Passengers take Friday’s P.E.I. carferry delays in good spirit

Steve Sharratt
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Good friends Donalee Dekowny, left, of Swift Current, Sask. and Anne Carlson of Calgary enjoyed lobster, music and ice cream while waiting for Northumberland Ferries Ltd. to overcome a vessel breakdown Friday in Wood Islands.

WOOD ISLANDS — Sometimes it pays to miss the boat.

That’s how Donalee Dekowny and Anne Carlson summed it up here Friday when the ferry they intended to take was delayed due to an early morning vessel breakdown.

The Holiday Island, the venerable 43-year-old carrier, began “limping” on an early crossing between Pictou, N.S. and P.E.I. and was pulled from service.

That left only the flagship MV Confederation on the job in the height of the season and plenty of backed up traffic on both sides of the Northumberland Strait.

However, despite the lineups there was nothing but contentment at Wood Islands where people lazed on the grass, walked the beaches and listened to the live music in the performance gazebo.

“We missed our 1 p.m. boat but it’s the best thing that could have happened,’’ said Dekowny of Swift Current, Sask. “What better way to spend a day than with sunshine, water, food, music and a good friend.”

Anne Carlson of Calgary was in the same chipper spirit as the pair licked away at ice cream cones while enjoying the live music.

“I got a call to come down to play because of the breakdown,’’ said singer/songwriter Kevin Ryan, who lives in Pinette. “Everyone seems to be taking the delay in stride and enjoying themselves.”

Tour bus passengers enjoyed the time out as well and said they felt no inconvenience with the delays.

“It’s a beautiful day and we’re in no hurry,’’ said Orlof Mendelsohn, who was stretched out on the grass.

Dekowny and Carlson said when they heard their crossing was cancelled they sought out things to do at the terminal.

“We went down to Crabby’s (Seafood) and had the best lobster,” said Carlson. “We spent a couple of hours just talking and laughing and eating.”

They friends then walked back to the Visitor Information Centre here and took in the tunes of Kevin Ryan and enjoyed the ice cream.

“We’ll be on the next boat and that’s fine, but we’re glad for this delay,’’ said Carlson.

NFL announced on its web page that the Holiday Island is out of service until further notice and the Confederation will handle all remaining the crossings.

Organizations: Visitor Information Centre, NFL

Geographic location: WOOD ISLANDS, Holiday Island, Pictou Calgary Pinette

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  • Woods Island
    July 20, 2014 - 17:48

    Kudos to the Northumberland Ferries and Wood Islands staff for thinking quickly and inviting down local musicians to perform for the crowds. It turned what could have been a poor experience into an enjoyable event. These visitors will be more likely to return and share their experiences with other potential tourists. These actions will likely go further in encouraging people to return than some of the gimmicks Charlottetown has been throwing money at.