SSA navigates icy harbor conditions

The Island Home departed Vineyard Haven harbor Tuesday afternoon bound for Woods Hole followed by a Coast Guard boat. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Steamship Authority General Manager Wayne Lamson said icy harbor conditions have not interfered with service on the Vineyard route. Mr. Lamson said the ferries are capable of navigating through ice. Problems arise when the ice covers navigational buoys. The buoys may be pushed off station into channels, and ice-covered buoys are invisible to radar at night, creating a problem for captains, he said. Service to Nantucket was affected this week when ice covered a buoy.

He said the worst ice conditions are created when cold weather starts in December and continues into January. Mr. Lamson said he could not recall a time during his long tenure when the thickness of the ice interfered with ferry service.