Whether we are old-timers, part-timers, newcomers, residents, renters, property owners, young, business owners, old, employed or not, wealthy with love or wealthy with money, we all have stories to tell about the ferry, our sole and essential connection to the mainland.

To read personal stories that people have sent the Ferry Forum:

1) Read the comments, below

2) Click here for more Personal Stories

NOTE:  The PLIC Board / Organization does not share stories submitted to them with the Ferry Forum. If you want your story to show up on the Ferry Forum, you’ll need to send it to Editors, Lummi Island Ferry Forum



13 thoughts on “Stories

  1. This will be a hard sell to many in the County, but ask Lynden residents when they will assume 55% of Meredian and it’s bridge and roundabouts. We are all in this together

    • I couldn’t agree more, Bud. A couple of years ago I wrote what (I thought) was a tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor published in several county newspapers, suggesting putting camera on all country roads & bridges to track usage by license plate and sending “users’ bills at the end of each month for 55% of the total amortized use/cost of those roads, so that EVERYONE, not just Lummi Islanders, could pay their ‘fair share’ of the costs of their freely ‘chosen lifestyle’.

      Sometimes it’s disheartening to see how few people understand that the creation and maintenance of all our country’s basic infrastructures, including transit, depend *completely* on our collective community action, implemented via our tax system.

  2. Jeanne’s Story:
    I’ve always really liked leaving Bellingham, going through the rez and entering a different place/pace. Seeing the progress at the NW Indian College, the happenings at the dock – fishermen working, the kids fishing or jumping off the dock, families hanging out at the beach. Nice to mingle a wee bit with folks who are not mainstream America…… I’d really miss that if the ferry left from anywhere else.
    In addition, having horses and goats and trying to do the my little farm thing from Fairhaven/Bellingham will be such an expensive hassle. Getting hay, farrier, farm vet out , or taking the goats to be bred will take SO long and be so expensive, I can’t imagine being able to afford it all – since all those services, etc come from the rural north end of the county. And that in addition to the fare increases. Yikes!

    Jeanne Carlson (posted by editor)

  3. islandcat2u, on January 12th, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    Wooo hooo! Hydrafoil – that’s ok with me! Have done “hydrafoil”several places as a foot passenger without any undue trauma! Kind of fun, actually.

    Seriously, and selfishly… just a few random comments:

    We don’t go into town all that much. And Fairhaven / Gooseberry… it makes not much difference to us – we’re pretty much retired. We walk across often now and have 2 vehicles. One is usually on either side. We also like taking the bus too, so that’s always an option when the timing is right. So for “day-to-day”, Fairhaven sounds good.

    However, IF we needed a construction project done, OUCH the fees! (and I’m sure we will with “this old house” we have.) And of course on an un-selfish note, what about the school kids, people that don’t have 2 cars, etc.

    a couple things about our “story” with the current ferry-

    I will NOT drive at NIGHT on the rez because it’s so hard to see and I am scared to death I might hit a person or animal. I’ve almost been hit head on, too. It would have been nice to have street lights and sidewalks on the rez, but that really hasn’t progressed too much over the years. So having a foot ferry from Fairhaven has a certain appeal I can see. I might be able to do my own driving to certain evening events and to see my son in town, when I need to get home after dark.

    AND THEN… on the other hand, my favorite drive leaving the island is turning right, instead of left off Gooseberry Pt. and winding along the beautiful coastline of the Lummi Nation and even pulling over to admire the eagles and herons fishing. I would miss that a great deal if things change. We hate it when Marine Drive is closed due to flooding.

    What do I want? I’m pretty flexible, except I’d sure like to keep the rates down. And it sounds like whatever happens, we WILL be seeing some pretty good rate hikes. THAT is tough on retirees. Sounds like there are a lot of creative ideas floating around and I’ll be optimistic and think that it’s all going to work out for us in the long run. Cathy Thompson (posted by editor)

  4. This is a copy of a comment I left on Ken Mann’s blog (see “News Links” topic) in response to the idea of mostly passenger-only (hydrofoil) ferry service.
    Hello Ken,
    Passenger-only ferry service is something we Lummi Islanders experience every year for the 2-3 weeks required for our boat maintenance. In the week or so before this time, the lines are long as we stock up on all the things that won’t fit in our backpacks or cargo carts: the big Costco run, heavier groceries, gas for our island cars (we don’t have a gas station out here), materials for building and other projects, hay and feed for our livestock, and anything and everything else that would be too heavy or cumbersome for the passenger ferry. Propane deliveries, garbage pickup, mail, UPS, emergency medical services, utility repair trucks, law enforcement, etc. all are negatively affected. Local restaurants and businesses must try to bankroll and anticipate putting in most of their supplies for the duration. It is very challenging.
    The other big problem with a Fairhaven connection is the Bellingham Bay. This has been described to me as some of the roughest water in the Sound. This crossing in the winter could be quite a challenge!
    That said, thank you for your interest and ideas,
    Colleen McCrory

  5. January 18th, 2010
    To whom it may concern:
    My wife and I retired to Lummi Island several years ago, looking forward to our golden years in a quiet rural setting, with few of the hassles and worries that came with living in the big city. Much of our nest egg is in our property and between social security and a small pension; we are able to live comfortably here.
    Certain realities come with getting older. Health care becomes a lifeline for us as we age, something as young adult we dismissed easily. Getting around seems like more of a chore than it ever did before.
    Our modest little ferry boat, the Whatcom Chief, and it’s even smaller predecessors have been making the same trip across Hales passage since 1921, when the ferry crew would sit on Ms. Scott’s deck and wait for a lantern signal from Gooseberry Pt to ‘come get us’. Suddenly, our road to the mainland is in jeopardy of being torn up, with little notice and no viable alternatives. How will we get to the doctor? How do we shop? What about our neighbors kids going to school in Ferndale? Will the garbage and propane truck quit running? Talk about having a rug pulled out from under you! This is really a huge change, and not one with any easy solutions.
    Moving is not an option. The banks have quit loaning money on Lummi Island, so my nest egg is pretty much worthless now. If I get sick, the only way to a hospital will be the lifeline helicopter ride at $9,000 per trip. I guess our neighbor kids can waste 3 or 4 hours of their day being transported to Fairhaven, and then bused to Ferndale.

    Are the common interests of Whatcom County, Lummi Island, and the Lummi Nation so different, as to scrap a way of life in the interest of one party winning the Lotto of ‘negotiating at the end of a barrel’? I hope not, and hold out that our shared interests and values will prevail in a solution that works for all parties.
    Michael Skehan
    Lummi Island, WA

    • Thought I should let you know that the banks have not quit lending on our island properties. We at Lummi Island Realty, have not had any recent transactions fail because bank financing was unavailable.

      • Thanks Colleen:
        I was told by several respected people that local banks are not, other banks are because they don’t know what about the uncertainty, and that local appraiser are noting the uncertainty of the ferry as part of their appraisal. Your in the biz, so know a lot more than me.

        • I only know that such problems have not come up in our business dealings yet. Peoples Bank hiccuped on a land transaction and then came through. Call us at the office if any of you need to compare notes and banks with us (360-758-2094)

      • Thanks Colleen, about the banks. However, I must add what a very reputable real estate agent recently passed on to me. And that is that many mainland agents are keeping away, or stopped referring customers to the island until this is over. Can’t blame them.

    • Regarding the Lifeline helicopter issue – It only costs $79.00 per year per household to subscribe to the Lifeline program. That is a wonderfully cheap solution to the worries about ambulance access, etc.

  6. Has anyone checked in with the businesses and city of Ferndale?
    Just wondering, if all islanders land in Fairhaven, there may be many businesses in Ferndale, that Lummi Islanders will not hardly, if ever step foot in. How will that affect those businesses?
    Ferndale branches of Key Bank, North Coast CU, Haggens, Samuels, Franknsteins, Chihuahua’s, Dimetri’s, Lyndale Glass, RiteAid, Walgreens, etc. etc.

    Cathy Thompson

  7. The ferry is important to me because it basically gives us food. Also because it brings cars across the ocean. The stores on the island could go out of business any time.
    Elliot Dixon, Age eight

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