When the Steamship Authority switches to its fall schedule as of Monday, the Oak Bluffs terminal will close for the season, all trips will be in and out of Vineyard Haven, and the “workhorse” of the ferry fleet — the MV Governor — will go into hibernation.
It’s a sad day for daily commuters who love the speedy (somehow it makes the crossing about 10 minutes quicker), loud, and sometimes tooth-rattling ride of the SSA’s oldest boat. It’s also the quickest vessel to get off of at the end of a long day at work.
The Governor should come with one of those amusement park warnings that “this ride could get you wet,” because it rides so close to the water it sometimes splashes over the bow.
According to the SSA website, the Governor began its service in 1954 in San Diego, taking vehicles and passengers to and from Coronado. “When a bridge was built spanning her original route, the MV Governor headed north to serve as one of the Seattle-based Washington State Ferries,” the website states.
The vessel eventually was sold to the U.S. Coast Guard to serve in New York Harbor, and when it became government surplus, the SSA added the ferry to the fleet in 1998 as a backup for the Vineyard route, “retaining the name from her distinguished U.S. Coast Guard service,” the website states.
It doesn’t have the outdoor seating (besides a coveted picnic table) like the rest of the fleet, and there’s no concession stand besides a vending machine. But it’s all part of the charm.
So long for now, Governor. We’ll see you May 17.