‘It’s a very Maine thing:’ Islanders make it to tournament game on time thanks to ferry service

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 5:18 PM EST
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VINALHAVEN, Maine (WABI) - Weather put a damper on the Maine High School Basketball Tournament Thursday.

When the Maine Principals Association announced they were postponing all games in Augusta, one island team was worried they may have to play without any fans in the stands.

The Maine State Ferry Service did not let that happen.

The Vinalhaven Vikings girls’ basketball team was rescheduled to play on Wednesday at 8:30am.

That did not leave fans much time to get to Augusta, so the ferry service added an extra ferry for the day.

Fans packed the ferry to head out at 6 a.m., making the one hour and 15-minute trip to Rockland.

The team took the ferry out on Tuesday to be sure they were there on time.

In years past, the ferry service has also held the boat at night if necessary.

Making it to the high school basketball tournament is a big deal, and even more so for some of these kids who don’t get off the island too often.

“I always like it when I used to run the boat when there was a team on board because they’re usually excited. If you got to see some seals or some porpoises, that was even better,” said Port Captain, Daniel McNichol.

“It’s a very Maine thing,” said Maine State Ferry Manager, Mark Higgins. “I grew up in Maine. I was gone for 25 years, and that’s why I came back to Maine. There’s no other place like it.”

The Vinalhaven Vikings lost in the Class D South semifinals 77 to 23 to Valley of Bingham.

Both the Valley girls and boys’ teams are advancing to the Regional Finals on Saturday.