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The next Direct Ferry Services between the Bay Islands and North Stradbroke Island will be on Saturday March 18.

The March 18 date is designed to work in with the Girt by Sea Sculpture event as well as the Infinite Earth Fest Autumn Equinox and the Karragarra Yacht Club sail past, all happening on that day.

It is hoped that these events will attract more visitors from North Stradbroke Island.

This follows from a January ‘test’ when a Sunday departure was trialled and the very poor response to the February 25 trip that had to be cancelled due to lack of support.

Figures were down on previous journeys, and it may have been as a result of back to school and the aftermath of the recent school holidays.

In relation to the February 25 cancellation, these trips are paid for by The Friendly Bay Islander.

At best they run at just on 50%.

The first three trips were at near 100% occupancy on the trip to Straddie with strong support from the Bay Islands, but a near zero support for the return journey.

The February bookings were at less than 20% which would have incurred a substantial loss.

The organisation of these trips is quite daunting and we did not start them to ‘make a profit’.

It was about linking our islands together and for it to succeed, they need to be well supported.

Running under 50% is just not viable.

The situation is made more difficult because more than 95% of the bookings are senior fares.

The success or otherwise of the Saturday March 18 trip to Straddie and Return, will decide how we shall move on in the future with the Direct Ferry Service.

If the figures are not around 50% we will look at running them every 2nd month or maybe four times a year.

The fares have been adjusted recently and are now return $35 per person and the seniors is now $25 per person.

On Saturday, March 18 the Bay Island Transit vessel will pick up from ALL BAY ISLANDS!.

The journey to Straddie will start at 8.15am picking up the Russell Island passengers and will proceed to pick up on Karragarra Island at 8.30am and then Macleay Island at 8.35am and finally Lamb Island at 8.40am and then direct to Dunwich for arrival at approx 9.10am in time to meet the NSI 9.20 bus service.

The ferry service will then pick up the returning morning Straddie visitors to the Bay Islands departing at approx 9.30am for the return journey to the Bay Islands dropping off at Lamb, Macleay, Karragarra and finally Russell Island at approx 10.25am

The Straddie visitors will return to Dunwich leaving Russell Island at 3.20pm with pickups on Karragarra at 3.35, Macleay 3.40, and Lamb Island at 3.45 for arrival at Dunwich at approx 4.00pm

The Bay Island visitors on Straddie will catch the return journey to the Bay Islands at 4.15pm with stop offs at all the Bay Islands Lamb, Macleay, Karragarra and finally Russell Island at approx 5.10pm

Tickets for Saturday March 18 are now available at:

• RUSSELL ISLAND: Russell Island Post Office

• MACLEAY ISLAND: Auto Marine, Seaside Terrace (rear Spar car park)

• NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND: Straddie News, Casket and Gifts, 5 Below Rd, Dunwich.

FARES RETURN: Adult $35, Children (under 12) $15, Seniors (card holders) $25

FURTHER INFORMATION: Email: Phone 0423229739

The February trip will be on Saturday, the 25th.