We are staying for the next month at a campground near Port Aransas, Texas on a barrier island – Mustang Island. There are two ways to travel there coming in from the north. One is to go out of the way to Corpus Christi, take a bridge, and drive up from the south end of the island. The other is to take a ferry at the north end of the island from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas. We took the ferry.
It was with a great deal of trepidation that we decided to take the ferry. We have already taken two other ferries on our travels – in Nova Scotia and across the mouth of Mobile Bay, but those times were only in the car. This time it would be the motor home pulling the car. We researched the ferry and everything seemed ok, but we also called them just to be sure of everything, to verify that we would not have to unhook the car, and what to do when we got to the loading zone. They said there would be people there to direct us.
Sure enough, there were attendants there to guide us into a staging lane – a lane all of our own in our case. When the time came, they loaded up cars first on one side of the ferry we guess so we wouldn’t tip over the boat when we drove on. Then it was our turn. Gary was bound and determined to maximize our use of space on the boat so that we wouldn’t scrape anywhere going on or off the boat. We pulled forward and were waved to stop a good six feet back from the front gate of the boat. After we turned off the motor, they decided they could get one more car on the boat behind us, so they had us start up again and pull forward to the front edge of the boat It was a good thing that it is a free ferry as our rig took up nearly half the capacity of the boat.
Then came our really scary part. The ferry took off very slowly and quietly from the dock, so slowly and quietly that it was one of those instances where it seems your vehicle is rolling and in this case that means our motor home rolling into the Gulf of Mexico. It was an illusion, but it was very frightening just the same. Now it is not like we were the first big rig every to take this ferry. Motor home and commercial vehicles do it all the time. We snapped a picture of a ferry we met in the channel headed for the dock we left complete with its truck as cargo. But it was a first for us and one of those experiences we always will remember.