Nantucket - August 28, 2007
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Another beautiful, clear day. We dropped Luann off for some shopping & gallery touring downtown. Stopped by the Steamship Authority office to find out how the new standby system works. In the past, if you wanted to catch a ferry that you didn't have a reservation for, you had to stop at the terminal about 45 minutes before each boat, sign up, and wait to be called. Each boat had its own list & you had to sign up again each time you didn't get on a boat. This got a bit hectic since you drove on to the boat right after you were called, meaning you had to be packed & ready to go all day long.
The new system - you stop in, sign up & get a "Tier" & number. You call the Steamship Authority a little after each boat leaves & they give you a range of numbers that should meet the next boat. No guarantee that you will get on, but if your number isn't posted, you don't have to meet the boat. Although it takes some of the empty trips to the ferry dock out of the picture, it makes it difficult to go standby on a specific boat. We were thinking of getting the Wednesday morning boat rather than Thursday but it doesn't look likely. We are Tier 4, #57 - we will probably be called for a evening boat which means driving all night, something I'd rather not do... Will have a better idea of whether we will get the morning boat after the 9:00 boat leaves tonight.
Well,we found out that you do have to meet the 6:00 boat if your number is posted, but you don't need to meet the 9:00. I guess they feel sorry for making you drive all night. In any case, we are in the list for the 6:30AM boat, the one we wanted. Still no guarantee that we will make it - thee are 12 people ahead of us, but many of them probably will not like the idea of getting up at 5:00AM to be at the office by 6:00.