more information on their planning process.