the N.C. Ferry Division has set up the spring ferry schedule, they
haven’t released it yet and may include suggestions by Ocracoke
islanders to add a run at 10:30 a.m. during the week.
Bock, manager of operations at Hatteras, attended the monthly meeting
Monday, Nov. 14, in the Ocracoke Community Center and discussed ferry
operations at length with about eight attendees.
spring schedule, which typically adds more runs than in the winter,
will begin April 11 and run until
May 15, he said. Starting May 16 until Oct. 2 will be the summer
County Commissioner-elect Tom Pahl urged Bock to reinstate the 10:30
a.m. Hatteras departure.
nothing better you could do for Ocracoke than to schedule that 10:30
a.m. run,” Amy Srail, owner of the Pirate’s Chest, added. “In
the summer, we need seven boats running every 30 minutes. That’s
the bottom line.”
said he would try to rework the schedule but would have to cut a run
somewhere else in the day.
scheduling difficulty, he explained, is that the ferry crews are only
allowed to work 12-hour shifts, as per Coast Guard regulations.
talked about the recent cancellations of ferry runs between Hatteras
due to the state dredge Manteo working in the state-controlled inlet
area near the Ocracoke dock. Runs had been canceled because shoaling
and low tides sometimes prevented any ferries from crossing at all.
said it’s important for islanders and anyone else coming to the
island to be connected on Twitter because that’s the most immediate
of the division’s communication resources.
would be a good thing for everyone here to have Twitter,” Bock
said. For information on the Ferry Division’s Twitter account,
said they have been doing better about putting alerts out a day
before when bad weather is forecast.
said he and Deputy Ferry Division Jed Dixon will work on better
communication among the ferry captains on both ends of the island. He
was referring to an incident recently when the wind was blowing about
20 mph and the captain of the Cedar Island ferry decided not to run
the early morning trip while all of the other ferries to and from the
island did run. He noted that depending on the winds, the trips to
Swan Quarter or Cedar Island may be very different.
the boats can handle these winds, it may be dangerous if people get
out of their cars during a rough ride and fall.
to a suggestion that the captain make an announcement to that effect,
or the crew members alert passengers, Bock said he would look into
noted that buses bringing tours and school children in the spring
will not be able to purchase priority passes.
school districts from around the state send bus loads of children to
Ocracoke and the Outer Banks every spring. If they don’t want
to wait in line with the rest of the day visitors, Bill Rich, Hyde
County manager who attended the meeting, suggested the Ferry Division
alert these districts to use the Swan Quarter route.
said the Ferry Division has contacted the bus companies they are
familiar with to inform them and also suggest times when buses would
not have long waits.
new state dredge Manteo recently completed dredging a section of the
Hatteras Inlet closest to Ocracoke, but the area outside of that
remains dynamic. The areas in the middle of the inlet, which have the
most shoaling, are under federal jurisdiction.
said islanders interested in getting that section dredged should
attend the monthly Dare County Waterways Commission meetings.
the place to put your concerns out,” he said.
to a Ferry Division press
release Nov. 14, the
dredging cleared debris left behind by Hurricane Matthew last month
and re-opened a portion of the ferry channel near the Ocracoke South
clearing more than 30,000 cubic yards of sediment in six days of
work, ferries resumed their regular schedule.
dredge was delivered to the Ferry Division earlier this year. Its
next job will be routine maintenance of the Cape Fear River channel
between Southport and Fort Fisher.
for the passenger ferry, Bock said he could not comment, but Rich
said he heard it was on a fast track.
June, the state legislature approved funding to activate a passenger
ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke, including appropriate
a story on the Monday night, Nov. 14 meeting in Manteo of the
Waterways Commission, see the story in Island
with permission from The Ocracoke Observer. For more news and
features about Ocrcoke, go to www.ocracokeobserver.com.)