The Steamship Authority likes to use the moniker “lifeline to the islands,” and with good reason — the ferry service was created by legislation for just that purpose. It’s the only way to get a vehicle on and off the Island, and in good times, the frequency of its schedule provides plenty of options for Islanders.
But when someone is desperate to get on- or off-Island and the SSA ferries aren’t running — either because it’s too late at night, or sometimes even during storms — there is another ferry company that Islanders know they can turn to in a pinch. The Patriot Party Boats out of Falmouth, which operates Quickwater, provides another lifeline for Islanders by being available in urgent situations.
That’s why when the Patriot boat was maligned last week on social media as a place where an Island commuter might have contracted COVID-19, Islanders were quick to jump to the defense of Patriot owner Jim Tiertje and his crew.
When we needed that lifeline last week, we turned to the Patriot. Our print edition was published on Thursday with four blank pages, due to a power outage at the printing plant we use. It was unacceptable to distribute that product to our paying customers. So we asked the Patriot folks if they’d have a boat available for a second delivery on Friday morning — and they were quick to say yes.
Of course, Tiertje and his crew get paid to be there in our times of need. But they could just as easily say no, something they rarely do. We heard so many stories last week about Tiertje and his Patriot boats coming to the rescue for Islanders. We’re fortunate to have them when we need them.