Last Friday Adam and I went (for the second day in a row) to do some necessary shopping. We took the ferry to Havelock, which is normally a fun sparkle added to a boring road trip. The ferry ride makes it more like a date!
Except when it doesn't.
We arrived at 9:47 to board the 10:00 ferry, which normally is plenty of time. I've made a ferry with mere seconds (literally!) to spare. We were shocked to find ourselves in Row Four -- a good indication we would not fit on the 10:00 ferry boat even with their very best Puzzle-Working Ferry Boat Employee to work, squeezing SUVs, vans, boat trailers, and such onto the ferry. Crunch!
|Six rows of vehicles, desperately wanting to board the ferry|
|patient humans, waiting in line|
On Friday, all the parents were picking up their kids from local camps too, adding to the crowd of drivers. The system was overwhelmed. They ran out of parking lot space.
Much research and thought have gone into the ferry tax situation. Many argue that removing all tolls, even on the long ferries to the Outer Banks, would produce more tax revenue because tourists would be more willing to travel there, and would spend more tourist money, supporting the poorer coastal counties. We rely on tourism heavily. It is a solid argument. And lest anyone assume this is a Democrat state gov't trying to over-regulate and over-tax ... oh no! North Carolina now has a Republican governor, Republican Senate, Republican House. As Republicans, they say they want to balance the budget, save money, be fiscally responsible. Increasing all the ferry tolls (i.e., taxes) is one of their solutions. Most of the people I know, if the tolls happen, will simply stop using the ferry. This will reduce the need for ferries, and some of the employees will lose their jobs. Sad situation, if you ask me.
Meanwhile, I'll enjoy our ferry, the breezy rides, the seagulls screeching behind above the churning water, the sailboats gliding by, the happy passengers. Hooray for the ferries!