When the ferry crisis first erupted last fall I thought it would work like the canary in the coal mine for islanders, a wake up call to get prepared for an uncertain future. Instead many on the island initiated a campaign to retain the status quo. We all love the status quo. May it go on forever. The problem is that “status” never stays “quo”. It always changes, sometimes for the better; sometimes not.
Now there’s a hole in the boat and it’s gone for a period of time. Some are ready for this type of occurrence. Others aren’t. Some have gas. Some don’t. Some have food. Some don’t. Some have to be somewhere. Others don’t. We are in different states of preparedness for an event which, when you think about it, can happen anytime and could happen repeatedly. A fuel shortage. A financial crisis at the county. Additional maintenance issues. There are lots of events that could pop up to affect the ferry.
Some islanders responded immediately to operate informal water taxis to get folks stranded on the other side back to the island. Hmmm. Boats. Great idea. PLIC has quickly come up with a ride sharing program.
Public Works, by the way, seems to have performed exceptional service trying to accommodate the island, obtaining a passenger ferry, finding some place to fix the Chief, managing to get a van and fuel on site to move people from the passenger ferry to their homes. They are doing their job admirably.
We live on an island. It’s nice to be able to get a car on and off whenever we want so, as James Kunstler is fond of saying, ‘we can continue our happy motoring.’
But why is our official, scheduled Dry Dock less traumatic than this unscheduled cessation of car ferry service? We don’t solicit horror stories about Dry Dock. It’s a happy time of year. The answer is we are ready for it both mentally and physically. We are prepared for that annual event.
Thinking about “transition” and an uncertain future, the hole in the boat should illustrate where the soft spots are in our personal and community planning and preparation.