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Island Home makes her first Island visit
The Steamship Authority's newest ferry made her first visit to Vineyard Haven Harbor Tuesday afternoon. The historic trip was unannounced but attracted considerable attention.
Word of mouth amplified by cell phones spread the word. One man saw it out his window. Another caught a glimpse of the new ferry riding high while looking at The Times web cam view of the harbor.
Some of those who gathered at the terminal saw her coming into Vineyard Haven harbor while driving by and just had to get a closer look.
Entering Vineyard Haven for the first time Tuesday afternoon, Island Home glided past the schooner Shenandoah. Photo by Susan Safford
SSA senior captain Sean O'Connor piloted the new vessel from Woods Hole and brought her into the north slip at Vineyard Haven. After testing the ramps, he moved her into the south slip.
Judging by the comments of SSA employees and passersby gathered on the dock, the Island Home made quite an impression.
A truck debarked from Islander, as her replacement prepared to leave the terminal. Photo by Rick Mello.
Veteran deckhand Ron Maseda said his father had worked for the SSA and he grew up with the ferries Nobska, Naushon, and Uncatena. "I'm very impressed," he said, following the crossing from Woods Hole. "She sits well, and there's no vibration. It was a smooth, quiet ride."
Terminal ticket agent Kathleen Parsons was more effusive. "I love it, I love it," she said as she walked off the ferry after a brief ride from the north slip to the south slip.
According to Phil Parent, SSA director of human resources, crews will get familiar with the Island Home and conduct training exercises prior to the scheduled replacing of the Islander on Monday, March 5.