Every Day A Holiday On Guemes Island

So, you needed to take the ferry on Memorial Day. What's the schedule? Was the ferry running the 'holiday schedule" or the regular schedule?  If you looked at the County's website or their printed schedule, Memorial Day is not listed among the holidays (and hasn't been listed there since 2011). No signs were put up at the docks, no emails from Public Works went out, no information at all.

This Memorial Day, five people, some with appointments to keep, waited on Guemes Island for the regularly scheduled 7:30 am run which never came. One had checked the county's web site the night before and concluded it would be a regular schedule because Memorial Day was not listed among the other holidays.

When pointed out to her, Rachel Rowe, the ferry manager, responded by saying:

"We always run on a holiday schedule on Memorial Day; however, I realize it isn’t in our brochure (which only calls out major holidays that don’t always fall on the same day of the week). [She forgets that Labor Day is also always on a Monday.] We will update our brochure when we draft the next one. We usually don’t put signs up every holiday as a practice. But, we can do that in the future if it would be helpful. We can also send out an email notice and put the information on our website. I am sorry folks missed their appointments. Thanks for the note and the opportunity to improve our communications in the future."

There are many new to the island or visiting who would not know that the ferry "always runs on a holiday schedule on Memorial Day". Many more long time residents who don't normally go in to town on Memorial Day would not know that either. Her implication that this is somehow our fault for not knowing what they 'always do' is offensive. How can we trust the information posted on the County's web site and in print when it doesn't match what they do?

Once upon a time we might have brought such an issue to the Ferry Committee but they seem to have vanished in the night. Can you name any current member of the committee or say with certainty what they've accomplished in recent years or even what they're doing now? We wait for 'proof of life'.

Which means our only recourse is to email Rachel Rowe, hoping for some appropriate and genuine response. You are welcome to tell her your story.

The hilarious coda today, Wednesday, is that there is now a sign at the dock that the ferry is on holiday schedule. So, it appears the County's solution is to declare every day a holiday on Guemes Island.

- Commentary by LineTime

After posting this, Rachel Rowe said:

"The reason I said we always run a holiday schedule on Memorial Day was because your email said, “Someone decided to run the holiday schedule this Memorial Day without telling any of the riders.” The intent of my response was to clarify that we did not arbitrarily decide to operate the holiday schedule for the first time ever on Memorial Day this year. Having said that, I have figured out what happened. When we switched brochure formats (in 2018), Memorial Day did not make it in to the list of holidays on which we operate on a holiday sailing schedule. As you can see, in the 2018 brochure, it was listed. It was also listed in the brochures as far back as 2012.

 This was an oversight on our part that happened in 2019 with the new brochure format that was just brought to our attention. This was definitely our mistake, and we will fix it. I really do appreciate you emailing me about it. I certainly did not mean to offend you or anyone else. I want to get this figured as much as anyone. And, we apologize for the confusion this oversight may have caused. We realize a few folks missed important appointments."

Tags: ferry