Monday, August 06, 2012

Shamu & The Jamestown Ferry!

In Saturday’s class, several of us were discussing alternate routes I could take home rather than the usual “trek back over to Richmond and fight your way back down I-95 with all the semi trucks and weekend traffic” madness.

When Randee suggested that I take the Jamestown-to-Surry Ferry, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do!

Now, those of you who live near water and where ferrying yourself from one side to the other is a daily occurrence, this won’t seem like a big deal to you, but I have a confession to make:

In all my world travels, I had yet to drive my car up on to a ferry to ride across the water, and drive off on the other side. This was exciting for me!

And even more exciting that it was “free.”

I wasn’t sure just what to do, so when I got to the ferry bridge, I just waited in line behind a few other cars – I must have been there relatively early, the ferry runs every 30 minutes or some such thing and there were only a couple cars in line ahead of me.

But as we sat there, soon there were many more cars behind me!

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Here I am in line as the ferry pulls up to the dock after bringing people over from the “Surry Side” of the James River. Yes, that s my Williamsburg Hospitality House parking garage pass still on my dashboard!

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Somehow I ended up lucky enough to h have a front row “seat”!

Can you see my license place? QLTVLLE!

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Or maybe it’s the birds that have the best vantage point – and a free ride too!

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I went up to the top observation deck to enjoy the beautiful view, and to wave at another ferry passing ---they are headed to the dock that we just left!

**Side Note!** This is how you know who the tourists are:

They are the ones OUT OF THEIR CARS milling around and going up to the observation deck to take pictures.

Those who ride the ferry regularly are on their cell phones, or eating their drive through breakfast and reading the paper, or reading their kindles. They stay in their cars. It’s an every day occurrence for them – but for me…it was SO COOL!

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It takes about 15 minutes to make our way to the Surry Side.

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As our gate keeper made his way to start letting the chains down and opening the gates so we could drive off on our way, I slid back behind Shamu’s wheel and made myself ready to exit my first drive-on ferry ride ever.

I don’t quite remember how much time all this would have saved me mileage wise, but I know it is considerable. If you can’t cross on the ferry, the only alernative is to drive way out of your way to cross a bridge further down the river.

One more thing crossed off my bucket list --- what’s next?


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I've been on that ferry! I like you got out and had a look see!

Carolyn Sullivan said...

cool that it was FREE!!! we have an old ferry here in Cinncinnati, but they do charge. it;' worth it to save the time though. glad you are home, resting!

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Woo Hoo! It is always fun and exciting to do new things. Simple things. Free things. Always ask the locals, they know all of it.

stitchinpenny said...

I love ferries and take the one in Jacksonville occasionally just for fun!

Judy in Michigan said...

What fun! I think you saved about 30 miles but added 30 minutes to your trip. Definitely worth it!! BTW, my daughter had a similar car that they named Moby (as in Moby Dick) - cousin to Shamu!!

Anonymous said...

The last time I was on a ferry, it had to have been 20 years ago. There is no way would I stay in my car. I am incapable of sitting still.

Patchwork Penguin said...

I love riding on the ferry. Last time I did that was up on Lake Champlain .... Erin was little and I was pregnant with the twins... HOLY MOLY!!! almost 20 years ago!!!! I think I need a ferry fix.

Suzan said...

We used the Jamestown ferry frequently when my boys were young simply because they thought it was so cool. The side benefit was that it saved some time...or at least driving time.

Gwynette in NW Arkansas said...

Yep, we were the tourists!!! We were all over that Jamestown Ferry. And you wouldn't believe the Maryland Blue Crabs attached to those pilings where you docked. It's a lot of fun to do out of the ordinary things..... It's called l.i.v.i.n.g.!!!!!!

I've really enjoyed all the photos from your extended trip.

Laura said...

One of my first dates with my husband was a ride on that ferry.

Tina in NJ said...

We were on a ferry between Vermont and New York state years ago. Some little kid asked his dad if they were on the Tooth Ferry!

Impera_Magna said...

Love ferry rides... you should do the ones on the Outer Banks!

Lilac Joan said...

Arkansas used to have a lot of ferry boats, The Toad Suck is perhaps the most famous. Ferry rides are always fun. Try the one at Gees Bend, Alabama and meet all the quilters.

Mary said...

So glad you enjoyed a beautiful day for your first car ferry! Avoiding Richmond was an extra bonus. We on Long Island are lucky to have 2 ferries to allow us to avoid New York City, but only if we are going north. Wish we could sail to NJ!

Carolyn said...

what a fun adventure! You will always remember this FIRST. This seems like a great way to start the trek back home

Janet O. said...

What a grand adventure. We did a similar thing in British Columbia about 5 years ago. The ride was just a little longer, and I enjoyed getting out and catching the breeze as we sailed along. Glorious!

GeeMa said...

We have friends who live near Bath, NC and we take the ferry when we go see them. It's always so much fun. Even if I did it every day, I think I'd want to get out (unless it was raining) and let the breeze blow through my hair.

SweetAmbrosia said...

OH BONNIE - how can anyone, regular rider or tourist, sit in some cabin or car when you can breath in the wonderful air, feel the sun and breeze on your face!? ok, Maybe it was 20 below outside lol

We have been on this ferry also. I love that entire area of VA so much. Like you said, it can be humid and very still in the summer months. How spoiled we are today with a/c! I will defend my a/c until I can not stand upright ;)

Good you are back home and able to start to relax a bit.

Carla said...

Hi Bonnie
I love read your posts and always check your page! Great travel back home!
I received your book last week and i'm crazy to do something(as everybody, I suppose).
Carla Fraga

Carla said...

Hi Bonnie
I love read your posts and always check your page! Great travel back home!
I received your book last week and i'm crazy to do something(as everybody, I suppose).
Carla Fraga

Mavis said...

Well I live on Vancouver Island on the West Coast of Canada and the ONLY way off to get to the mainland is by ferry (or flight). No bridges and we don't want one. But it's not free by any stretch of the imagination. It's still the cheapest cruise in the world and it's a gorgeous passage and oh how I wish you were on one of these ferries heading my way right now! I've got to figure out a way to bring you into Victoria Miss Bonnie!
Victoria, BC

Unknown said...

Ohhhh. If you love ferries. You must come to the interior of British Columbia. We have not one but Three free ferries in our area and one of them has the distinction of being the longest free ferry ride in the world. Marilyn

Smiley Quilter said...

I was going to say exactly what Mavis did, if you love the ferry ride please come to Victoria although as she said it is definitely not free :(. It travels through the islands and is a gorgeous ride. Hope you get to enjoy some quiet time at home for awhile.

diegoagogo said...

I hope my life NEVER reaches a point where I don't get out of the car and drink in the awe & wonder the beauty of nature & feel the life of the world blow through my hair.
Glad you got to tick one off the bucket list. (It's still on mine).
London, UK

Anonymous said...

This is "my" ferry! I'm one of those commuters, but I LOVE it!!! It is like a mini-vacation every day!!!

Anonymous said...

Love reading all of your posts. I used to ride the ferries in the Seattle area, I couldn't stay in the car, I love being in the breeze. Dawn Champion adchamp@tds.net

gia gia said...

what fun!! even shamu was smiling!!

Beth said...

Those pictures look cool. I want to do the ferry one day too.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie so glad you took the ferry - just knew you would love it. Glad you got home safely. I so enjoyed being in your two classes Talking Turkey & Midnight Flight!


Sharon said...

Bonnie,you have to get to Seattle (my DS lives there). You can't swing a dead cat w/o hitting a ferry there. Long rides too. We have a ferry off Cape May here in NJ to DE I think. They are fun though. And lots of ferries back and forth to Manhattan and Statue of Liberty. You'd love it here.

Sherry said...

Bonnie, those pictures are full of memories for me. My mom lives about 15 miles from the ferry at Jamestown and we ride it whenever we are there. As many times as I've been across on it, I still get out and take pictures. I love it! When we come home, we don't take the interstate, we cut across VA on Rt 58. Lots of small towns and it crosses a beautiful lake in Clarksville.

Anonymous said...

I hate I-95 so anything that helped me detour some of would be great! a great adventure for you.
Bonnie read your blog everyday! Glad to say I've been in a guild with you and have enjoyed one of your trunk shows. Hope someday to be in a class with you! You are our quilt guru!!!


Mary said...

Wow, this post brings back memories .... I grew up nearby and have been on the ferry a number of times but it's been a while.