The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby began this week and runs to Saturday, Oct. 17. The next day the ferryboat On Time 2 will depart Edgartown for Vineyard Haven for its biennial haul out at the Packer Marine Railway. It will undergo a Coast Guard inspection, get its bottom cleaned, get a new coat of anti-fouling paint, get it propellers balanced, get a few new sections of rubber bumper and anything else that it needs to get through two years before its next haul out.

The On Time 2 is eight feet shorter than her sister On Time 3. We always have an easier time of it when the smaller of the two is the one that has to go out of service. The bigger boat almost always can fit three vehicles aboard. It naturally keeps the vehicle waiting line moving more quickly when operating alone than the smaller boat can. I expect the On Time 2 will be away for at least two weeks. Hopefully, only that long. But we won’t know for sure until it’s out of the water. So, give yourself a little extra time getting over on the ferry during the normally busy times.

Chappy’s own George Manley started off the 75th Derby by winning the daily mystery prize luck-of-the-draw on the second day. Remember to keep your fish fresh and whole for the filet program. Fishermen may donate any or all of their catch to this program that provides free fish for the Island elderly.