Riding with Block Island Water Taxi

Writer Judy Tierney of the Block Island Times rode shotgun with Ted Merritt of the Oldport Marina water taxi on Block Island this past July 4, and got a behind-the-scenes look at some of the interesting boaters he meets. Here’s an excerpt:

There are so many boats in the Great Salt Pond this July Fourth weekend that from Corn Neck Road, the spaces between them look more like canals than open water. Voices and music rise up from this Great Salt City and drift over to land, barely decipherable snatches of songs and conversation, like the sounds of a party in a neighbor’s yard.

I was drawn to the action out there, and so I asked Ted Merritt if I could ride along with him for a while aboard the Oldport Marina water taxi. Ted was on duty throughout the three-day weekend from breakfast until suppertime, ferrying passengers between boats and dry land.

While the rest of the nation relaxes, Block Island residents, even the retirees like Merritt, a school superintendent in his prior life, go to work housing, feeding, transporting and entertaining the tourists.

To read the full story:

Block Island Times

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