cry of a gull, the slap of a baby whaleís tail on the bay water, the sight of
otters frolicking, seals swimming, cormorans in perfect flight formation, and a
bevy of heavy beaked pelicans. We visit their world each time our ferry crosses
the bay. Our Richmond Ferry riders take notice and delight. Is it any wonder
that they feel refreshed?
Riders commented on more than nature in the recent Richmond
Ferry survey. Letís start at the beginning.
How old were you when you first rode a ferry?
The median age of the first time rider was a tender eleven
years. Ages ranged from one-month old (this person shows excellent recall), to
55 (itís never too late to do something different). For 13% of riders, the
Richmond Ferry was their first ferry ride.
What is your favorite ferry in the world?
What can I say?
The rider survey was not financed by Red & White
Fleet, yet the Richmond Ferry placed highest, at 45%. It was followed by such
tough competitors as Seattle, British Columbia, then Hong Kong.
What is the most beautiful ferry in the world?
The Richmond Ferry was tops again, at 37% ! We know that we
live in a beautiful area, yet there are certainly others in this world: British
Columbia (19%), Washington (11%) certainly made a brave showing. Some others
mentioned were Sydney, Stockholm, and a personal choice: Naples to Capri.
What is the zaniest/most outlandish thing you have done/seen
on a ferry? The most romantic?
Thereís something very romantic about ferries. Whether it
is new vistas, the vista of a special person, the rhythm of the waves or the
smell of the salt air, I donít know. We are awakened. This is a p.g. column so
I cannot lay out for the prurient many ridersí responses to the above
questions. I can at least unblushingly repeat how one woman kissed her husband
at sunset. For the remaining wild riders I congratulate you for your
fearlessness and physical dexterity while on a moving vehicle -Ėyet another
advantage the ferry has over, letís say, driving a car.
On outlandish behavior, quite a number of Richmond Ferry
riders rooted for Karin, our favorite belly dancer, who performs monthly and
converts our ferry trip into a magic carpet ride. In this era of multi-tasking,
a few of us have seriously suggested to Red & White Fleet management that
belly-dancing or perhaps yoga classes on ferries be considered a few times a
week. We could enjoy the ferry ride, commute, and get exercise all at the
On romantic vistas and heart-warming moments, one rider
contributed a notable impression of a late night, full moon crossing from Pahia
to Russell, New Zealand, where the sea sparkled with a green phosphorescence.
For others it was the contemporaneous moon setting over Mt. Tamalpais and a
blazing sunrise over the East Bay hills. For yet others it was bringing their
current life to meet their past as a Bay Area family rides on their fatherís
hometown ferry in the Pacific Northwest. Whether the ferries are near or far, in
Hakone, Japan, on Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, or in Ireland they have made
a difference in our lives and memories.
Thanks again to the Richmond Ferry Riders who responded to