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Lummi Island ferry dry dock schedule released

Gooseberry Point ferry dock (June 18, 2015). Photo: Whatcom News

LUMMI ISLAND, Wash. — Each year the Whatcom Chief spends 2 to 3 weeks in dry dock to undergo maintenance. Officials with Whatcom County Public Works Ferry Division announced yesterday, April 10th, that the following schedule will be followed as the Whatcom Chief departs for dry dock on Saturday, April 29th.

  • Friday, April 28:  Last day to move your car between the island and the mainland. A regular, full schedule of runs is planned for the Whatcom Chief.
    • The last Lummi Island sailing is 12:00 am (midnight).
    • The last Gooseberry Point sailing is 12:10 am.
  • Saturday, April 29:  First day of dry dock and passenger-only ferry.
    • The dry dock switchover for the passenger ferry will occur in the morning– no ferry service of any kind until this process is complete. Please plan accordingly. 
    • Passenger-only ferry service is due to begin in the afternoon. The first run is tentatively scheduled for 2:00 pm from Lummi Island. 
  • Saturday, May 20:  Last day of dry dock and the passenger-only ferry.
    • The passenger-only ferry is anticipated to run until 3:00 pm. 
    • After 3 pm, there will be no ferry service of any kind until the dry dock switchover for the Whatcom Chief is complete. Please plan accordingly. 
  • Sunday, May 21:  The Whatcom Chief is scheduled to return to full service. The return date is tentative and subject to change. 

The foot passenger-only ferry service between Lummi Island and Gooseberry Point will have 55-passenger maximum capacity. The following protocols and restriction will be in place during its operation.

  • Pets are allowed only on the vessel’s stern (rear outside loading area).
    • Owners are responsible for their pet’s actions at all times.
    • No pets are allowed in the cabin of the vessel. 
  • Bicycles are allowed only on the vessel’s stern (rear outside loading area).
    • Bicycles load last.
    • The maximum number of bicycles allowed on the passenger ferry at one time is 6.  
    • Bicycle users should be prepared to wait for the next ferry if there is no room on the stern of the boat. 
  • The passenger-only ferry can only accommodate non-motorized wheelchairs. Motorized wheelchairs are too wide to pass through the opening in the bulwarks of the passenger ferry.
  • Be aware that the ramp may be very steep and challenging to navigate at negative tides. You may want to wait to travel until the tide rises and the ramp becomes easier to navigate.
  • The passenger-only ferry will fuel on Wednesdays.  Please check the passenger-only schedule to see which runs will be delayed for re-fueling.

Final copies of the passenger-only ferry schedule, parking maps and the Lummi Island passenger shuttle van schedules and pick-up route are available online.

The ferry is expected to return to service on Sunday, May 21st but this date is subject to change depending on the work required in the shipyard.

Past years have seen the annual dry dock occur later in the year. Last year it was scheduled between May 6th and May 21st. At the time, officials said comparisons between the earlier and past fall drydock impacts would be made to learn which is a better choice to make in the future.

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