Annual Dry Dock

Dry Dock

Dry Dock 2020

The Whatcom Chief will be out of service for dry dock repairs and maintenance starting the morning of Saturday, Sept. 12, and is expected to return to service the evening of Saturday, Oct. 3. The return date is tentative and subject to change. 

  • Please contact Whatcom County Public Works Administration with questions or concerns at 360-778-6200 or email  

What to Expect on Saturday, Oct. 3 - Whatcom Chief Returns to Service

The Whatcom Chief is scheduled to return to service at 6 pm on Saturday, Oct. 3, after three weeks in dry dock. This scheduled return is dependent on upon successful completion of the remaining shipyard repairs and sea trials. 

  • The passenger-only ferry will run its regular Saturday schedule starting at 7:00 a.m. until 10:10 a.m.
  • The last two departures will be:
    • 10:00 a.m. from Lummi Island.
    • 10:10 a.m. from Gooseberry Point.
  • Due to the complex nature of the dry dock switchover, no additional runs will be made to clear the docks after the last posted departure time. Please plan accordingly.
  • All ferry service will stop while dock modifications and floats for the contracted passenger-only ferry are dismantled and removed.  
  • Both ferry docks will be unavailable for emergency use during this switchover.
  • The Whatcom Chief is expected to return to service starting at 6:00 p.m. 

COVID-19 Prevention

After a public comment period on our draft policy, we have made some changes and published a final version of the 2020 Passenger Only Vessel and Shuttle Van Passenger Use Policy on Monday, Sept. 8. This policy balances the prevention requirements of operating a ferry during a pandemic with the need for a predictable level of service in operations. 

Passenger-Only Ferry:

The contracted passenger-only ferry will provide service between Lummi Island and Gooseberry Point. 

  • Pets and bicycles are allowed on the stern of the vessel only.  
  • Owners are responsible for their pet’s actions.
  • Bicycles will load last. The maximum number of bicycles allowed on the passenger ferry at one time is six.
  • The passenger-only ferry can only accept non-motorized wheelchairs as motorized wheelchairs are too wide to pass through the opening in the bulwarks of the passenger ferry.

Shuttle Van Service

In preparation for the Whatcom Chief's return to service, Oct. 4 is the last day of the shuttle van. 

  • The shuttle van will make all scheduled runs through Sunday, October 4.  No shuttle runs will be made after Oct. 4. 

Our shuttle van is a surplus WTA 15-passenger van with a wheelchair lift. The shuttle must meet a very tight schedule. Please be at the shuttle van stop early to be sure of a ride. The maximum number of passengers allowed in the shuttle van at any one time is 14. No exceptions. See the South Loop and North Loop schedules below for pick up and drop off times.

Vehicle Parking and Removal

  • In preparation for the Whatcom Chief’s return to service, please remove vehicles parked in queuing and driving lanes on both Gooseberry Point and Lummi Island by Friday, Oct. 2.  See Parking Maps AA and CC.
  • Please remove vehicles parked adjacent to queuing lanes and at entrances and exits to ferry lanes by Friday, Oct. 2. 
  • Any vehicle left in these areas after Friday, Oct. 2, will be towed at the owner’s expense. No exceptions. 
  • Any vehicles left in supplemental dry dock parking on either Gooseberry Point or Lummi Island must be removed by the end of the day on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Any vehicles left in supplemental dry dock parking areas after Oct. 6 will be towed at the owner’s expense. No exceptions. 

It is extremely important that designated no parking areas are kept open and clear for the smooth operations of the ferry system, shuttle van, and for safety and fire access. 

We would like to thank the Lummi Island Commercial Company for their gracious offer to allow Lummi Island residents to use areas marked in Exhibit AA during dry dock. 

Important: The areas circled in orange on Exhibit AA are only available Sept. 13 - Oct. 2, 2020. Any vehicle parked in these spots prior to Sept. 13 or after Oct. 2 will be towed at the owner's expense. No additional notice will be given. 

The areas circled in orange on Exhibit CC mark areas of no parking year-round. It is especially important to not park in these areas during dry dock to keep that area clear for the shuttle van and EMS services. Please be a kind neighbor and do not park your vehicle in that area.

There are no changes to the Lummi View Drive or Emma Road parking areas. 

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If you haven't already, signup to receive email updates from us. On the Notify Me webpage, type in your email address and phone number, then scroll down to News Flash. Finally, select the envelope and/or phone icon for Public Works - Lummi Island and Ferry. 

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This feature allows you to receive an email, text message, or both when we have something new to report about this project.