Dry Dock officially started TODAY, September 9, 2009.
The anticipation of “Dry Dock” stirs up when the first rustlings of Autumn are in the air. Dry dock for Lummi Islanders means:
- it is past Labor Day
- school is starting up
- the tourists and Summer residents have left
- it is time to get ready for wetter, windier weather
- and oh, by the way, the car ferry has to go in for a tune-up and paint job!
- for 3 weeks, islanders and visitors will “walk across” the water via a “foot-ferry”
- no car traffic to and fro the mainland (we have no bridge)
- time to park one car on the mainland and one on the island, if you have two cars
- it is time to get to know our neighbors again!
Prior to dry dock, there were a couple weeks of noticable activity on the island as we (on island-time) suddenly realized that there was “stuff” on the mainland that we needed! And if we didn’t get it soon, we’d have to wait a whole 3 weeks before we could “drive” it across. For us it meant having wood for repairs delivered, having topsoil and compost delivered, stocking up on groceries, emergency water, paint, and a whole lot of other stuff that required us to stop at 13 stores the other day!!! Islanders with construction projects had major deliveries rushed over – concrete, lumber, all sorts of building supplies.
But once the frantic preparation is over and dry dock has officially begun, the entire island seems to do a massive and collective e-x-h-a-l-e .
For us, our first dry dock initiation was the most inconvenient. The timing of our move to the island accidently coincided with dry dock. This meant our belongings were kept in storage on the mainland for a couple weeks, until a truck could board the ferry to bring it all over.
Since then, we anticipate the whole process with an air of nostalgia. We wouldn’t have it any other way – probably difficult for a non-Lummi-Islander to understand. But if you took a poll, I think you’d find most of us here DO enjoy this unique, almost retreat-like atmosphere!
And we do treasure our trusty (most of the time) car ferry, the Whatcom Chief. She does deserve to be lovingly maintained and given a new paint job each and every year!