Andrew Berry is a captain of the Chappy Ferry.

Four years ago he retired from his possition as assistant principal at the regional high school.

“The ferry is like water or electricity,” he said. “It’s an essential service for people that live on Chappy. You have to get everything from groceries to emergency vehicles over there. It’s essential we keep it running.”

He said the social-distancing precautions have interrupted the pleasant banter during the short ride to and from Memorial Wharf in Edgartown to Chappaquiddick, but he said it is a good sign the ferry and passengers are taking the measures seriously.

“Passengers in their cars tear up their own tickets. They can even leave their windows up.”

Walk-on passengers are asked remain six feet from the captain.

“It’s strange not having any interaction at all,” he said.

Mr. Berry said there was a slight increase in ferry traffic when the coronavirus news began to emerge and summer residents returned to their homes on the island. But now that people are beginning to settle, he said the harbor has become quiet.

“It’s quite a drop off in activity around here. Even driving into work, the street are empty. It’s pretty eerie. There’s no boat traffic, no moorings to pick up, just the occasional scalloper.”

— Will Sennott